How to get to Serengeti National Park
How to get to Serengeti national park: Serengeti is the oldest and most visited national park located in the northern part of Tanzania. The national park covers a total land area of 14,763 square kilometers which makes it the second-largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha national park. The park was established in 1951 and its composed of wildlife species including vegetation types like riverine forests, savannah, grassland plains, woodlands, animals like the big five mammals (elephants, buffaloes, lions, black rhinos, leopards), other animals like giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, wildebeests, gazelle, spotted hyenas, wild dogs among others. Many travelers visit Serengeti national park due to the great wildebeest migration where over one million wildebeests, thousands of gazelle, zebras and other antelopes annually migrate from the Serengeti plains to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of fresh grass. Serengeti park has different attractions such as abundant animals, birds and offers interesting activities which visitors can engage in while on a safari.
Getting to Serengeti national park is as easy as abc, you can therefore access the park by either air or road transport means
Getting to Serengeti national park by air transport
Airstrips in Serengeti
Seronera airstrip, this is one of the largest by size and most used airstrip that is situated in central or the heart of Serengeti park near Seronera River. The airstrip has one airport building that serves as a lobby and hosts administrative offices of the airstrip. Due to the fact that Seronera airstrip is the main airstrip in Serengeti national park there are at least six direct flights from Dar es Salaam to Seronera airstrip which take about 2 to 4 hours. There are attractions near the airstrip such as Seronera visitor information centre, Seronera village and various campsites.
Serengeti Kusini airstrip, the airstrip is situated near Kusini kopjes in the southern part of Serengeti national park, at the border of Maswa game reserve. Serengeti Kusini airstrip is strategically located close to different water bodies in the park such as to Lake Ndutu, Lake Masek, Lake Elemeti and Lake El Dabash which serve as calving areas for the wildebeests, zebras and gazelles therefore visitors who use this airstrip will be able to witness the calving and great wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park.
Lobo airstrip, this is another airstrip that is situated in the north eastern part of Serengeti national park. The airstrip is located in the remote lobo area near the public and private campsites, south of lobo village. Due to its strategic location visitors will have great views of lions because the lobo area is known for harboring large numbers of lions, lobo kopjes, lobo valley among others.
Fort Ikoma airstrip, this is a small airstrip and rarely used airstrip that is situated in the north western Serengeti national park. Fort Ikoma airstrip is rarely used because it’s located close to Seronera airstrip which is the largest in size and the main airstrip in the park.
Kirawira B Airstrip, this airstrip is situated in the western part of Serengeti national park, near Grumeti River which contains large populations of Nile crocodiles. The Grumeti River offers great views of the wildebeest migration as the animals cross the river with infested crocodiles that wait to feast on them.
Kogatende airstrip, the airstrip is situated on the southern banks of Mara River in northern part of Serengeti national park. The air strip is the most convenient used to access the remote areas of the park and also the most beautiful areas. Visitors who use Kogatende airstrip will have panoramic views of the beautiful landscape, witness the annual wildebeest migration as the animals cross the Mara River from Serengeti plains to Masai Mara in Kenya among others.
When using air transport means you will book scheduled and charter flights from Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to one of the airstrips in the park and then your driver guide will pick you and transfer to the park headquarters. When using scheduled flights you will either use coastal aviation, Tanganyika flying company, regional air among others. Charter or scheduled flights to Serengeti park Tanzania can be booked by your tour operator.
Getting to Serengeti national park by road
Serengeti national park is popularly accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Arusha to the park headquarters which takes about 8 hours drive. The national park has various access gates which include
Naabi hill gate, Naabi hill gate is located in the eastern part of Serengeti park at the border with Ngorongoro conservation area and serves as the park’s main entrance. After paying your entrance fee you can get out of the safari vehicle to stretch your legs on Naabi hills walking trail which offers great views of the park, beautiful landscape, animals like lions, witness the great wildebeest migration around the area among others. Visitors can use a 4WD safari vehicle to get to Naabi hill gate through the Ngorongoro conservation area which takes about 30 minutes drive from Lake Ndutu and about one hour from Seronera.
Kleins gate, the gate is located in the remote north eastern part of Serengeti national park near the border with Loliondo game controlled area. Kleins gate is mostly used by visitors coming from Loliondo game controlled area which is a rural Maasai territory or Lake Natron. When using a safari vehicle it takes about 420 km from Arusha.
Fort Ikoma gate, this gate is located on the north western border of Serengeti national park. When using road transport it takes about one hour’s drive from Seronera, two hours from Butiama and about five hours drive from Mwanza. Most of the payments on fort Ikoma gate are done electronically by either using credit card, TANAPA pay cards or an internationally recognized debit.
Ndabaka gate, this gate is located in the western part of Serengeti park close to Lake Victoria, along the Musoma-Nwanza highway. Ndabaka gate is surrounded by endless plains harbor different wildlife species and common animals that can be seen around the area include buffaloes, zebras, gazelle, hippos among others. When using road transport it takes about two hours drive from Mwanza to the gate hence mostly used by visitors from Mwanza.
Habdajega gate, Habdajega gate is located in the south western part of Serengeti national park. The gate is situated near Kirawira B airstrip therefore it can be accessed by both air and road transport means. When accessing Habdajega gate by road you will pass through the rural villages of Mwanza and different farmlands to the gate where your permits will be checked before you enter Serengeti national park.
Bologonya gate, this gate is located near the northern border of Serengeti national park and Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya. Bologonya gate is rarely used compared to other gates because it’s located in the remote area. The gate has a security check point where you can pay and get your permits checked, it has an information point and a resting spot. When using a 4WD safari vehicle it takes about 158 km from Naabi hill and 198 km from Ndabaka.