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How To Book An Amazing (and Affordable) Safari In The Serengeti


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Cosette Eads



Welcome to The Serengeti, one of the most breathtaking and iconic safari destinations in the world. Nestled in Tanzania, this vast expanse of untamed wilderness is home to an incredible array of wildlife and offers an unforgettable safari experience. Planning a safari in The Serengeti can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many options to choose from and logistics to consider, it’s important to be well-prepared to ensure a smooth and unforgettable journey.


In this article, we will guide you through the process of booking an amazing and affordable safari in The Serengeti. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first safari adventure, these tips and insights will help you make the most of your experience.


From choosing the right time to visit and selecting the perfect safari package to booking flights and researching accommodation options, we’ll cover it all. We’ll also provide valuable advice on packing essentials, preparing for wildlife encounters, capturing memorable safari photos, and ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.


So, get ready to embark on an incredible journey into the heart of The Serengeti. Let’s dive in and discover how to make your safari dreams a reality.


Step 1: Choosing the Right Time to Visit

Choosing the right time to visit The Serengeti is crucial for a successful and memorable safari experience. The Serengeti is known for its annual wildebeest migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores move across the plains in search of fresh grazing. This spectacle is considered one of the greatest wildlife shows on Earth and attracts visitors from around the world.


The migration typically takes place between the months of January and March, when the herds gather in the southern part of the park. During this time, you can witness dramatic river crossings as the animals attempt to cross crocodile-infested waters.


Another popular time to visit is from June to October when the herds are in the western corridor and north of the park. This period offers excellent opportunities for game viewing as predators such as lions and cheetahs follow the migration.


If you’re interested in seeing specific wildlife or experiencing certain weather conditions, it’s important to research and plan accordingly. For example, if you want to see newborn animals, visiting during the wet season from November to May might be ideal.


Keep in mind that the peak season (June to October) and the migration period tend to be the busiest and most expensive times to visit. If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons, which are the months just before and after the peak season.


Ultimately, the best time to visit The Serengeti depends on your preferences and priorities as well as the type of wildlife sighting you wish to witness. Make sure to check the weather conditions and consider factors such as crowd levels, animal behavior, and pricing when deciding on the timing of your visit.


Step 2: Selecting the Perfect Safari Package

Choosing the right safari package is essential to ensure you have the best possible experience in The Serengeti. With a wide range of options available, it’s important to consider your preferences, budget, and desired level of comfort.


First, decide on the type of safari experience you’re looking for. Are you interested in a traditional game drive safari, where you’ll explore the vast plains in a 4×4 vehicle with a knowledgeable guide? Or do you prefer a more adventurous experience, such as a walking safari or a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti?


Next, consider the duration of your safari. The Serengeti is a vast park, and spending multiple days allows you to explore different areas and have a higher chance of witnessing wildlife encounters. Most safari packages range from 3 to 7 days, but longer options are also available if you have more time.


It’s important to research and choose a reputable tour operator or safari company that offers a variety of packages. Look for companies that prioritize sustainable and responsible tourism practices, with experienced guides and well-maintained vehicles.


Consider whether you prefer a private safari or a group tour. Private safaris offer greater flexibility and personalized experiences, while group tours can be more cost-effective and provide opportunities to meet fellow travelers.


Budget is also an important factor to consider. Safaris in The Serengeti can vary greatly in price depending on the level of accommodation, type of transportation, and additional activities included. It’s important to find a package that fits within your budget without compromising on the quality of the experience.


Lastly, read reviews and testimonials from previous travelers to get an idea of the experience offered by different operators. This can help you gauge the level of customer satisfaction and the quality of service provided.


By carefully considering these factors and doing thorough research, you’ll be able to select the perfect safari package that aligns with your preferences and ensures an incredible adventure in The Serengeti.


Step 3: Researching Accommodation Options

Choosing the right accommodation is essential for creating a comfortable and enjoyable base during your safari in The Serengeti. With a variety of options available, from luxury lodges to tented camps, it’s important to research and select the accommodation that best suits your needs and preferences.


First, consider the location of the accommodation. The Serengeti is divided into different zones, each offering different landscapes and wildlife sightings. Depending on your interests, you may prefer to stay in an area that is known for specific wildlife or offers unique scenic views. You can consult with your tour operator or do your own research to identify the best location for your preferences.


Next, consider the type of accommodation that appeals to you. Luxury lodges provide a high level of comfort with spacious rooms, en-suite bathrooms, and a range of amenities. They often have excellent dining options and common areas for relaxation. Tented camps, on the other hand, offer a more immersive experience, allowing you to stay closer to nature while still enjoying comfortable and well-equipped tents.


It’s also important to consider the level of service and facilities provided by the accommodation. Some lodges and camps offer extra amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and guided nature walks. If you’re traveling with family or a larger group, check if the accommodation offers family-friendly facilities or interconnecting rooms.


