How to Get to Serengeti National Park

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How to Get to Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is a vast area located in the northern part of Tanzania, on the eastern coast of Africa. It covers an expansive area of nearly 15,000 square kilometers and is divided into three main sections. The southern part of the park is characterized by open plains, while the western part is dominated by the Grumeti River and its dense forests. In the north, the park borders the famous Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, creating a unique ecosystem that supports a diverse range of wildlife.

Significance of Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is an important area for conservation and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve. Its ecosystem is believed to be one of the oldest on the planet, dating back millions of years. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the famous “Big Five” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes), as well as a variety of other animals such as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and wildebeest.

Serengeti Proximity to Airports

The closest international airport to Serengeti National Park is Kilimanjaro International Airport, located about 300 kilometers away. This airport is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate a larger number of passengers. It is served by several major airlines, including KLM, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines. For those looking to visit the park, there is also a proposal to build a new airport closer to the park, called Serengeti International Airport. However, concerns have been raised about the impact on animal welfare, and the plans are still under discussion.

Closest City to Serengeti National Park

The city closest to Serengeti National Park is Arusha, a bustling city with a population of over 400,000 people. It serves as a gateway to many of Tanzania's natural wonders, including Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also where most safari tours start, making it a popular destination for tourists.

Best Ways to Get to Serengeti National Park

There are several options for getting to Serengeti National Park, depending on your preferences and budget.

1. By Car from Arusha

For adventurous travelers, a car journey from Arusha to the park is an excellent way to experience the beauty of Tanzania. The drive takes about eight hours and allows for stunning views along the way. It also offers the opportunity to explore the nearby Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where you can spot even more wildlife.

2. By Plane from Arusha

For those with a tighter schedule, taking a domestic flight from Arusha Airport to one of the many small airstrips within the park is the fastest way to get to Serengeti. To reach Arusha, you can take a domestic flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

3. By Plane from Dar es Salaam

For an alternative option, you can fly directly into Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest and busiest airport. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Serengeti National Park, which takes approximately two hours. This option is ideal for those who want to combine a visit to the park with a stay in the vibrant city of Dar es Salaam.

4. By Bus from Nairobi

For budget travelers, it is possible to fly into Nairobi, Kenya, and take a shuttle bus to the park. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport serves as a major transportation hub in Eastern Africa and has direct flights from over 50 countries. After arriving in Nairobi, you can take a local shuttle bus to Arusha, which is approximately a five-hour drive from Serengeti National Park. However, it is essential to check if you will need a visa to cross the Kenya/Tanzania border beforehand.


Serengeti National Park is a must-visit for any nature lover or wildlife enthusiast. Its diverse landscape and abundance of wildlife make it a unique and memorable destination. With various options for getting there, it is an accessible and well-connected park, making it a top choice for many travelers. Whatever way you choose to get to Serengeti, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. 

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park