How to get to Serengeti: Journey from Arusha to Serengeti National Park

Here we list the best ways of getting to Serengeti from Arusha. The road distance from Arusha to Serengeti National Park is about 225 kilometers ( 140 miles ) to the nearest entry point, though this differs depending on which entry gate you plan to access. One of the most common questions from tourists is how long is the drive from Arusha to Serengeti. So the road trip from Arusha to the park takes about 6 hours, and this is to one of the nearer entry gates in the Serengeti, on eastern and north western part of the park such as Naabi, Fort Ikoma or Ndabaka gates. This 6 hour journey includes a couple of brief stops. Road conditions are poor in places with the last 75 kms to the reserve being on a bumpy gravel road.

Flying to Serengeti is a more convenient option, being only about a 1 hour flight from Arusha Airport to a variety of different airstrips in Serengeti.
Listed below is relevant information on how to reach Serengeti by road and air from Arusha / Zanzibar / Dar es Salaam with information also on how to reach Serengeti and Tanzania from overseas, such as from USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia India and Dubai UAE. You may contact us for international flight options.

By Road from Arusha to Serengeti

By far the most popular mode of transport from Arusha to Serengeti is by road. The road is currently tarred all the way from Arusha to Serengeti ( Naabi Hill Gate ). The distance varies from 225 km ( 140 miles) to 275 kms ( 170 miles) depending on which gate or entry point of Serengeti you want to access. Well, in terms of journey time, typically you want to allow for 6 to 7 hours for most eastern part of the park entry gates such as Naabi Hill and Ndabaka Gate and upto 8 hours for Klein's ( Northern-east side of the park ) and Bologonya gate ( at the border of Masai Mara in Kenya & Serengeti in Tanzania ) and this includes a couple of brief stops enroute for a fuel stop and washroom break.

Road Conditions

We often get asked how the road is to Serengeti by prospective clients planning their safari. Well, most of the route is actually a tarred road starting with highway A104, B3 and finally C12, except for the last section of approximately 1 hour. The tarmac portion of the tarmac road is however in sub standard condition in certain places which includes a few stretches with potholes, while the last unpaved portion can be bumpy and dusty, which however for some simply adds to the adventure of getting to the African wilderness.

A road in Serengeti in the Western side of the park

The highway heading to Serengeti National Park

Safari Vehicles

So which type of Safari vehicles do you get in Serengeti National park ? The 4x4 Landcruiser Safari Jeep is the main Safari vehicle used in Tanzania for wildlife and adventure safaris. These are often Toyota Landcruiser Jeeps converted into Safari vehicles with the addition of pop up game viewing roofs [ front and main], safari customization, and addition of UHF radio calls and suitable seating. Some vehicles also come with air conditioning and electric cooler boxes. Safari Jeeps are more capable off road and marginally more comfortable as well over rougher sections of road. The vehicle typically seat a maximum of 7 passengers with 6 being ideal and 8 passengers being the upper limit with an extra seat fitted into the vehicle. Luggage restrictions apply.

Typical 4x4 Safari Jeep Landcruiser

Typical 4x4 Safari Jeep Landcruiser

Flights to Serengeti

There are several airlines flying from Arusha to various airstrips in Serengeti, and several of these offer twice daily return flight to the reserve, with a one way flight taking approximately 1 hour. The same plane then usually turns around back to Arusha after dropping off or collecting passengers from a number of airstrips in Serengeti. Almost all these flights take off from Arusha / Kilimanjaro airport in Arusha and you need only be at the airport about 1 hour prior to the flight. The two main airlines are Auric Air and Coastal Aviation. All these three airlines have a reliable service and credible safety record.

Airstrips to Serengeti

There are close to a dozen airstrips in Serengeti National Park and surrounding game ranches and conservancies. These airstrips are spread out in different parts of the reserve to serve lodges and camps in close proximity to them inorder to cut down transfer time from the airstrip to the hotel. Listed below are some of the commonly used airstrips in Serengeti.

The type of aircraft used for flights to Serengeti include propellor planes with seating capacities ranging from 40 seaters for DeHavilland Dash 7 and 8 aircraft to 13 seater Cessna Caravans. Passengers are limited to 15 kilos of carry on and check in luggage combined.

For travellers planning to combine Kenya and Tanzania Safaris, we have a short guide on how to travel between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti either by road or by air.