Another important factor to consider is the availability of electricity and internet connectivity. While some accommodations provide 24/7 electricity and Wi-Fi, others may have limited or no access. If staying connected or charging electronic devices is important to you, make sure to check this information in advance.


Budget is, of course, another crucial consideration. The Serengeti offers accommodation options for various budgets, ranging from high-end luxury lodges to more affordable tented camps. It’s important to find a balance between comfort, location, and affordability to ensure a satisfying experience.


Finally, read reviews and feedback from previous guests to get a sense of the quality and service offered by the accommodation. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.


By thoroughly researching and considering these factors, you’ll be able to choose the accommodation that enhances your safari experience and provides a comfortable and memorable stay in The Serengeti.


Step 4: Booking Flights to The Serengeti

Booking flights to The Serengeti is an important step in planning your safari adventure. Depending on your location and travel preferences, there are several options for getting to this iconic destination.


First, you’ll need to decide which airport to fly into. The main international airport closest to The Serengeti is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), located in Arusha, Tanzania. Many international airlines offer direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport from major cities around the world. Another option is to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and then take a domestic flight to smaller airports near The Serengeti.


When booking your flights, it’s important to plan your arrival and departure dates with your safari itinerary in mind. Consider the duration of your safari package and ensure you have enough time to travel to and from your accommodation within The Serengeti.


It’s also worth checking whether your safari tour operator offers assistance with flight bookings. Some tour operators may be able to help you find the best flight options and coordinate your arrival and departure times with your safari schedule.


When searching for flights, consider the following tips to find the best deals:

  1. Be flexible with your travel dates: Prices can vary depending on the time of year, so checking different dates or being open to mid-week departures can sometimes result in better fares.
  2. Set up flight alerts: Use online platforms or apps that allow you to set up alerts for flight deals. This way, you’ll be notified when fares drop or there are special promotions.
  3. Compare different airlines and booking websites: Take the time to compare prices and options from different airlines and booking sites to ensure you get the best deal.
  4. Consider layovers: Sometimes, choosing a flight with a layover can result in significant cost savings. Just make sure to factor in the layover duration and any visa requirements for the layover destination.
  5. Check baggage allowances: Different airlines have varying baggage policies, so make sure to check the baggage allowances and any additional fees before booking.

Once you have booked your flights, make sure to keep all your travel documents organized and easily accessible. It’s also a good idea to notify your safari tour operator or accommodation provider of your arrival details to ensure a smooth pickup or transfer service.


By considering these factors and following these tips, you can book your flights to The Serengeti in a cost-effective and efficient manner, setting the stage for an incredible safari adventure.


Step 5: Making Necessary Travel Arrangements

Once you have booked your flights to The Serengeti, it’s time to make the necessary travel arrangements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.


One of the first things you should do is check the visa requirements for your visit to Tanzania. Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa in advance or upon arrival. It’s important to review the visa application process and ensure you have all the required documents to avoid any last-minute complications.


Next, it’s important to check if you need any vaccinations or preventive medication for your trip to The Serengeti. Consult with your healthcare provider or a travel clinic to get up-to-date information on recommended vaccinations, such as yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A, and malaria prophylaxis.


Travel insurance is another essential aspect to consider. It’s highly recommended to purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage, trip cancellation or interruption protection, and emergency evacuation. This will provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen situations or emergencies during your safari.


When packing for your trip, ensure you have appropriate clothing for safari activities, including lightweight and breathable clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a sun hat, and sunglasses. Don’t forget essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.


Additionally, make sure to inform your bank or credit card company about your travel plans, especially if you’ll be using your cards during your time in The Serengeti. This will prevent any issues with your cards being blocked or flagged for suspicious activity while you’re traveling.


If you’re planning to bring any electronic devices or camera equipment, check the voltage requirements and make sure you have the appropriate power adapters or converters to charge your devices.


Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have a copy of your passport, travel itinerary, and important contact information stored digitally or in a separate location from the original documents. This will come in handy in case of loss or theft.


By making these necessary travel arrangements in advance, you’ll be well-prepared and can focus on enjoying your safari adventure in The Serengeti with peace of mind.


