The Serengeti National Park, with its vast open spaces and incredible wildlife, is one of the best destinations for an African safari vacation. The good news is there are a number of ways to do a Serengeti Safari in Tanzania on a budget. It largely depends on the level of comfort you prefer and how many days you’d like to spend on your African safari.
Here’s how to do an affordable Serengeti Safari in Tanzania, second to none
Located in East Africa in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is part of a larger conservation area known as the Northern Safari Circuit.
The best way to do a Serengeti Safari on a budget is as part of a small group tour of the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. This way, you can keep costs down and enjoy the benefits of a small tour group. These small group tours are led by highly knowledgeable and experienced guides. African Budget Safaris offers a carefully-curated selection of affordable safari packages that include the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Small group Serengeti Safaris on a budget
Ranging from four to seven days, our Tanzania Safari Packages have a maximum group size of seven travelers. This intimate safari experience means you will not have to jostle with other safari-goers and can really enjoy the wide-open spaces and serenity of the African bush. Traveling around in a purpose-built 4×4 vehicle, your safari guide will take you down dirt roads and through remote areas, right into the heart of the Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is a photographer’s dream, with nearly 100 mammal species and a high concentration of predators. You might see cheetahs sitting on top of large termite mounds, the perfect vantage point for spotting prey. This area is also home to tree-climbing lions: unusual behavior for Africa’s biggest feline. This is a big cat paradise. You can enjoy these incredible wildlife sightings on a budget Serengeti Safari in Tanzania from just $1225 per person sharing.
A budget Serengeti Safari on the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit
Starting and ending in Arusha (Tanzania), our safari packages take you through exciting destinations dotted around the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. The best way to enjoy a high-quality Serengeti Safari on a budget is to tour this region on one of our small group safari packages. The Northern Safari Circuit is extremely rich in flora and fauna and includes the best Tanzania safari destinations: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, and Tarangire National Park.
What’s included in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit?
- Serengeti National Park
- The Ngorongoro Crater
- Lake Manyara National Park
- Tarangire National Park
- Kilimanjaro National Park
- Arusha National Park
Combining the Serengeti National Park with other destinations on the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit is a great way to do a Serengeti Safari on a budget.
The Serengeti ecosystem is found in both the Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, so even with our four-day tour options, you can experience the magic of the Serengeti without breaking the bank.
Best options for a budget Serengeti Safari in Tanzania
From basic camping to mid-range tented camps and fully-serviced glamping lodges, African Budget Safaris has several excellent options for a budget Serengeti Safari Tour. To help you make the best choice for your budget safari in Tanzania, let’s have a look at what each one entails…
Option 1: Serengeti Safari Tours with basic camping accommodation
This is the perfect option for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers and is usually the most affordable option for a budget Serengeti Safari. From $1990 for our 7-day Tanzania Camping Safari to Serengeti & Beyond, you will be accompanied by no more than six travelers, heading straight into the wild heart of Africa.
Sleeping in two-man dome tents surrounded by nature, you will drift off to sleep with the sounds of the African bush. This safari package includes meals and drinking water is provided. You will be led by an English-speaking guide and an English-speaking cook. With departure dates throughout the year, you just need to get to Arusha for this budget Tanzania Safari. From there, your safari guide will meet you and the rest of your group and whisk you off on your adventure.
Option 2: Budget Serengeti Safaris to mid-range tented camps and lodges
An upgrade from our basic camping options is our mid-range safari with accommodation in lodges and tented camps. Ranging from $1775 for a 5-day Tanzania Safari on the Northern Circuit to $2470 for a 7-day Tanzania Lodge Safari to Serengeti & More, these packages include more comfortable stays than our basic camping safaris. Immersed in the African bush, you will stay at places like Kati Kati Tented Camp in Serengeti National Park.
This small Serengeti safari camp offers the African bush atmosphere but with extra amenities to make your stay more comfortable. All tents have running water, basins, and bucket showers. Solar-powered campsites and real linen add that touch of comfort to your camping safari experience.
You’ll sleep in a real bed where you will have a wonderful night’s sleep. Fresh meals, both regional and international, are prepared for you. After sundowners at sunset, you can unwind into the evenings next to a campfire.
