Frequently Asked Questions
We understand you may have questions before going on a Serengeti safari. Click on a question to drop down the answer; you may also use the quick navigation below to find your question and answer.
Access to Serengeti National Park
How do I get to Serengeti National Park?
Guests may travel to the Serengeti by vehicle (transfer, self drive or guided safari) or by flight on a light aircraft to one of the Serengeti airstrips in the national park. Your journey usually starts from the town of Arusha -which is considered to be the gateway to the Serengeti- or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). For more information please see our 'getting here' page.
What are the opening times of Serengeti National Park?
The main access gates open at 06H00 and close at 18H00. We recommend not to arrive at any of the gates later than 15H00 so that you will arrive at your final destination (lodge or camp) in time.
What are the entrance fees or park fees for Serengeti?
The per person park fee currently is US$ 70.80 per adult per day (valid up to 30 June 2021). High season park fees (US$ 82.60 per adult per day) apply between 1 July 2021 and 14 March 2022, and between 16 May 2022 and 30 June 2022. The park fee for children (aged between 5 and 15 years old) is US$ 23.60 per day, regardless of the season. Children below the age of 5 may enter the Serengeti free of charge. All main entry gates accepts credit cards.
How long does it take to fly to the Serengeti?
Most Serengeti safaris start from Arusha Airport (ARK). A flight from Arusha to one of the main Serengeti airstrips takes between 1 hour and 10 minutes and 2 hours and 40 minutes, depending on the airstrip location. Bear in mind that departure times and routings may vary depending on traveller requirements and local weather conditions. As these flights service multiple lodges and airstrips it is possible that multiple stops are made en route to your destination (with a maximum of three landings). When starting from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) one should add approximately 30 minutes to the above mentioned flight times. Read all about flights to Serengeti.
I would like to drive. Where should I access the Serengeti?
The Serengeti has multiple entry gates, the most important ones being: Naabi Hill Gate, Ndabaka Gate, Klein's Gate and Bolognya Gate. Your entry gate depends on the lodge where you will be staying. Lodges and camps located in the Seronera sector of the Serengeti may be accessed through Naabi Hill Gate.
About Serengeti National Park
What is the size of Serengeti National Park?
The Serengeti measures 14,750 square kilometers, which is about 5,700 square miles. It is slightly bigger than the area size of The Bahamas. The national park is unfenced and therefore shares an open border with the Greater Serengeti ecosystem (including the Masai Mara in Kenya): the total area size of the Serengeti ecosystem in approximately 30,000 square kilometers or 12,000 square miles (roughly the size of Belgium).
When was Serengeti National Park established?
Serengeti National Park -in its original form- was established in 1951. In 1959, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was split off from the national park and the park's boundaries were extended to the Kenya border. Kenya established the Masai Mara National Reserve in 1961 and in 1965 the Lamai Wedge between the Mara River and the Kenya border was added to Serengeti National Park, thus creating a permanent corridor allowing the wildebeests to migrate from the Serengeti plains in the south to the Loita Plains in the north. Maswa Game Reserve (southern Serengeti) was established in 1962 and a small area north of The Grumeti River in the western corridor was added in 1967.
Why was Serengeti National Park created?
Although Serengeti National Park was formally established in 1951, its history as a protected area goes further back. The basis for the national park was a much smaller game reserve (appoximately 3.2 square kilometers (!) in size) established in 1921. This game reserve was created by the British to specifically protect the diminishing lion population in the area. Lions were under severe pressure due to hunting activities.
What is Serengeti National Park famous for?
The Serengeti is best known for the wildebeest migration (also known as the Great Migration): the world's biggest mammal migration on land. An estimated number of 1.5 million wildbeest, 300,000 gazelles and 200,000 zebra trek through the Serengeti - Mara ecosystem in search of greener pastures. This massive herd of ungulates supports vast numbers of large predators, including lion, leopard, and cheetah. It truly is a race for life, in its most untamed, rough and beautiful form. This is exactly the reason why so many wildlife documentaries and nature movies have been recorded here.
What does Serengeti mean in English?
The name Serengeti is derived from the Maa word "seringit" and means "endless plains", a name properly suitable for the area. Maa is the local Maasai language.
Staying in Serengeti National Park
What is the best time to visit Serengeti National Park?
The Serengeti offers outstanding wildlife viewing all year round. However, most travellers prefer to include the chance to witness the Great Migration. Winter is the best time to see the herd in Southern Serengeti, while the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti are the best places to spend the summer and autumn months. However, the park becomes rather busy in peak periods and accommodation prices come at a premium. Most Serengeti lodges offer substantially lower rates (often referred to as ‘green season’ rates) in April and May. Moreover, outside peak periods the Serengeti is far less crowded, whilst wildlife viewing options are still superb. So... the best time to travel really depends on your personal preferences. That being said: most travellers (and so many people can't be wrong) pick the dry season (late June - October) for a Serengeti safari. This is the time that the Great Migration is at its absolute prime and your chances of witnessing a river crossing are at their best. Read all about when to travel to the Serengeti.
What is the weather in Serengeti like?
The Serengeti is a vast ecosystem with many seasonal differences in terms of weather and climate. Serengeti National Park experiences a generally cool and and dry season from May to August; a dry and warmer season in September and October; and a wetter and hot season from November to April. Average day time temperatures between May and August range from 15 °C / 59°F to 27°C / 81°F; day time temperatures in September and October range from 15 °C / 59°F to 82°C / 77°F; and day time temperatures between November and April range from 16 °C / 61°F to 29°C / 84°F. Read all about weather and climate in Serengeti.