Step 6: Packing Essentials for Your Safari Adventure

Packing the right essentials is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable safari adventure in The Serengeti. Here are some key items you should include in your packing list:

  1. Appropriate Clothing: Pack lightweight and breathable clothing in natural colors such as khaki, beige, or olive green. Opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect yourself from the sun and insects. Also, include a lightweight rain jacket or poncho in case of unexpected showers.
  2. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Invest in a sturdy pair of walking shoes or hiking boots that provide support and traction for walking on uneven terrain.
  3. Sun Protection: Bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and a good sunscreen with a high SPF to protect yourself from the strong African sun. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen frequently throughout the day.
  4. Insect Repellent: The Serengeti is home to mosquitoes and other biting insects, so pack a reliable insect repellent with DEET or another effective ingredient to keep them at bay.
  5. Binoculars: Enhance your wildlife viewing experience by bringing a pair of binoculars. Look for lightweight and compact binoculars with good magnification and a wide field of view.
  6. Camera Equipment: Capture the incredible wildlife moments by bringing your camera or smartphone with a good zoom lens. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries, memory cards, and a protective bag to keep your equipment safe from dust and moisture.
  7. Personal Medications: If you take any prescribed medications, ensure you have an ample supply for the duration of your safari. Also, pack a small travel-sized first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers.
  8. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important during your safari, so bring a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and have easy access to water throughout the day. The lodges and camps usually provide safe drinking water refilling stations.
  9. Snacks: Pack some energy-boosting snacks like granola bars, trail mix, or dried fruits to keep you fueled during game drives or nature walks.
  10. Entertainment: Bring a book, a journal, or playing cards to keep yourself entertained during downtime at the lodge or camp.

Remember, it’s important to pack light and only carry the essentials, as you’ll be moving around between accommodations during your safari. Check with your tour operator or accommodation provider if they have any specific packing recommendations.


By including these essentials in your packing list, you’ll be prepared for a comfortable and memorable safari adventure in The Serengeti.


Step 7: Preparing for Wildlife Encounters

Encountering the incredible wildlife of The Serengeti is one of the highlights of any safari adventure. To make the most of these encounters and ensure both your safety and the well-being of the animals, it’s important to come prepared. Here are some tips to help you prepare for wildlife encounters:

  1. Keep a Safe Distance: While it may be tempting to get as close as possible to the animals for that perfect photo, it’s important to maintain a safe and respectful distance. Follow the instructions of your guide and never approach or disturb the wildlife.
  2. Remain Silent and Calm: Loud noises and sudden movements can startle animals and disrupt their natural behavior. Stay quiet and calm to observe them without causing stress.
  3. Observe Animal Behavior: Pay attention to the behavior and body language of the animals. This can give you valuable insights into their mood and potential actions. Be cautious around large predators, and always follow the guidance of your guide.
  4. Use Quiet and Non-intrusive Equipment: When photographing or filming wildlife, use equipment that does not emit loud noises or bright flashes. Avoid using drones, as they can disturb wildlife and intrude on their natural habitat.
  5. Be Mindful of the Environment: Respect the natural environment by not littering, keeping noise levels down, and following any guidelines regarding waste disposal. Leave no trace and help preserve the Serengeti for future generations.
  6. Do Not Feed the Animals: Feeding wild animals can disrupt their natural diet and behavior. It can also create dependency and potential dangers for both the animals and humans. Never offer food to the wildlife.
  7. Stay in Vehicles or Designated Areas: When on a game drive or walking safari, always stay within the designated areas or in your vehicle. These safeguards are in place to protect you from potential dangers and to preserve the well-being of the wildlife.
  8. Follow Conservation Guidelines: Support conservation efforts by avoiding purchases of products made from endangered species, supporting ethical wildlife tourism, and spreading awareness about the importance of protecting wildlife and their habitats.
  9. Listen to Your Guide: Your safari guide is knowledgeable about the behavior and habits of the local wildlife. Listen to their instructions and guidance to ensure a safe and enriching wildlife experience.

Preparing for wildlife encounters involves respecting the animals and their natural environment, being aware of their behavior, and following ethical guidelines. By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to witness incredible wildlife moments while ensuring the well-being of the animals and the sustainability of their habitat.


Step 8: Tips for Capturing Memorable Safari Photos

Capturing memorable photos of the incredible wildlife and stunning landscapes in The Serengeti is a fantastic way to preserve your safari memories. Here are some tips to help you capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments:

