Serengeti is one of the most famous parks in Africa and is synonymous with wildlife and classic African scenery. It is Tanzania’s oldest park and a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is home to the spectacular wildebeest migration and offers top-class wildlife viewing throughout the year.
Every year, over 2 million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. If you’re there at the right time, you can spot herds of wildebeest and zebra stretching to the horizon.
The Serengeti offers some of the best wildlife viewings in Africa. All the major safari animals occur in great numbers. Cheetah and four of the Big 5 are easily seen, but rhino sightings are rare, and only black rhino is present. Aside from the big cats, many other predators can be spotted including spotted hyena (especially in the morning), jackal, and bat-eared fox.
Traveling to Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is located in a remote corner of our planet in the north of Tanzania. Even though this is one of the few places left where nature’s ancient rules and seasonal cycles have been more or less unaltered, the Serengeti is fairly easy to access. The most convenient option is to fly from Arusha to one of the park’s seven airstrips.
It is also possible to book an overland safari in a 4×4 safari vehicle from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park and visit one or two other parks along the way. Of course, it’s also possible to combine these options; book a one-way Serengeti overland safari and fly back to Arusha. More information on the different safari possibilities may be found on going on a safari in Serengeti National Park.
Getting to Serengeti by air
International air travel
The recommended point of entry is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which lies between the towns of Moshi and Arusha. The airport is located about 200 miles from the park’s southern entrance. There are a couple of international flight options such as KLM (daily), Turkish Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines (a couple of times per week).
Kilimanjaro International Airport also has daily connections with Nairobi (NBO) in Kenya, which offers more international flight possibilities. Additional airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, and others fly into Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam (DAR). Please note that arriving at Dar es Salaam may require an extra overnight and a domestic flight on a small regional airline with luggage restrictions.
Regional air travel
The favored route for a Serengeti fly-in safari is by flying from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK). From here it will take approximately 1 to 5 hours to fly to one of seven airstrips within the Serengeti National Park.
All flights are operated by local airlines such as Air Excel, Coastal Aviation, or Regional Air. Once landed at the airstrip, the lodge staff will pick you up and transfer you to your final destination where a cold drink will be ready and waiting (please allow another 45 minutes to 2 hours for road transfer – depending on the chosen lodge).
It is also possible to fly from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) or Wilson Airport (WIL) directly to one of Serengeti’s airstrips. When traveling from the Lake Victoria area, the favored airport is Mwanza Airport (MWZ). There are also direct flights from the Serengeti to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and other national parks in Tanzania such as Lake Manyara and Tarangire.
Serengeti fly in safaris (private airstrips)
Looking for a faster and even more convenient option to get to the Serengeti? A scheduled or private charter flight is the way to go. Some of the more exclusive lodges have their own airstrip and are able to arrange direct scheduled and/or private charter flights from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK) to their airstrip.
Getting to Serengeti National Park by road
Serengeti drive-in safaris
The most popular way to travel to Serengeti National Park by road is by booking a drive-in safari. In general, the drive-in safaris start from the town of Arusha. As it will take approximately eight hours to travel from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park, an overnight stay at one or more wildlife sites en route is usually part of your safari itinerary.
Serengeti self-drive safaris
Although not recommended, the Serengeti National Park is accessible when traveling by (rental) vehicle. Please keep in mind that careful planning is necessary when driving by yourself through the Serengeti National Park. A 4×4 vehicle is required to be able to access all roads throughout the year. Petrol is sold at Seronera in the Southern Serengeti Area but driving is not permitted in the park after 19:00.
Things To Do in Serengeti National Park
- Great Migration
- Hot Air Balloon
- Game Drive
- Night Game Drives
- Soronera River Valley
- Retina Hippo Pool
- Bologonja Springs
- Grumeti River
- Lobo Valley
- Moru Kopjes
- Olduvai Gorge
- Naabi Hill
Best Time To Visit Serengeti National Park
The best time to visit the Serengeti National Park is in the Dry season (from late June to October). This period offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight. Wildlife viewing is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.
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13 Best Places To Stay In Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
1. Melia Serengeti Lodge
Offering a year-round infinity pool, with stunning views of Serengeti National Park. The Melina offers elegant rooms and suites that offer breath-taking views, free WiFi, a Private terrace, a safety box, coffee & tea facilities are provided. A Ceiling fan, Mini-bar, and Mosquito gauze are also provided.
The property offers onsite restaurants offering traditional recipes fused with the finest international cuisine in the most spectacular setting. A fitness center, Spa, and 24 hours front desk are also provided.
Located in Nyamuma hills overlooking the River Mbalageti valley. 36 km from Serena airport and 335 km from Arusha.
2. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
Nestled within the Serengeti National Park boasting panoramic landscape views and a variety of wildlife, lies the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. It offers a spa, and the outdoor Maji Bar overlooks the infinity swimming pool and savannah.
The elegant and air-conditioned rooms feature African décor and come complete with a sofa, flat-screen TV, minibar, and a safe. All rooms have an en suite bathroom with a bath and shower.
At Four Seasons Safari Lodge, the Boma Grill offers a cultural Maasai experience with an authentic African feast and Maasai dancing. With spectacular views, Kula’s Restaurant has dishes with local flavors and international wines. There is also a wine cellar where guests can experience food and wine pairings.
Deep within Africa’s finest game reserve, this Safari Lodge welcomes you to a sanctuary of Four Seasons comfort. Get up close and intimate with lions, leopards, and elephants – yet always feel safe and pampered.
Experience thrilling Serengeti game drives and rare opportunities to connect with the local people and culture. Then return to the Safari Lodge, where their 77 secluded guest rooms, an elegant spa, and infinity pool promise a luxurious respite during your African adventures.
3. Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp
Offering an outdoor pool, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is nestled in the Western Hall, near Grumeti River on a tree-clad ridge with sweeping views of the Serengeti National Park. Groves of acacia trees watered by sparkling streams cool down the property. The accommodations is fitted with a seating area.
Each unit is equipped with a private bathroom with a shower. Towels are offered. Designed to melt into nature, it includes a series of traditional domed rondavels. On the very edge of the ridge is a ‘vanishing horizon’ pool, which looks out over the ‘endless plains’ after which the Serengeti is named. Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge also includes a barbecue. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. The property also offers packed lunches. Seronera Airstrip is 10 mi from Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge.
4. Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Located in South Central Serengeti, within the Moru Kopjes area, Serengeti Pioneer Camp is ideally situated to offer superlative access to the annual migration and the ‘Big 5’ with sweeping views overlooking Moru Kopjes, Lake Magadi, and the endless plains.
Paying homage to the mobile camps of the 1930s, a time when an African safari was truly a journey into the unknown, Serengeti Pioneer Camp’s ‘zero footprints’ and close proximity to nature combines to make an unmistakably distinctive and truly individual offering.
Comprising of twelve-tented rooms, all of which have en-suite facilities including a flushing toilet, vanity basin, and showers, the tent interiors are designed to evoke the very best of an era long-gone but certainly not forgotten.
With the ‘Big Five’ and the annual migration being the constant highlights of any visit to the Serengeti, the introduction of Serengeti Pioneer Camp will help to sate the desires of even the most expectant of safari travelers.
With the combination of both Serengeti Pioneer Camp and that of the award-winning Serengeti Migration Camp to the north, it will now be possible to cover over 90% of the Serengeti from both of these two camps, thus maximizing the game-viewing opportunities, and increasing game-viewing time.
5. Mbalageti Safari Camp
Boasting an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi access, Mbalageti Serengeti is located inside the Serengeti National Park. Guests can have a drink at the onsite bar and relax on the terrace.
The units in the lodge are fitted with a fan, safety deposit box, and bed linen. While some of the units feature a minibar, fridge, and sofa, all the units are fitted with a wardrobe and mosquito net. The private bathroom found in each unit has free toiletries.
A continental breakfast is served daily at the property. Guests can have a meal at the onsite restaurant that specializes in African and international cuisines.
Other facilities offered at the property include a shared lounge and luggage storage. The property offers free parking. Car rental services are also available at Mbalageti Serengeti as well as business facilities.
6. Asanja Africa
Overlooking the scenic plains of the Serengeti, Asanja Africa offers tented accommodation and features a restaurant and parking on site. The camp is exclusive and set amidst the Moru Kopjes.
Overlooking the garden, all tents feature a private veranda with scenic views of the Serengeti and have a mosquito net and seating area. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilets and hot showers. Each tent represents a special Maasai Ceremony and thus has a unique and personalized style.
Staff can organize balloon safaris, bird watching, and visits to the Maasai village. Ngorongoro Crater is 80 km away. The Arusha Airport is 300 km from Asanja Africa.
7. Serengeti Simba Lodge
A restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a bar/lounge are available at this lodge. Free full breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and free self-parking are also provided. Other amenities include coffee/tea in a common area, concierge services, and dry cleaning. All 21 rooms offer sitting areas, premium bedding, and free bottled water. Safes, showers, and desks are among the other amenities that guests will find.
Serengeti Simba Lodge offers 21 accommodations with complimentary bottled water and complimentary toiletries. Accommodations offer separate sitting areas. Beds feature premium bedding. Business-friendly amenities include desks and safes. Bathrooms include showers. A nightly turndown service is provided and housekeeping is offered daily.
