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Serengeti Budget Safari Tours

Serengeti National Park is one of the best parks for wildlife anywhere in Africa. It’s the sort of place that becomes more crowded with wildebeest and zebra than it does with tourists. That’s because the Serengeti has such a rich collection of ecosystems spread across a wonderfully large area, with plenty of space for safari-goers and animals alike. The park is home to many of Africa’s most sought-after and interesting wildlife species. The landscapes here offer the classic views associated with East African safaris, with savannah grasslands, acacia trees and the rocky outcrops known as kopjes. One of the best things about the Serengeti is that those on a budget or cheap safari can enjoy it all just as much as those who pay a lot more.

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1-20 of 666 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Serengeti National Park

6 Questions About Serengeti Budget Safaris


6 Questions About Serengeti Budget Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Are there affordable budget trips available to Serengeti National Park?

“The Serengeti is an excellent place to visit on a cheap or affordable safari. There is such a wide range of accommodation options spread across the park that there really is something for everyone. But do note that this is a remote destination, so transport can push prices up. The logistics of running any accommodation, even camping sites, so far from the main roads and towns of Tanzania also mean that prices may be a little higher for a budget safari here than they are in many other places around Tanzania and further afield in Africa. Arusha, in particular, is filled with operators eager to take you to the Serengeti, and many of these aim their sales pitch at budget travelers. Be careful if prices seem too low, because it may be that the operator is cutting corners in order to keep costs down. But many operators also simply offer a wonderful experience for a budget price, so it’s just a matter of making sure that you know what you’re getting.”


What is included in a safari package?

“Most budget safaris include camping-style accommodation, and this usually means that you’ll be helping to set up your tent. Food and drink will usually be included, but you may also be expected to share cooking and further responsibilities with other members of your group. Two game drives a day (one early in the morning, another in the mid- to late afternoon) should be included in the quoted price for your safari, but check what you are getting just to make sure before you hand over any money. Budget safaris should include all transport, but usually this means that your game-drive vehicle may be a little more crowded than is generally the case; it can also be an excellent way to share the safari experience with more people. Park fees will be one of your biggest costs. You’ll have to pay these fees either way, but always check with your tour operator whether they are included in the quoted price.”


What type of accommodation can I expect?

“At the budget end of the scale, you can expect simple accommodation, which comes in many forms. In some cases, you’ll be spending your holiday camping in tents, especially in the Seronera area in the heart of the park. These are very basic tents with room for a camping mattress or camp bed, your backpack and very little else. Apart from the usual camping tents, there are also very simple safari tents (often known as Meru-style tents), which have proper beds and perhaps little else in a larger tent. In these tents, you may be able to walk around inside. Whatever kind of tent you sleep in, only canvas separates you from the night sounds of the Serengeti, and there’s nothing I like more than lying awake in my bed listening for lions. Also possible are simple lodge-style rooms with four walls that are part of a larger lodge complex that may have a restaurant or dining area as well.”


How much will a budget Serengeti safari cost?

“Costs vary widely on Serengeti safaris, even within the cheaper or budget price category. For shorter safaris, prices can be as high as US$250 to US$300 per person per day, although the per-day cost almost always decreases the longer you spend on safari. That’s because on a 2- or 3-day safari, the costs of traveling to, and returning from, the Serengeti have to be absorbed into the daily costs quoted by operators. The major expenses on safari are usually accommodation and transport and these can vary considerably from one operator to the next. One thing that operators have no control over are national park fees, which range between US$60 and US$70 per adult per day, according to the season. These fees are a major reason why budget safaris in the Serengeti can seem so expensive. It’s worth remembering that these fees provide important revenue for the Tanzanian economy.”


How many days are recommended for a budget trip to the Serengeti?

“To really get the most from your Serengeti safari holiday, I recommend 5 days as the best amount of time. With 5 days, you could probably explore two different regions of the park, allowing you to get a more complete picture of what the park has to offer. If 5 days is not possible, then 3 days would be the minimum I would suggest. In 3 days, you’re more likely to spend your time getting to know one area of the Serengeti really well. If your time is really tight, you could still enjoy the Serengeti in a couple of days, but it would only be enough time to get a taste that will leave you longing for more. If, on the other hand, you have unlimited time, 7 days would be an excellent way to really come to understand the park and its many different areas, each of which has its own charm and moods.”


What kind of vehicle can I expect on a budget safari in Serengeti?

“You will spend most of your time getting to and around the Serengeti in a 4WD vehicle. These come in a range of shapes and sizes. For budget safaris, most operators try to use larger vehicles. This may make things a little more crowded. But because transport is one of the major costs of a Serengeti safari, the more people they can fit into one vehicle, the lower the per-person transportation costs. Sometimes these vehicles are large, bus-like vehicles that are quite high off the ground, which means you can see a long way from your seat. Others are more traditional 4WD vehicles in which every seat will be occupied. In rare cases for a budget safari, you might be in a covered, open-sided 4WD vehicle with tiered seats. These are usually too expensive for use on a budget safari, but you could be lucky (these vehicles are the best way to get around).”


Serengeti Reviews

4.9/5 471 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

A quintessential ecosystem of endless plains and spectacular rivers with awe-inspiring numbers of African animals

With its natural splendour and greatest concentration of game you are ever likely to see, the Serengeti is faultless as a safari destination. The vast ecosystem features rolling golden plains, intricate river systems, the Big Five, and the...

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Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for Condé Nast Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

In Northern Serengeti Only the Wildebeest Travel in Crowds

A lot has been said about the justifiably famous Serengeti ecosystem, home of the world’s greatest wildlife show. The great migration attracts hordes of wildlife-watchers that are topped in numbers only by the herds themselves. As with...

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Mario  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jun 21, 2024

I'm not capable of putting into words how amazing the Serengeti was. Camping under the stars (even for me, who never slept in a tent in his life - it was amazing) combined with being a visitor to nature's home and observing the animals -...

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Noor  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: May 27, 2024

Very special how much space there is! I really felt like entering the animal kingdom. landscape can be a bit boring, but you can look very far. Amazing to see the big groups of zebra's and wildebeasts.

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Jeannette  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Apr 14, 2024

Simply the best. We saw so many lions within 2-4 meters of our vehicle as well as elephants , but the lions were the most awesome. Unlike other visitors, we unfortunately did not see any lions chasing prey. The number of herds of gnu and...

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David L  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Apr 9, 2024

This is a wonderful park. Lots of roads the carve up the landscape but give animals room to breathe. We saw everything, except rhinos. We came during the offseason and saw plenty of animals and few other tourists. When stopped to see...

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