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How Many Days do You Need in Serengeti?

Safari game drive

The Serengeti is an amazing Safari destination. If you are planning to visit, one of the first questions you will ask is how many days you need in the Serengeti.

You need at least Four days in the Serengeti to sufficiently enjoy all that this park has to offer. Four days will give you eight game drives which will allow you to cover a large portion of the Park and view a large variety of wildlife. Going to the Serengeti for fewer than 3 days will reduce your chances of seeing some rare species like rhinos or leopards.

How many days are ideal for Serengeti?

The ideal number of days that you should spend in the Serengeti will depend on a number of factors. One of the main factors will be your budget and how much money you intend to spend on this particular trip.

With a large budget and the flexibility to do a number of activities in the Serengeti, you can spend for 4-5 days there and engage in extra activities like going on a hot air balloon ride or extensive cultural tour with the Maasai.

However, considering that most travelers would have an average budget, the most ideal number of days to spend in the Serengeti is 3 nights. This will give you a full two days of game drives and this would be sufficient to see most of the important attractions at the Serengeti.

How many days when on a tight budget?

If you are on a very tight budget you can spend two nights at the Serengeti which will give you about a full day of game drives. You would arrive on the first day have a full game of game drives on the next then depart on the third day.

If your travel schedule is flexible I would advise traveling to the Serengeti in the off-season instead of reducing the number of days you spend there.  During the rainy seasons of March April and May, the parks in East Africa usually have the lowest tourist numbers and this creates a perfect opportunity for you to get a great bargain.

How many days during the migration?

The wildebeest migration season of July to September is the busiest in the Serengeti.  a lot of travelers from around the world come to witness the amazing spectacle where hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and antelopes migrate North towards the Maasai Mara in Kenya and make a crossing at the Mara river.

The fact that this is the busiest season within the Serengeti means that the prices will be higher than usual and you are likely to encounter crowds. 

We would advise that you spend at least three or four nights during this migration season. Just in case you miss any great sights on any of the days you have a few more to compensate and thereby increasing your chances of making the most out of your safari.

If you are flying or driving

If you are driving to the Serengeti, you will need to factor in the travel time that you will spend on the road getting there and getting out from there after your trip is done. The drive from Arusha to Serengeti is about 8 hours and it has extremely bumpy roads.  Factor in the fatigue you have at the end of this journey into your planning.

safari faqs

The most popular way of getting to the Serengeti is flying there then going back to Arusha by car.  this allows you to enjoy the Best of Both Worlds: getting to the Serengeti quickly and enjoying the wonderful scenery between the Serengeti and Arusha.

If you are visiting it exclusively or other locations

If you’re visiting other national parks near the Serengeti like the Tarangire National Park, You should reduce the number of days that you’ll be spending at the Serengeti since you will be viewing similar types of animals.

However, if you are exclusively visiting the Serengeti on its own,  the best option would be to spend as many days as you can and optimize your experience there.

Viewing the Big 5

If you’re planning to see the big 5 animals that is The Lion, the leopard, the African buffalo, the rhino and the elephant,  planning just two nights at the Serengeti may be sufficient. this is because most of these animals are abundant and you are likely to encounter them on just a few hours of doing your game drive.  the only animal in the big 5ls that you are unlikely to find at the Serengeti is the African rhino since they are very rare there.

5 Days Safari

The problem with this advice is that it assumes that you will just spend a few minutes looking at each anymore then move on to the next and this usually is not the case since you want to spend a bit of time with each of the animals and also taking all of the other wildlife and scenery at the Serengeti.

So even if you will just be visiting the Serengeti just to see the big 5 allow for the optimum 3 nights to take in the full spectacle of all that Serengeti has to offer.

What’s the maximum time

So  I was wondering if there can be a maximum amount of time that you can spend in the Serengeti and I believe the answer to this will be YES.  Though there are no limits to how long you can stay in the National Park, each night at the park can cost you thousands of dollars per night in some hotels.  This means that unless you have unlimited resources, the cost of staying at the Serengeti every night will put a cap on the number of days that you can spend there

By Antony Njoroge.

Serengeti itinerary

Serengeti itinerary with Serengeti and Ngorongoro

4 Serengeti Migration Safari