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3-Day Serengeti Safari Tours

The Serengeti National Park is one of those special safari destinations in Africa where the reality exceeds the hype, and it’s the perfect destination for a 3-day safari. This vast park is best known for the annual migration of around 2 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that make their way through the park. But this is a remarkable park at any time. The wildlife is as extraordinary as the landscapes that include seemingly endless savannah grasslands, bouldered kopjes (rock formations) rising from the plains, and so many perfectly formed acacia trees of the kind synonymous with an East African safari. But it’s the wildlife that most people come to see on their 3-day safari, and the Serengeti never disappoints.

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1-20 of 122 Serengeti National Park 3-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

6 Questions About 3-Day Serengeti Safaris


6 Questions About 3-Day Serengeti Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Is 3 days enough time for a safari in Serengeti National Park?

“The simple answer is that 3 days is a minimum for exploring the Serengeti. But plan to stay longer if you can. You won’t be able to see all of the Serengeti in 3 days. But if you concentrate on one area, you’ll see enough to understand why this is the favorite safari park in Africa for so many people. Which area you choose may depend on the time of year you visit. If you’re here during the migration, your focus is likely to be on the area where the animals are during those months. If you happen to be where the migration is, then 3 days is all you’ll need to catch a glimpse of one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. If not, you’ll be surprised at how much of the Serengeti you can see in a relatively short space of time. After all, the Serengeti is one place where one thrilling sighting or wildlife encounter is all it takes to have a safari experience that makes the whole trip worthwhile.”


What are the accommodation options on a 3-day Serengeti safari?

“The Serengeti has an exceptional array of accommodation choices, but the mainstays are lodges and tented camps. Lodges are usually four-walled structures with rooms, often decked out in safari colors. The lodges offer accommodation that usually combines an excellent location (you often find them deep in the Serengeti’s best wildlife areas) with all-round luxury and good service. Tented camps consist of large canvas safari tents, where you can lie awake at night and listen for lions. These tents range from simple to downright luxurious. Some of these tented camps are mobile camps. That means that they follow the migration’s usual route through the park, staying until the animals have left the area. Then they’re dismantled and moved to where the animals are headed. These mobile camps are necessarily less luxurious but many are still extremely comfortable. These mobile camps move between two, or sometimes even three, Serengeti locations. There is also a handful of camping options, but only in the central Seronera area.”


Which animals am I likely to see on a 3-day tour in the Serengeti?

“Where you are in the Serengeti will, to some extent, determine what you see. If you’re following the migration, you’ll see more zebra and wildebeest than you ever imagined possible. The noise of the passing migration is constant and, when seen from afar, the animals look like a moving river. Where there is this much prey, the predators are surely never far away, especially lions, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. You don’t have to be tracking with the migration to see most of these species. My most rewarding big-cat encounters have taken place far from the migration. The Serengeti has an endless array of antelope species. Also commonly seen are elephants, giraffes, black-backed jackals and buffalo, as well as an impressive portfolio of birds. Black rhinos also lurk in the Serengeti shadows, although it’s really hitting the jackpot if you see one.”


How much do 3-day Serengeti safari packages cost?

“How much you pay for a 3-day Serengeti safari depends on a number of factors. At the top of this list is the level of luxury you’re looking for. If you plan on staying in high-end tented camps or lodges, you can expect to pay more than US$2,000 per person, more if you include local flights to, from or within the Serengeti. If on a budget and/or a camping safari, the costs will be considerably lower, starting at around US$850 per person and rising to around US$1,250. There are, of course, a number of other variables. These include which season you plan on traveling in, whether you’re staying for 2 or 3 nights, and transport options such as flights and the number of people per vehicle. At the lower end of the price range, if you’re on a camping safari, you may be expected to participate in setting up camp, cooking and other responsibilities while out on safari.”


What can I expect from a 3-day Serengeti safari?

“You can expect to see lots of animals. In many ways, this is a classic East African safari experience with lots of animals to see against a backdrop of vast savannah grasslands stretching to a very far horizon. Expect to be out early as the activities of night predators spill over into the early daylight hours, and again in the hours before sunset as they get ready for the night ahead. Game drives usually last for anywhere between two to four or even five hours. In the hot hours in the middle of the day, you’ll often be back at camp or at your lodge for lunch and relaxation time, before heading out again in the mid- to late afternoon. A particular highlight of the late-afternoon drive is the sundowner, a most agreeable safari tradition whereby you’ll stop for drinks at a scenic spot close to sunset. A hot-air balloon safari is an incredible experience, but it’s usually an add-on to a standard 3-day safari.”


What kind of vehicle can I expect on a 3-day safari to the Serengeti?

“You will almost certainly be traveling in a 4WD vehicle while you’re in the Serengeti. Although you’re not allowed to stray from established trails while you’re in the park, many of these can be bumpy and often muddy, depending on the time of year, hence the need for a high-clearance 4WD. There are no paved roads within the park. Most often, your transport will be an open-sided vehicle with a canopy roof covering and tiered seating in anywhere between three and five rows. It’s a wonderful way to explore the wilds of the Serengeti. With no walls to separate you from what you’ll be seeing, you’ll catch a breeze, and you’ll feel really close to the animals, so close that you’ll feel like you can almost reach out and touch that lion as it passes (don’t!). There are other 4WDs that are enclosed, and these are used more often for smaller groups.”


Serengeti Reviews

4.9/5 411 Reviews
Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Classic Africa

What can be said about the Serengeti that hasn’t already been said? This is simply Africa as you always imagined it. Endless rolling bleached grasslands with scattered flat-topped acacia trees and animals everywhere. This is the...

Full Review

Mary Fitzpatrick  –  
United States US

Mary is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including South Africa, Tanzania, East Africa and Africa.

One of Africa's Greatest Parks & the Annual Wildebeest Migration

Serengeti is Tanzania's most visited park, and with good reason. Almost from the moment you enter the gates, wildlife surrounds you in astounding numbers and variety, together with an incomparable sense of space. The headline event is the...

Full Review

Linda S  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2023

We spent the night at :Embalakai Camp in the Serengeti, so we had 2 days to explore. The huge expanse of the park meant you might drive quite awhile before seeing animals. But, they are all there and the drivers communicate to bring...

Full Review

George Thomas  –  
India IN
Reviewed: Sep 4, 2022

Plenty of wildlife. In the central part one can see lions, leopards, buffalo and elephants. The northern part is where the great migration of wildebeest across the Mara River takes place. Giraffe, zebras, gazelle and impala are everywhere....

Full Review

Jan Robertson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 22, 2022

Top notch safari destination. Saw everything there including a lion kill, and the great wildebeest migration of thousands of animals across the Mara River. HOWEVER, there was a huge wait at the entrance to the park while our guide had to...

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Diana Calixto  –  
Colombia CO
Reviewed: Aug 15, 2022

Each reserve and national park has its own enchant. The Serengeti is massive. Much more big than I expected. We saw all we wanted and expected to see, and beyond. Very beautiful in its own and particular way. It was the only place where...

Full Review