  1. Bring the Right Equipment: Invest in a good quality camera or smartphone with a zoom lens to capture close-up shots of wildlife from a safe distance. A telephoto lens will allow you to get detailed shots even from a distance.
  2. Understand Your Camera Settings: Familiarize yourself with the settings of your camera or smartphone, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Adjusting these settings will help you capture photos in different lighting conditions and freeze the fast movements of wildlife.
  3. Focus on Composition: Consider the composition of your photos by following the rule of thirds or experimenting with different angles and perspectives. Include elements like leading lines or natural frames to add depth and visual interest to your shots.
  4. Capture the Wildlife in Action: Try to capture the unique behaviors and interactions of the animals. Patience is key in wildlife photography, as it may take time for the animals to exhibit interesting behaviors. Be ready and quick to capture those special moments.
  5. Utilize Natural Lighting: The Serengeti’s golden hour, which is the first and last hour of sunlight in a day, provides the most beautiful and warm lighting for your photos. Take advantage of this time to capture stunning and dramatic images.
  6. Experiment with Different Perspectives: Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different perspectives. Capture shots from low angles, close-up macros, or unique wide-angle shots to add variety to your photo collection.
  7. Include the Surrounding Landscape: The Serengeti is not just about wildlife – its vast landscapes are equally captivating. Include the sweeping plains, dramatic skies, and unique geological features to showcase the grandeur and beauty of the area.
  8. Be Patient and Observant: Observing the behavior of wildlife beforehand can help you anticipate the perfect moment for a great shot. Take your time, be patient, and don’t rush the process. Sometimes, the most extraordinary moments happen when you least expect them.
  9. Respect the Animals: Remember to prioritize the well-being of the animals over capturing the perfect photo. Respect their personal space, follow the guidance of your guide, and avoid causing any distress to the wildlife in pursuit of a shot.
  10. Backup Your Photos: Safeguard your precious photos by regularly backing them up to an external hard drive or cloud storage to ensure you don’t lose them in case of any unfortunate incidents.

Remember, photography is about capturing moments and telling a story. Enjoy the experience of being in the presence of these magnificent creatures and use your camera as a tool to preserve the magic of The Serengeti.


Step 9: Enjoying Your Incredible Safari Experience

After all the planning and preparation, it’s now time to immerse yourself in the wonder and beauty of The Serengeti. Here are some tips to help you fully enjoy your safari experience:

  1. Be Present and Appreciate the Moment: Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Serengeti. Be fully present and appreciate the incredible wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and the unique atmosphere of this remarkable destination.
  2. Stay Curious and Ask Questions: Make the most of your interactions with your safari guide. They possess a wealth of knowledge about the wildlife, ecosystem, and local culture. Ask questions, listen to their stories, and deepen your understanding of the Serengeti.
  3. Disconnect from Technology: Consider taking a break from constant connectivity and enjoy the serenity of the wilderness. Embrace the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and connect with the natural world around you.
  4. Embrace Early Mornings and Late Evenings: The early morning and late evening are prime times for wildlife activity. Wake up early, take advantage of the golden light during sunrise, and savor the mesmerizing sunsets in the Serengeti.
  5. Savor the Tastes of Local Cuisine: Embrace the opportunity to try traditional Tanzanian dishes and experience the flavors of the local cuisine. Many lodges and camps offer delicious meals with a combination of international and local dishes.
  6. Engage in Cultural Experiences: Explore the cultural heritage of the Serengeti by visiting local communities or participating in cultural activities. Engage with the local people, learn about their traditions and customs, and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry of the region.
  7. Enjoy the Little Moments: Take time to appreciate the small wonders of the Serengeti – a colorful butterfly, a playful group of monkeys, or the intricate patterns of a spider’s web. These little moments can be just as magical as the grand encounters with wildlife.
  8. Take Breaks and Rest: Safaris can be tiring with early morning game drives and long days under the African sun. Remember to take breaks, rest when needed, and recharge for more exciting adventures.
  9. Respect the Environment: Help preserve the Serengeti’s natural beauty by respecting the environment and following sustainable travel practices. Avoid littering, stick to designated paths, and support conservation initiatives.
  10. Create Everlasting Memories: Take plenty of photographs, keep a journal, or create a scrapbook to cherish your safari memories. Reflect on the incredible moments and share your experiences with others.

Remember, a safari is not merely a checklist of wildlife sightings but an opportunity to connect with nature, immerse yourself in a different world, and witness the awe-inspiring wonders of the Serengeti. Enjoy every moment of this incredible adventure and treasure the memories you create.



Embarking on a safari in The Serengeti is a truly remarkable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the wild beauty of nature and witness the awe-inspiring wonders of wildlife. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and memorable safari adventure while making the most of your time in this iconic destination.


From choosing the right time to visit and selecting the perfect safari package to researching accommodation options, booking flights, and making necessary travel arrangements, careful planning is key to a successful safari. Remember to prioritize safety, respect for wildlife, and sustainable travel practices throughout your journey.


Don’t forget to pack the essential items, prepare for wildlife encounters, and savor the incredible moments you’ll experience in The Serengeti. Take time to disconnect, appreciate the small wonders, and engage with the local culture to truly immerse yourself in this unique destination.


Whether it’s capturing breathtaking photos, enjoying the stunning sunsets, or simply being present in the moment, cherish every aspect of your safari experience. The Serengeti offers a transformative journey that will leave you with lifelong memories and a deep appreciation for the natural world.


So, get ready to embark on this incredible adventure and let the magic of The Serengeti unfold before your eyes! Safaris are a truly special experience, and we hope that this guide has provided you with the knowledge and inspiration to plan an amazing and affordable safari in The Serengeti. Enjoy every moment of your journey and create memories that will last a lifetime.