Does it often rain in the Serengeti?
Serengeti National Park has to rainy periods annually. The - rather unpredictable - short rains are first to break the grip of the dry season and take place in November and December. The long rains follow the short rains in the period from March to May, which are the highest rainfall months. It seldom rains for the entire day, but please remember that it rains on most days. As a result, the landscape turns green and as a result this season is often called the 'green season'. Bringing warm clothes in this season is wise, as it may become rather cold during morning and evening game drives. Read all about weather and climate in Serengeti.
Wildlife viewing in Serengeti
Which animals will I see in Serengeti National Park?
In wildnerness areas, such as the Serengeti, specific animal sightings can never be guaranteed as wildlife roams freely in a massive area. Consequently, we are unable to tell you in advance whether you will be seeing leopards, cheetahs, lions, or other wildlife species. However, as you are well aware, Serengeti National Park is world-renowned for its incredible wildlife numbers, big cats, and the biggest wildlife event in the world: the Great Migration. Serengeti National Park boasts all Big Five species (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard) and your chances of seeing these species are good. The Serengeti ecosystem is home to more species and individuals than any other wildlife area in Africa.
Do I need binoculars for a Serengeti safari?
We definitely recommend bringing a pair of binoculars as it adds to the fun! Bringing a pair results in increased visibility when staying in the Serengeti, and brings those faraway creatures a little bit closer (which can make all the difference). At some of the lodges your guide will carry a pair of binoculars in the safari vehicle, but this is never guaranteed.
Do leopards live in the Serengeti?
Yes, leopards occur in the Serengeti. Possibly the most beautiful of all big cats, they are elusive but not uncommon. Exact leopard numbers are unknown because of their secrecy, but they are regularly seen in the Seronera Valley.
How many species of animals are in the Serengeti?
More than 300 mammal species occur in Serengeti National Park. This fantastic variety of species is the result of the Serengeti being a transition area: poorer soils in the north and richer soils in the south support a myriad of different habitats and vegetation types. As the Serengeti is able to support massive herds of ungulates it also sustains the greatest concentration of large predators in the world. Read all about Serengeti wildlife species.
How many species of birds are in the Serengeti?
A staggering number of 540 bird species have been recorded in Serengeti National Park. You will find all the 'usual suspects' here, including ostrich, rollers and eagles, but also local specialties such as the grey-crested helmet shrike and Schalow's turaco. Read all about Serengeti bird species.
Are there tigers in the Serengeti?
No, tigers do not occur in the Serengeti. Your chances of seeing tigers would be much higher on the Asian continent.
Serengeti safari lodges & camps
What type of accommodation is available in the Serengeti?
Serengeti National Park is home to a myriad of accommodation options in the form of safari camps & lodges. These range from permanent semi-tented bush camps to ultra luxurious design properties to mobile tented camps and anything in between.
Are activities always included in the price when booking accommodation in the Serengeti?
No, safari activities are not always included in the accommodation rate at any lodge. Serengeti safari lodges usually offer two different rates: one that is all inclusive (and thus includes safari activities) and one of the basis of 'driving in'. The latter means that you will arrive at the lodge with your own driver / guide who will also conduct game drives during your stay. Kindly note that not all lodges in the Serengeti offer 'in house' activities, but the vast majority does. You will find that rates on this website are usually based on an all inclusive basis (so including safari activities) which we think realistically represents the true cost of a Serengeti safari. In case safari actitivities are not included (or can't be included) we have clearly indicated this.
Are meals and drinks included when booking a stay in the Serengeti?
All meals (breakfast and/or brunch, lunch and dinner) are included in your stay, regardless of your lodge choice. Whether your drinks are included in your stay depends on the lodge: some lodges include all drinks (including premium drinks, champagne and alcoholic beverages); some lodges include local drinks only (including alcoholic beverages); some lodges include non-alcoholic drinks only. The bare minimum is that tea and coffee is always included.
What time is check and check out in Serengeti?
The check in time at lodges located in the Serengeti is from 13H00. Check out time is between 10H30 and 11H00 (usually after a morning safari activity and breakfast).
Do all lodges in the Serengeti offer private plunge pools?
No, not all lodges offer private plunge pools. The rule of thumb is that the more exclusive safari lodges offer private hot tubs or plunge pools.
Planning your stay in the Serengeti
How far in advance should I book my Serengeti safari?
Lodges in Serengeti National Park operate at high occupancy levels, especially during peak periods. Therefore, we recommend that you start planning your Serengeti safari 8 to 12 months in advance. If you wish to travel during peak periods (e.g. Christmas, Easter, June - October) we strongly recommend that you start planning between 12 and 18 months in advance. For some Serengeti lodges - when it concerns peak periods - it is not uncommon to find they are fully booked two (!) years in advance. Also, when travelling with family (children), or in a group, one should start planning as early as possible: due to their modest scale, the lodges have a limited number of suitable rooms.
Is accommodation in Serengeti suitable for disabled travellers?
A limited number of Serengeti lodges & camps offer wheelchair friendly rooms.
Are there special offers available in the Serengeti?
Yes, some Serengeti lodges offer reduced (honeymoon) rates or special offers. These special may be reviewed on this page.