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How To Get To Serengeti

From bustling cities and busy airports to wild adventures on the park grounds, find out all you need to know about getting to the magnificent Serengeti National Park. Make sure you consult our guide before setting out, so you’ll have all the information you’ll need to get the most out of your experience!

Serengeti Safaris

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Where is Serengeti National Park located?

Serengeti National Park is located in the north of Tanzania, which is on Africa’s eastern coast. The park itself covers an area of nearly 15,000 square kilometres, with three main sections. You’ll find the plains in the south, the Grumeti River and its dense forests to the west, and the Lobo area to the north, which is met by Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve. Serengeti National Park is home to two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves, and its ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth.

What airport is closest to Serengeti?

The closest international airport to Serengeti National Park is Kilimanjaro International Airport, located nearly 300 kilometres from Serengeti National Park. The airport is currently undergoing renovations in order to accommodate double the passenger capacity (from 600,000 to 1.2 million annual passengers). KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and several other airlines regularly fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. (read here how to get to Kilimanjaro)

There is a proposal to build a new airport, Serengeti International Airport, located much closer to the park, but several groups have shown concern about animal welfare if the plans move forward. For now, there are several airstrips located within Serengeti National Park, and visitors can take small planes from Arusha Airport into the park itself. 

What city is closest to Serengeti?

The nearest city, and the city most safari tours begin from, is Arusha. Arusha, a city with a population of just over 400,000, is home to some of the greatest marvels of Tanzania. Here, you’ll find Mount Meru, a massive volcano that towers over the city. You’re also sure to find people setting out on safari tours, or preparing to summit the formidable Mount Kilimanjaro in Arusha!

What is the best way to get to Serengeti?

The closest international airport to Serengeti National Park is Kilimanjaro International Airport. However, the drive from between them is about eight hours. Travellers have the option of taking a domestic flight into Arusha International Airport, which is closer to the park, but this option is less direct.

1. By car from Arusha

Suitable for explorers

The drive to Serengeti National Park from Arusha Airport will take roughly eight hours, but you’ll enjoy some incredible scenery along the way! When visiting Serengeti we highly recommend exploring the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a protected area suitable for wild animal spotting and home to a vast volcanic crater.

2. By plane from Arusha

Suitable for travellers with a tight schedule

The fastest way to get to Serengeti is by taking a small plane from a regional airport such as Arusha Airport to one of the several small airstrips located directly inside the park. To best way to get to Arusha Airport is by taking a domestic flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Pro tip: Many Serengeti safaris depart from Arusha. Take a look at and find the most suitable tour for safari!

3. By plane from Dar es Salaam

Suitable for travellers with a tight schedule

Alternatively, to a domestic flight from Arusha it is possible to take a domestic flight from Dar es Salaam to Serengeti. More than eight flights per day depart to Serengeti National Park with a flight duration of about two hours. Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania's largest and busiest airport, is located 12 km from Dar es Salaam. International airlines such as Emirates, KLM, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines operate at this airport.

4. By bus from Nairobi

For budget travellers

Another option is to fly into Nairobi in Kenya and take a shuttle bus to the park. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi has scheduled flights from over 50 countries and serves as the major transportation hub in Eastern Africa. The driving distance between Nairobi and Serengeti is about 360 km and takes about eight hours from A to B. After having arrived in Nairobi take a local shuttle bus to Arusha (about five hours drive). Be sure to check in advance if you will require a visa for passing through the Kenya/Tanzania border. 

Tip: If you're travelling from the USA, Canada or Australia it's best to fly into Nairobi. Watch out for safaris through Serengeti National Park starting from Nairobi to get the most out of your safari experience. 

Pictured above: the location of Serengeti National Park
Pictured above: the location of Serengeti National Park


Regions in Serengeti
Serengeti Plains, Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti
2.1540° S, 34.6857° E
Closest international airport
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Closest domestic airport
Arusha Airport
Airstrips in Serengeti
Seronera airstrip, Kogatende airstrip

Most popular Serengeti wildlife safaris

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