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Getting Around Serengeti National Park

The best way to get around Serengeti National Park is by safari. Safari guides know how to best navigate the park's dirt roads and how to find the most fascinating wildlife. Many safari packages also include food, lodging, and transportation to and from the airstrips. If you prefer to travel on your own, you can rent a car (and even hire a driver) at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is located about 190 miles (a four-hour drive) east of the park's main entrance, Naabi Hill Gate.

Serengeti is divided into five distinct regions. Central Serengeti is home to most of the park's permanent lodges. The Western Corridor sees a lot of action during the spring and summer, as the Migration's route takes the herd across the region's Grumeti River on both the initial and the return journeys. Southern Serengeti is home to the park's main entrance, Naabi Hill Gate, but is relatively free of tourists except between December and March when the Migration passes through. Northern Serengeti is described by some as the most scenic portion; visitors flock to the Lobo grasslands and the Bologonja Springs to watch the migratory animals mingle with elephants and giraffes. To the east is the Ngorongoro Crater, where dramatic peaks and supple grasslands make for some stunning photo ops. All five regions are accessible by air thanks to six internal airstrips and several regional carriers.

Safari

To make the most of your visit to Serengeti National Park, consider booking a safari tour. Knowledgeable guides can provide a wealth of information on the park's regions and wildlife. Some tour operators offer a variety of ways to get around, including hiking and driving. You can even get the bird's eye view of the park on a Balloon Safari. To save money, consider booking a safari package, which includes transportation, along with lodging and food. African Dream Safaris and Serengeti Select Safaris offer a variety of ways to experience the park.  

Car You are welcome to explore Serengeti National Park by car, but it's not highly recommended. While the roads are well traveled, they're not always clearly marked, which can make finding your way difficult. Drivers are required to pay an extra $5 USD fee each day per vehicle and are not allowed to drive in the park past 7 p.m. Also, the park is relatively devoid of fuel stations, so unless you are familiar with the area, you may find yourself in a sticky situation. You can rent a car at Kilimanjaro International Airport, about a four-hour drive east of the park's Naabi Hill Gate entrance.
Plane

There are six airstrips found within Serengeti National Park. The Seronera airstrip serves Central Serengeti; the Lobo, Kleins, and Kogatende airstrips provide access to the north; the Grumeti and Sasakwa airstrips offer service to the Western Corridor; and the Ngorongoro airstrip (located outside the park's boundaries) extends to the eastern region. Regional Air Services operates daily flights into the park from major cities like Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Northern Air offers regular flights from Arusha—a bustling town near the Kilimanjaro Airport—to all six airstrips within the park, and Precision Air offers flights to the Grumeti and Seronera airstrips from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Lake Manyara, a small park just southeast of Serengeti. Round-trip flights generally cost between $150 and $250 USD.

Entry & Exit Requirements

To enter Tanzania, U.S. citizens must have a valid passport and visitor's visa. Visas cost $100 USD and can be obtained either before your trip at a Tanzanian consulate or upon arrival at any point of entry staffed by immigration officials. You will also need to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Polio. Because of a current outbreak, visitors must present their Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at all points of entry to Tanzania. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's website.

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