Self-Drive Safari in Serengeti National Park Tanzania?

Self-Drive Safari in Serengeti National Park Tanzania? Self-Driving Safari in the Serengeti National Park: Is It Worth It? Is it possible to accomplish? In the Serengeti National Park, self-driving safaris are feasible and definitely worth the experience, but they do require advance planning, specialized knowledge, and a larger budget. There’s something appealing about organising a self-drive safari in Serengeti. It’s an intensely personalized experience that tests your driving prowess. You also get the advantage of independently learning about the flora and fauna found in the Serengeti’s boundless plain.

The Serengeti is perhaps the most rewarding safari park on the continent because of its abundance of breathtaking attractions, like the great wildebeest migration, and its array of safari, like game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon safaris. However, this is a park that is best enjoyed with advance planning. The main routes from Naabi Hill gate to Seronera, the centre of the action, and from Seronera radiating to the east and west, are notorious among Tanzanian tour guides for their challenging driving conditions. It’s a challenging route with washboard-like ribbons and rocky terrain. It is advised that drivers stick to a speed limit of at least 25 km/h to avoid losing control and rolling their own car.

The easiest areas to reach from Arusha are the southern plains of the Serengeti, which include Ndutu and Seronera. Though it’s far away, exploring Lobo and the western corridor is worthwhile. If you want to visit less-visited areas of the Serengeti, it is recommended that you rent a safari vehicle with a driver-guide.

The practicalities of organising an autonomous safari in the Serengeti.

It may surprise you to learn that driving a car across the Serengeti is more complicated than it seems, especially when compared to many other regions of the world where planning a road trip simply requires renting a vehicle, selecting a route, and hitting the road. The first thing you should be aware of is the sharp rise in prices. Autonomous vehicle permits are far more expensive than those for tour operators. Additionally, budget 300–400 miles per day of driving if you want to maximize your time in the Serengeti.

Accommodation in Serengeti for your self- drive safari tour.

When it comes to accommodation you have many options if you own a car. During your trip, you can decide if you want to book a lodge to treat yourself or stay the night at one of the free campsites.

Regretfully, overnight stays also add a substantial amount to the budget. Whether you are staying in a lodge (60 USD per night per person), a private camp (50 USD per night per person), or a public campsite (30 USD per night per person), your primary costs in the Serengeti will be fees and permits. It’s possible that the total cost of a Serengeti lodge already includes that fee. On the other hand, a budget lodge stay will set you back $200 per person per night.

It is most economical to self-camp and visit the Serengeti. However, you still need to rent camping equipment and bring your own food. Several tour companies and your car rental provider will rent you camping gear for a fair price.

Other activities inside the Serengeti national park.

In the Serengeti National Park, walking safaris are an option for those seeking an alternative safari experience. The Serengeti National Park visitor centre is where you can make reservations for safari walks. Depending on the length of the safari, the cost per person varies from 20 to 25 USD. The resort can also set up game drives or balloon rides if you ask ahead.

The Serengeti is an easy park to explore on your Tanzanian self-drive safari. The roads are generally in good condition, and there are sign posts almost everywhere you go. You are free to explore as far as you like or as deep inside the park as you can, though we would advise self-drivers to stay close to the park’s centre (more opportunities to see wildlife). Finding your location fast is also made easier with the use of an offline map.

What else should you remember when going on a self-drive safari tour in the Serengeti?

If you start your trip in Arusha City, make sure you’re prepared for what’s coming up. Plan your route to take in the sights you want to see, buy enough food to last the duration of your stay in the park, bring at least 5 to 10 litres of water per person per day, and make an effort to obtain all necessary permissions in advance.

You need to obtain an entrance quote before going to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area gate to pay for your park entrance. You can complete this in their office in Arusha. At the Serengeti National Park entrance, MasterCard and Visa are accepted forms of payment.

It’s a long and exhausting drive from Arusha to the Serengeti. The estimated travel times on Google Maps are drastically inaccurate, and the road conditions are not optimal. While travelling there, try to slow down and just enjoy the surroundings. These are the times it takes to get to the Serengeti from Arusha.

Arusha to Karatu– 140 km in about 3 hours.

It takes approximately 45 minutes to cover the distance of approximately 15 km from Loduare gate to the Ngorongoro crater entrance.

85 km in 2-3 hours from Ngorongoro Crater to Naabi Hill Gate (Serengeti entrance).

From Naabi Hill gate, travel 60 km to Seronera (central Serengeti, where most camps are located) in about one hour.

Self-Drive Safari in Serengeti National Park Tanzania?
Self-Drive Safari in Serengeti National Park

75 km takes about two hours to get from Seronera to Lobo Ranger Post.

Travelling back from Seronera to Arusha may require six to eight hours.

Basic Etiquette to Know During Your Self-Driving Safari In The Serengeti National Park.

Stay on the road as driving off-road can lead to fines amounting to hundreds of dollars.

Maintain the posted speed limit for national parks, despite the indifference of most guides.

Remember that speeding accounts for 90% of accidents in the Serengeti.

Stay away from chasing the animals. They find it disturbing, and you could be fined up to $1,000 if you are caught by a park ranger.

Park your car to the side, switch off the engine, and give room for other vehicles to pull over and observe the wildlife.

It’s best to never leave your car. This is to protect you from the many predators found in the Serengeti, such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards.

 It goes without saying, even though it shouldn’t. Never throw out trash close to the road. The biodiversity of the park is impacted even when banana peels are thrown into the bushes.

It is not permitted to drive at night in the Serengeti. Only operate a vehicle from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Safari in the Serengeti National Park that is self-driving. Is it worthwhile?

A self-drive safari in the Serengeti is not about saving money. A self-drive tour can cost up to 100% more than a scheduled private tour. Furthermore, lengthy and exhausting drives.

Determine ahead of time which portion of the trip will be driven with your travelling partner.

This is just one more advantage of using a tour operator when you go. Taking a tour can significantly increase your chances of seeing that elusive cheetah, leopard, or lion; however, bear in mind that guides are constantly in communication with one another.

Not to mention, a lot can occur unexpectedly. Whether it’s an automobile problem, an uncomfortable animal encounter, or a flat tyre, it’s best to handle these things with the assistance of an experienced advisor.

 But nothing beats the thrill of operating a vehicle on your own. You feel more in charge of where you are going and can keep the experience as private as you like. If you decide on the spur of the moment to extend your stay in the Serengeti or later visit another part of the country, self-driving is the best option. If you want to drive across Central Africa, this is also an excellent preparation.

These can be very fulfilling experiences, depending on what you’re looking for. That being said, if this is your first safari and you have never driven in difficult conditions, then self-driving in the Serengeti may mean forking over extra cash for a tiring and disappointing experience. However, if you’ve already visited the Serengeti and would like to return for a different kind of adventure, this trip might be right for you.

Conclusion: After your Serengeti exploration is complete, you can extend your Serengeti self-drive safari itinerary to include visits to the Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara national park (home of tree-climbing lions), Tarangire national park (also known as the home of giants), Arusha national park (home of Tanzania’s second-largest mountain), and Kilimanjaro national park. This is due to the fact that these are the nearby Serengeti National Park attractions that are well worth a visit if you want to enhance your safari experience.

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