Booking an African Safari with Points


A couple of years ago, I booked flights, a pre-safari hotel, and a post-safari trip to Zanzibar. I paid cash for a safari at TAASA Lodge in Tanzania with a TravelZoo deal. This time, I have booked a safari entirely with points and miles! Here’s how booking an African safari with points is possible.

Recently, I took advantage of a great deal to book the JW Marriott Masai Mara in Kenya for my birthday in 2024. This is undoubtedly a steal of a deal for an African Safari, which is included in your stay. I booked it for 75K Marriott Bonvoy points/night, and am staying for 5 nights. The 5th night is free with Marriott award stays, too, making it an even better deal.

It would normally cost about $2000-$3000/night which, considering all the inclusions, is still an unbelievable deal for an African safari! The lodge just opened this year and has been booked frequently, so award stays have become harder to find, but it is definitely a points deal you want to keep on your radar. I lucked into a really low-cost points booking, but normally you can expect to book it for about 110K Marriott points/night.


Luxury tent with bed and sofas

Luxury tent. Photo courtesy of Marriott site.


This safari includes the following:

  • Twice daily game drives
  • All meals
  • Airstrip transfers
  • En-suite luxury tents with private decks and jacuzzis
  • Communal area with swimming pool, lodge, and fire pit
  • Fitness center and spa

I can’t wait to go and give a review of this place. In the meantime, here is a review from a points and miles enthusiast who did go there recently.



Here are some of the items that are not included in the price of your stay:

  • Bush plane transfer to and from the lodge—this runs about $400/person round-trip.
  • Park fee of $70/person per night. This will cost me an additional $700 for our 5-night stay.
  • The points purchase is for 2 people, and there is a charge per night to add children.


Screenshot availability of Marriott lodge


Bottom Line

Booking an African Safari with points is now possible. I look forward to my stay at the JW Marriott Masai Mara and can’t wait to review it for you. I am now booking my flights to Nairobi with points and miles and plan to tack on a trip to the island of Mauritius also. Just another exciting adventure, all thanks to credit card points and miles!

Jeep on African plains with animals present

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  1. Jackie says:

    I just don’t get how the average Joe gets a lot of Marriott points. We were always Hilton people but recently my husband’s work is booking marriott so we got a Bonvoy Marriott Visa card. but still…they give hardly any points for stays and multipliers seem low on cc. Any tips on how to get more points? currently silver and will be gold next week

    • Pam says:

      It is through signup bonuses that we get the majority of our points, not stays and not using the card. I would get more credit card signup bonuses. Currently, my husband and I have all the Marriott cards we can get so the well will run dry. However, the annual night certificates are useful too.

  2. Anish says:

    When did you book the hotel? I have been looking for past couple months and have not seen single night of availability at the hotel all the way to Aug 2024. Did you book this deal w/ the hotel first opened up reservations earlier in the year?

    • Pam says:

      I booked it the first part of July and then put it on our Facebook Group in hopes that other people could find the deal too. It has gotten a lot of press since it is new and such a good deal. Keep looking, it will open up again. If we hear of anything, we will publicize it. I would put an alert on Open Hotel Alert for when a standard room opens up.

  3. Margot says:

    It looks like the maximum occupancy per room is 3. How are people booking this hotel (or others) with multiple kids?

    • Pam says:

      I don’t know about their occupancy rates. I would call and ask. It says they have an interconnecting family suite, so maybe that is available for larger families. But as I said, I really don’t know. I am going in May and will check then.

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