Traveling to Serengeti National Park
Even though Serengeti National Park 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 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 / 320 kilometers from the park’s southern entrance. There are a couple of international flight options such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (daily), Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines (a few 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. More information about flights may be reviewed on our Kilimanjaro Airport page.
Regional/domestic 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 Grumeti Air or Coastal Aviation. 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). More information about flights to Serengeti.
It is also possible to fly from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) or Wilson Airport (WIL) to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). 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 Lake Manyara and Tarangire.
Serengeti fly-in safaris (private airstips)
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.
Serengeti National Park access gates
The Serengeti has four main entry and exit point:
Naabi Hill Gate
Serengeti’s main gate, and therefore also the busiest. Naabi Hills Gate is located approximately 45 kilometers from Seronera. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily.
Main access gate for the Western Corridor area; approximately a 1.5 hours drive from Mwanza and 145 kilometers from Seronera. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily but please note that last entry is at 16h00.
Klein’s Gate is located in the far north-east of the Serengeti. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily, please note the last entry is at 16h00.
Bologonya Gate is located en route to or from Kenya, but the border is currently closed and unlikely to open soon.
Park fees Serengeti National Park
Upon entering Serengeti National Park through one of the above mentioned gates, you are required to pay park fees. These Serengeti park fees are usually included in the rate when booking an organized safari package.