Recreational amenities at the lodge include an outdoor pool.
8. Sametu Camp Serengeti
This features a full-service spa, a restaurant, and a bar/lounge. Free buffet breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and free self-parking are also provided. Additionally, dry cleaning, laundry facilities, and a 24-hour front desk are onsite. All 8 rooms provide conveniences like living rooms and dining areas, plus free WiFi and patios. Room service, rainfall showerheads, and free newspapers are among the other amenities available to guests.
Serengeti Sametu Camp offers 8 accommodations with safes and complimentary newspapers. Rooms open to patios. Accommodations offer separate living rooms. Serengeti National Park provides complimentary wireless Internet access. Bathrooms include showers with rainfall showerheads, bathrobes, and complimentary toiletries. Housekeeping is provided daily.
The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or nearby; fees may apply.
Guests can indulge in a pampering treatment at the full-service spa.
9. Kananga Special Tented Camp
Kananga Special Tented Camp offers accommodation in Seronera, in them a heart of the Serengeti National Park.
The tents are carpeted and equipped with bedside tables and luggage racks. The bed is dressed in high-quality linen and a traditional Masai blanket. There is an en-suite open-air shower and toilet. Each tent is equipped with LED reading lights powered by solar energy.
All packages include breakfast, lunch, dinner, mineral water, and tea-and-coffee-making facilities.
Kananga Special Tented Camp also includes a terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Special diet menus and packed lunches are available on request. Guests can hire a 4×4 vehicle with a private driver when requested in advance.
10. Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp
Found in a remote location of the Serengeti National Park, Mbuzi Mawe is a luxury tented camp situated at a convenient stop-over point for anyone traveling north or south and a practical base for game drives in the Lobo Kopjes area, the Western Corridor and the north side of the Seronera area. This camp is sought after in the months of March and April when the wildebeest migration is moving north and November to January when the migration is ending south through the east side of the park.
The property is surrounded by granite outcrops in the central Serengeti. There are just 16 luxury en-suite tents all with good space between them. Accommodation is rustic and simple but this affords the charm of a true wilderness experience, lined with modern facilities, such as comfortable furnishings, ceiling fan, 24-hour electricity, and a flushing toilet. Some of the tents boast beautiful sweeping views, which can also be seen from some of the public areas.
Dinner is served in a tent housing a good number of tables and presenting a stone deck outside, should guests wish to dine alfresco. The bar, reception area, and curio shop are comfortably furnished for guests to relax in, with the bar open all day. The camp will provide parties with 5 or more people a special barbecue dinner, making for a deliciously wonderful night at camp.
11. Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Offering an outdoor pool, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is nestled in the Western Corridor, near Grumeti River on a tree-clad ridge with sweeping views of the Serengeti National Park. Groves of acacia trees watered by sparkling streams cool down the property.
The accommodation is fitted with a seating area. Each unit is equipped with a private bathroom with a shower. Towels are offered. Designed to melt into nature, it includes a series of traditional domed rondavels. On the very edge of the ridge is a ‘vanishing horizon’ pool, which looks out over the ‘endless plains’ after which the Serengeti is named.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge also includes a barbecue. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. The property also offers packed lunches.
Seronera Airstrip is 16.1 km from Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge.
12. Kirawira Serena Camp
Situated in Serengeti National Park, on the Western Corridor, Kirawira Serena Camp offers a garden and outdoor pool. Free WiFi is provided.
Styled after the hunting camps of the likes of Finch Hattons and Baron Bror Blixen, each spacious deck features a furnished seating area in antique Edwardian style. Free private parking is also available at this tented camp. Towels are offered.
Kirawira Serena Camp also includes a barbecue. Guests can enjoy a sun terrace and a restaurant on site.
Adjacent to the famous Western Corridor, the area is a great arena of the annual Great Wildebeest Migration of over a million wildebeest arguably the “Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth”
The nearest airstrip is Grumeti Airstrip, 1 hours’ flight from Arusha Airport and is within 13 km of Kirawira Serena Camp.
13. Serengeti Wildebeest Camp
Located in the central part of the Serengeti National Park, the Seronera Tana – Extra area, it features 10 spacious, self-contained private tents each equipped with private showers and toilets, the Serengeti Wildebeest Camp provides guests with comfortable and unforgettable firsthand experiences of the wildlife, landscapes, natural wonders, and the exciting atmosphere of one of Tanzania’s most famous national Park The unique and comfortable Camps it offers Various contemporary amenities such as Dining & Bar Activities, the internet, Sundowner cocktails to Bush meals at a private site, Serengeti Wildebeest Multi-cuisine restaurant provide a memorable dining experience.