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    The Serengeti on a budget: Is it really possible?

    12 minutes read
    The Serengeti on a budget
    serengeti on budget

    It’s not a secret that a Serengeti safari can be expensive. However, several Serengeti on a budget tour will still appeal to you!

    If you choose a Serengeti safari on a budget, your best choice is to make a camping trip. Easy Travel—a local tour operator offers various budget camping safaris to the Serengeti, where you stay at a campsite. You can check out our Tanzania budget camping safari, wherein you can experience the magical view of the Serengeti National Park and see the wonders of the Ngorongoro conservation area.

    The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is one of the great wildernesses in Africa. It offers Serengeti on-budget tours and is one of the best safari experiences in the world. It’s also the largest protected grassland comprising extensive savanna plains and forests, teeming with various wildlife. Game drives and many other activities make it a perfect trip for thrill-seekers.

    Furthermore, the Serengeti National Park is top-rated for its predators—lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas—which you’ll likely spot on a Serengeti safari. So, even if you’re going to the Serengeti on a budget, this doesn’t mean you’ll only see a limited number of animals.

    Even on a tight budget, you’ll get the best value for your money and see various animals across the plains of the Serengeti, particularly during the great migration.

    How much is a Serengeti on a budget safari tour?

    Serengeti on a budget

    Typically, a safari destination can cost around 280 USD per night for budget safaris. Meanwhile, mid-range safaris may cost around 350 USD each night, and 750 USD for luxury safaris, while top-end safaris can cost over 1,500 USD per night.

    However, you can do a budget Serengeti safari by making a camping safari. You can check out our budget safari tours for more information.

    Furthermore, you can also go on an affordable safari tour by joining a group safari to divide the cost.

    Just choose a reliable safari company or local tour operator to get the best value for your money. You’ll also have a great time seeing the Great wildebeest migration, countless pink flamingos in Lake Manyara, and other wild animals on your safari tour.

    What can you do in a Serengeti on a budget tour?

    Safari vehicle in the serengeti

    There are abundant activities available for budget travellers exploring the Serengeti. Enjoy thrilling game drives for wildlife viewing, where you can marvel at the majestic lions and visit significant sites like the Olduvai Gorge, a pivotal paleoanthropological location.

    Take advantage of the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Maasai culture at a local Maasai village. While options like walking safaris and horseback wildlife viewing are available, they can be pricey.

    For a memorable yet cost-effective experience, consider a hot-air balloon flight. These flights offer panoramic views of the Serengeti’s vast plains and diverse wildlife.

    When is the right time to travel to the Serengeti?

    Tanzania - time to travel serengeti - the serengeti on a budget: is it really possible?

    You can visit the Serengeti at any time of year and see fantastic wildlife. However, to view the Wildebeest migration, it’ll be ideal to be there between July and October.

    The rainy season is an excellent time to go bird-watching. Meanwhile, wildebeest calving—a great spectacle to behold—happens from January to March.

    You can learn more about the best time to visit via our Annual Planner.

    Affordable safari tours by Easy Travel

    Tanzania - affordable safari tours - the serengeti on a budget: is it really possible?

    If you don’t have a safari itinerary yet, you can look at our affordable safari tours—either group or private. However, an individual tour will cost additional, mainly if you visit top destinations.

    However, you don’t have to worry if you’re on a budget as we have inexpensive safari tours that you can add to your bucket list, and they are:

    The 7-day African budget safari

    Many surprises await you in this 7-day African budget safari tour! On this tour, you’ll get basic accommodation in the Arusha Planet Lodge, wherein you can rest before heading out for your budget camping safari tour the next day.

    The itinerary includes a trip from Arusha to Lake Manyara on day two and Lake Manyara to the Serengeti on day three. Furthermore, you’ll spend days four and five in the Serengeti, viewing various wildlife, including black rhinos, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, etc., and staying in a campsite for a memorable safari experience.

    In particular, at the Lake Manyara National Park, you’ll be greeted by the grandeur of hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos and other bird species. So, this is a tour many travellers would want to take advantage of!

    On day six, we will travel from Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Crater, and on day seven, we will travel from Ngorongoro to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

    Affordable Tanzania safari – 6 days

    Another affordable option is the six-day Tanzania safari, which involves exploring the incredible Serengeti, the unique Ngorongoro crater, the enchanting Lake Manyara, and the diverse Tarangire National Park.

    What is the best way to visit Serengeti?

    Tanzania - best way to visit serengeti - the serengeti on a budget: is it really possible?

    Choosing a reliable tour operator is the first factor for a successful safari experience. However, if you go on a private safari to public campsites, get all the necessary permits beforehand.

    We recommend spending as many days as possible in the Serengeti. While there are many different accommodation options, the extra cost of staying longer will be well worth it.

    Additionally, come during the dry season to spot more animals, and be mindful of your travel dates.

    Looking for help planning an affordable safari in Tanzania? Then contact us today.

    Low-Cost Dining and Shopping Tips

    – Self-Catering: Save money on meals by shopping for groceries and preparing food if your accommodation has kitchen facilities. Purchase local produce and non-perishable items from nearby towns before entering the Serengeti.

    – Budget-Friendly Eateries: Look for inexpensive restaurants and street food vendors outside the park boundaries. These options often offer more affordable meals than those within the park, allowing you to stretch your budget further.

    – Pack Snacks: Carry snacks such as fruits, nuts, and energy bars during your safari drives to avoid expensive food purchases inside the park. Snacks will help you stay energized throughout the day without breaking the bank.

