Despite the myth perpetuated by some game lodges that you 'have to spend' at least $4,000 a night to see truly wild animals and stay in decent quality accommodation, there are not only affordable ways to go on safari in but exceptionally pleasant ones too.
Yes, they do exist! We have just finished building a journey for clients that takes them on a private, guided safari over two days with a local guide for ZAR4600 per day, for a full day trip. They are also staying at the excellent Nselwini Bush Lodge (which is a public lodge run by KZN Wildlife on the banks of the Mfolozi River) for ZAR2000 per day. Admittedly that's self-catering but the quality of the accommodation is a comfortable four-star and you can drive less than 8km to get food at the Mpila resort is you can't be bothered to cook.
So that's a privately-guided safari, four-star accommodation and food for all in ZAR8 000 (US$650) a night in utterly pristine natural surroundings for two sharing. Compare that to your average four-star offering in Kruger (which would in any case be shared game drives) and it's about half the price!
You can check out our preferred guide's site, www.beachbushberg.co.za and also accommodation here http://www.gamereservehluhluwe.com/nselweni-bush-lodge/.