A Serengeti Safari: How to Prepare & What to Know

If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime trip, head over to Tanzania for a Serengeti safari. The Serengeti is a vast, sprawling plain that stretches across northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. It is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including wildebeests, zebras, lions, and elephants. The Serengeti is one of the most popular destinations for travelers visiting Tanzania, and for good reason. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, it is truly a must-see destination.

How do you get to the Serengeti?

The Serengeti National Park is located in northern Tanzania and can be accessed by road, air, or a combination of both. Here are some of the most common ways to get to the Serengeti:

By Air:

The Serengeti has several airports that are serviced by regional airlines. The main airport is Seronera Airstrip, which is located in the center of the park. Other airports include Grumeti Airstrip and Kleins Camp Airstrip, which are located in the western corridor of the park. From these airports, visitors can take a short drive to their accommodations within the park.

By Road:

The Serengeti can also be accessed by road. Most visitors travel by car or bus from Arusha, which is a city located approximately 335 kilometers (208 miles) east of the park. The journey from Arusha takes approximately 7-8 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. While this seems like a long drive, it goes fast. Anywhere from 1-4 of these hours are within the Serengeti, so it’s like a morning safari. Furthermore, you pass by other national parks and, most tours, have you stop in at least one.


Another option is to fly to one of the airstrips in the Serengeti and then take a game drive to your accommodation. Many lodges and camps in the park offer game drives as part of their package, so this can be a convenient way to see the wildlife and get to your destination.

It’s important to note that the Serengeti is a remote and wild area, so it’s recommended to book your transportation and accommodations in advance. Additionally, visitors should take precautions to ensure their safety while traveling in the region.  Ensure you’re hiring a reputable guide, we recommend going through a travel company such as Altezza Travel.

Lion sitting atop of direction sign in Serengeti National ParkEntrance sign to Serengeti National Park

What to Expect from a Serengeti Safari

The Serengeti National Park is the heart of this incredible region, and it covers an area of approximately 15,000 square kilometers. The park is home to a wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and rivers. This diversity of landscapes provides a perfect habitat for a wide range of wildlife, making it one of the best places in Africa to see the “Big Five”.

One of the most famous sights in the Serengeti is the annual migration of wildebeest and zebras. This is one of the most incredible natural spectacles on the planet, as millions of animals move across the plains in search of water and fresh grass. The migration is a truly awe-inspiring sight, and it is something that every traveler to the Serengeti should witness at least once.

The Serengeti is also home to a rich cultural heritage. The Maasai people have lived in the region for centuries, and their traditional way of life is still very much in evidence today. Visitors to the Serengeti can learn about Maasai culture by visiting traditional villages and meeting with local people. It’s a great way to get a deeper understanding of the region and its history.

Overall, you are in the middle of an incredible and remote national park, so make sure you come prepared.

Up close shot of a male lion, seen on a Serengeti safaria lion sitting in tall grass, seen on a Serengeti safari
A giraffe eating leaves off the top of a tree in the SerengetiHundreds of wildabeast migrating from the Serengeti

What are the Costs of a Serengeti Safari?

The cost of a Serengeti safari can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the time of year, type of accommodation, length of stay, and the level of luxury. Here is a breakdown of the main costs associated with a Serengeti safari:

Park Fees:

All visitors to the Serengeti National Park are required to pay park fees, which vary depending on the duration of the visit and the type of vehicle used. As of 2023, the fees range from $60 to $70 per adult per day, with discounts available for children and East African residents.


There are various options for accommodation in the Serengeti, ranging from basic campsites to luxurious lodges. The cost of accommodation can range from as low as $50 per night for a basic campsite to several thousand dollars per night for a high-end safari lodge. When booking a safari tour, you will have the option to choose which level of accommodations you prefer.


The cost of transportation will depend on how you choose to get to the Serengeti and how you plan to travel within the park. If you are flying, the cost will depend on the airline and the distance traveled. If you are driving, you will need to factor in the cost of a rental car or the services of a driver and vehicle.

Safari Activities:

Many lodges and camps in the Serengeti offer a variety of safari activities, such as game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon rides. The cost of these activities will vary depending on the type and duration of the activity. Taking a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti is truly incredible, however this will cost ~$500/ person.

Overall, a Serengeti safari can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per person, depending on the level of luxury and the duration of the trip. It’s important to do your research and compare prices from different safari operators to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to book your safari with a reputable operator who has experience in the region and can ensure your safety and comfort throughout your trip.

Safari vehicles along a dirt road on a Serengeti safaria flock of ostriches running away in the Serengeti

How to Prepare for a Serengeti Safari

A Serengeti safari is an exciting and unforgettable adventure that requires some preparation to ensure a comfortable and safe trip. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a Serengeti safari.

Get Vaccinated:

Before traveling to Tanzania, it is recommended to get vaccinated against certain diseases, such as yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. In general, yellow fever is not needed for Tanzania. However, if you are arriving from a country that requires yellow fever vaccinations then Tanzania requires you have it as well. We always recommend checking with your healthcare provider or a travel medicine specialist for the latest recommendations.

Pack the Right Gear:

Packing the right gear is essential for a comfortable and safe safari. Some of the essential items to pack include comfortable and breathable clothing. You should also avoid black or blue clothing as these colors attract Tsetse flies. Tsetse flies carry a disease, however unlike Malaria, there are currently no pills to take for prevention. We recommend sticking to light and neutral colors to avoid any unwanted fly bites. You will also want walking shoes or boots, a hat and sunglasses. Lastly, make sure you have insect repellant, sunscreen and any other outdoor protection.

Prepare for the Weather:

The Serengeti has a dry and hot climate, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Be sure to pack lightweight and breathable clothing that will protect you from the sun and dust, as well as warm clothing for the cooler evenings and early mornings.

Be Prepared for Long Drives:

The Serengeti is a vast park, and visitors should be prepared for long drives on bumpy and dusty roads. Bring a good book, music, or other forms of entertainment to pass the time during the drives.

Respect Local Culture:

Tanzania has a rich and diverse culture, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly and be mindful of local customs when interacting with people in the region.

Stay Safe:

The Serengeti is a wild and remote area, and visitors should take precautions to ensure their safety. Always follow the instructions of your guide and avoid getting too close to the wildlife.

By following these tips, you can prepare for an enjoyable and safe Serengeti safari that you will never forget.

A topi staring at the camera in a field of grass in the Serengeti NPA refreshment stand within the Serengeti National Park.

Overall, if you’re planning a trip to Tanzania, then the Serengeti is an absolute must-see destination. With its incredible wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, it’s an experience that you’ll never forget. Whether you’re on safari, taking a hot air balloon ride, or learning about Maasai culture, the Serengeti is sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Looking to continue to adventure? We recommend stopping off in Zanzibar before you head home.

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