How to Prepare for a Safari to Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is arguably the best national park in Tanzania and the number of safari destination Tanzania located in North – Central Tanzania and is partly adjacent to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and adjoining Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northwest.
Serengeti National Park is best known for the Great Wildebeest Migration – the world’s largest migration of land wildlife with 2 million wildebeests and ten thousands of gazelles and elands filling the plains, these herds are on their annual journey in the Mara – Serengeti ecosystem in search for water and green pasture.
Serengeti National Park is also home to abundant wildlife including the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino). Other animals calling the park home include giraffes, elands, cheetahs, African wild dogs, oryx among others.
Serengeti national park was established as a national park in 1951 covering an area of 5,700 square miles dominated by acacia woodland savannah, in 1981 the park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A safari to Serengeti National Park is a magical experience to have once in a life time on an African safari, planning a safari to Serengeti may seem easy but it is not as there are many factors to put in consideration and they are as below
Choosing a tour operator
There are many Tour Operators, international travel agents that can help plan your Serengeti safari, however to pick out a specific operator is a choice that entirely depends on you (make sure you find a reputable safari company to deal with).
A reputable safari company will ensure that your safari is special and is crafted basing on your preferences.
Dietary Restrictions (What to Eat?)
Various visitors have different preferences when it comes to what to eat, it is worldly known that Tanzanians are big meat eaters however this does not mean that vegetarians are not catered for.
When making reservations for safari lodges and camps, make you sure you inform them about your dietary requirements. If you are booking through a tour operator, your tour operator should be informed about your dietary needs.
What you will wear?
Clothes to pack for your Serengeti Safari should be comfortable and protect your limbs from mosquitoes and other insect bites, when packing make sure you pack loose cotton clothing (long sleeved shirts or t-shorts and long trousers should not miss in your packing). If you are planning to have a guided in the wilderness of Serengeti, you should bring long pants to protect you from pricking vegetation and tickets. Also bring comfortable, well-fitting hiking boots. For game drives, pack sandals.
A warm sweater and pants are essential most especially for morning game drives as it is always chilly.
Prepare for the Tropical Sun
Serengeti national park and Tanzania is a tropical country receiving sun light at most of the days, though it is a good feeling to soak up the African sunlight, too much of it may be bad for you. Visitors are advised to bring a high – factor sunscreen, a hat to protect your face and a pair of good glasses to protect you from the direct sunrays and overexposure of the sun.
Tropical illness – Malaria
Chances of contracting malaria are high in Tanzania including in Serengeti national park which is why visitors are recommend to carry Anti- Malaria pills, also bring strong mosquito repellents that you can safely spray or rub onto your exposed skin. Also, make use of mosquitoes nets at night.
Mosquitoes have a tendency of appearing the moment the sun goes down and you can hear them buzzing around you which is why you should do what is possible to prevent being bitten by them.
Note: Children are more at risk of contracting malaria, also prophylactics (anti – malaria pills) have intense side effects on some people and these include forms of psychosis and depression. Because of the side effects it is worth taking the medication a few days before traveling to Tanzania.
What Else to Pack
If you are taking a charter plane while on a Serengeti safari, pack light. Currently on a charter flight only one soft – sided bag per person weighing a maximum of 15 kg (Ibs) is allowed. If your luggage is more than the allowed weight, you may be forced to leave some of your belongings behind or asked to book an extra seat.
Most of the lodges and camps in Serengeti National Park offer laundry services, so packing light should not be a problem. Your packing should include
A fitted broad – brimmed hat
A pair of good sunglasses
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Malaria medication (bring along prescription drugs from your doctor)
For visitors with contact note that contact lenses’ durability can be affected by dust that is why you should bring a pair of glasses as a backup, also carry sufficient cleaning solution for your lenses.
A pair of binoculars and a camera
A fly swatter, to be kept in your vehicle and used when dealing with tsetse flies or any other flies.
It is mandatory to tip in Tanzania that is why you should bring plenty of low-denomination dollars for tipping, camps and lodges in Serengeti national park have a communal box so that tips are shared equally between the staff (both front and back of house).
For specialized services such as a private butler or driver /guide, tips are usually tipped at $ 10 a day per person. Of course you may tip more depending on the services rendered.
There are several vaccinations required when traveling to Tanzania for a Serengeti safari, before you set off to Africa.
Visitors are required to present a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate most especially for those traveling from a high – risk yellow fever zone countries such as Kenya.
Note: consultant with your physician and check out The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which has details of required and recommended immunizations for international travelers as compiled by the World Health Organization.
Apply for a Tanzanian Visa
Before you are allowed to enter in Tanzania for a safari to Serengeti National Park, you will be required to present a Visa. A Tanzania visa costs USD 50 and is valid for 3 months from the date of your arrival.
Note: You can apply for a Tanzania safari Visa via online application portal –
All travelers are required to have a valid passport for at least 6 months from date of entry in Tanzania with sufficient blank pages for any visa stamps. If your visa does not meet any of these requirements, you must renew your passport or obtain a new one prior to apply for a Visa or traveling to Tanzania for a Serengeti Safari.
The more preferred airport for visiting Serengeti national park is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) situated in Arusha, alternatively you can use Mwanza International Airport and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.