Option 3: Fully-serviced glamping safaris to Serengeti and beyond
If you would like to have an even more luxurious Tanzania safari experience on a budget, then you should consider our glamping options. Our 6-day Private Tanzania Safari (lodge and camping package) starts at $4494 and $4554 for our 7-day Private Tanzania Safari Tour.
With these Tanzania safari packages, you can expect fully-serviced camping in remote campsites or overnight stays at lodges. Nature lovers can take a break from most creature comforts, but still enjoy warm showers and fully-catered meals throughout the day.
If you opt not to stay at safari lodges, you sleep at private campsites. All camping equipment is included and set up for you: your tent, bed and bedding, chairs, side tables, washing tripod, grass rug, and electric lamps. You’ll be accompanied by a camp assistant who is there to make your Serengeti Safari comfortable and relaxing.
Serengeti Map & Serengeti Frequently asked Questions
YES! it is entirely possible to have an epic safari on both a high and low budget. If you don’t mind foregoing certain frills and sticking to a larger, easier-to-reach national park, then the low end offers a unique opportunity for adventure that certain seasoned travelers prefe
One of the best ways to cut costs for a budget safari to Tanzania is booking for the off–peak travelling seasons. Accommodation proprietors and tour companies tend to drive their prices up during peak seasons when certain scenic areas get the most visitors.
That’s why it’s better to rather schedule your budget Tanzanian safari when both tourist volumes and prices are at their lowest.
- December: The first two weeks of December are considered highly underrated, but they’re actually one of the best times to visit Tanzania. With the lower demand over early December, this can result in good deals and special off-peak rates. The landscape will also be spectacularly lush after the November rains and safaris can be planned around the usual afternoon showers.
- Low Season (March-April): If you’re up for an adventure, there are major advantages of travelling to Tanzania during the low season of March and April, known as the ‘long-rains’ season. Your trip will be impacted by hot and humid conditions as well as afternoon showers. But prices are reduced dramatically and with crowds being dispersed – you’ll have thrilling wildlife sightings all to yourself.
- Shoulder Season (January-February): The ‘shoulder season’ of January through to February is often overlooked. A dry spell usually takes place during these months and with lush, green plains and fewer visitors this is an ideal time to plan a trip. Festive season rates have also dropped and Wildebeest calving season is taking place in the Serengeti.
For those planning their own Tanzanian adventure independently, these are some of the approximate costs for accommodation:
- Camping outside of a national park will cost approximately US$10 per tent per night and US$35 and above inside a park (more information below).
- A dorm bed in a hostel will set you back between US$10 and US$20 per person per night, although some places may be far more expensive. For example, a dorm bed in Zanzibar can be up to US$50 per person per night.
- A double room in a standard-mid range hotel is anywhere from US$50 to US$150 per person per night. Upper mid-range double rooms will be between US$150 and US$250 per person per night.
Of the three options (camping, hostels and hotels) above, the best way to cut costs on accommodation for a budget Tanzania safari is to go camping.
- Public campsites managed by TANAPA cost roughly US$35 per person per night. When on a self-drive safari, these often don’t need to be booked and campers will be allocated a campsite when entering the park.
- Special campsites cost from US$59 per person per night. The best special campsites are often reserved by the private safari companies. These sights are very remote and basic but provide a true wilderness experience. Head to the TANAPA and NCA head office in Arusha to try and pre-book a special campsite.
- Campsites outside of the national parks are much cheaper and only cost around US$5 to US$15 per tent.
Camping is not the only way to slash costs on a Tanzanian holiday. Put in enough research and you can find yourself deals in even the most sought after areas of Serengeti.
Depending on the type of package you choose, the price of a safari in Tanzania can cost anywhere from US$200 per day per person to over US$1,000 per day per person. These quoted costs include transport, camping or lodge accommodation, the majority of meals, and activities.
Most safari packages for a budget trip to Tanzania are divided into two categories:
- Camping safaris
- Lodge safaris
Camping Safari Costs
All-inclusive camping safaris in Tanzania will cost guests about US$200 per person per day. This includes transport, tents, camping, park fees, guides, and allocated meals. It is also very much dependent on the tour operator you choose, size of the group and the destinations, which can easily be bumped up to US$500 per person per day if your budget allows.
Lodge Safari Costs
A mid-range budget safari starts from just over US$300 per person per day. If guests wish to tailor the safari to suit their needs, this will cost anywhere from US$350 to just over US$550 per person per day.