    – Water Refills: Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it at designated water stations to avoid buying costly bottled water. Staying hydrated is essential during your Serengeti adventure, and this simple tip helps save money while reducing plastic waste.

    Hidden Costs to Consider

    – Park Entrance Fees: The budget for park entrance fees can differ depending on the time of year you visit. These fees contribute to wildlife conservation efforts and are necessary for accessing the Serengeti National Park.

    – Conservation Fees: Besides park entrance fees, be aware of any conservation fees charged per person per day of your stay in the Serengeti. These fees help support conservation projects within the park and are often included in safari package costs.

    – Activity Fees: Plan for additional charges for optional activities like guided walks, night drives, and cultural visits. While these experiences enhance your safari adventure, they can add up, so budget accordingly to avoid overspending.

    – Transportation Costs: Consider transportation expenses to and from the Serengeti, including flights, ground transfers, and vehicle rentals if you’re self-driving. These costs can vary depending on your starting point and mode of transportation.

    Exploring Lesser-Known Regions

    – Western Corridor: Venture off the beaten path and explore Serengeti’s Western Corridor, known for its diverse landscapes and wildlife sightings. This lesser-known region offers a more secluded safari experience away from the crowds.

    – Northern Serengeti: Discover the Northern Serengeti, home to the Mara River and dramatic river crossings during the Great Migration season. This less-visited area offers excellent game-viewing opportunities, especially from July to October.

    – Public Campsites: For a more affordable and authentic safari experience, camp in public campsites or community-run conservancies within Serengeti’s lesser-known regions. These campsites often provide basic amenities and are an excellent option for budget-conscious travellers.

    – Off-Season Exploration: Consider visiting the Serengeti during the low season, typically from April to May and November to December. During this time, accommodation prices are lower, and fewer tourists allow you to explore lesser-known regions without breaking the bank.

    Best Time to Visit on a Budget

    – Low Season Savings: Take advantage of the low season, with fewer tourists and lower accommodation prices. Visiting during the rainy months of April to May and November to December can result in significant cost savings while enjoying memorable safari experiences.

    – Wildlife Viewing Considerations: The rainy season may affect wildlife viewing, with some areas becoming inaccessible due to muddy roads. However, you can still encounter incredible wildlife sightings and unique animal behaviours during this time.

    – Budget-Friendly Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly accommodation options such as tented camps, guesthouses, and budget safari lodges, which offer comfortable lodging at more affordable rates compared to luxury lodges. Many of these accommodations provide basic amenities and guided safari experiences, which are included in the price.

    – Advance Planning: Plan your budget safari to the Serengeti well in advance to secure the best deals on accommodation, transportation, and safari packages. Booking early allows you to take advantage of promotional offers and discounts, maximizing your savings for an unforgettable adventure.

    Getting you there

    When it comes to a lifetime experience in the Serengeti National Park, Easy Travel can make it happen. We can help craft your itinerary or create a customizable trip for you!

    Browse our website today for the complete list of affordable and luxurious safaris or tailor-made tours exclusively for our highly valued clients. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How can I plan a budget-friendly trip to the Serengeti?

    Research affordable accommodation options such as campsites, guesthouses, and budget safari lodges to plan a budget-friendly trip to the Serengeti. Consider travelling during the low season, when rates are lower, and there are fewer crowds.

    Explore budget safari packages provided by tour operators like Easy Travel and consider joining group tours to divide expenses among fellow travellers. Remain open to adjusting your travel dates and secure reservations ahead of time to benefit from early bird discounts and special promotions.

    What are some cost-effective accommodation options in the Serengeti?

    In the Serengeti, budget-conscious travellers can access various affordable accommodation choices, including campsites, basic lodges, and guesthouses. These campsites often offer economical camping facilities with shared amenities like bathrooms and cooking areas.

    Can I go on a safari in the Serengeti on a budget?

    Embarking on a budget safari in the Serengeti is achievable by selecting affordable safari packages and tour alternatives. Seek out budget-conscious safari operators providing group tours, often available at reduced rates compared to private options.

    Joining scheduled group departures or budget camping safaris is an excellent strategy to lower expenses while enjoying the excitement of Serengeti wildlife encounters. These options allow travellers to experience the wonders of the Serengeti without overspending, making budget-friendly safaris a viable choice for adventurous explorers.

    When is the best time to visit the Serengeti on a budget?

    Opting for a budget-friendly trip to the Serengeti is ideal during the off-peak seasons, typically from April to May and November to December, coinciding with the rainy months. These periods offer lower accommodation rates and fewer tourist crowds, making it easier to find affordable travel options.

    However, travellers should be aware that wildlife sightings might be impacted by the rainy season, necessitating preparation for wet conditions and potentially challenging road conditions. Despite this, visiting during the low season allows for a more economical Serengeti experience without compromising on the awe-inspiring natural beauty of this iconic destination.

    What are some tips for saving money on transportation to the Serengeti?

    To save money on transportation to the Serengeti, consider using public buses or shared shuttle services from major cities like Arusha or Kilimanjaro International Airport. These options are often more affordable than private transfers or domestic flights.

    Alternatively, join group tours that include transportation as part of the package to save on individual transport costs. Additionally, carpooling with other travellers or sharing a rental vehicle can reduce expenses.

    Are there any free or low-cost activities to enjoy in the Serengeti?

    In the Serengeti, budget-conscious travellers can find opportunities for free or low-cost activities amidst the paid options. Embark on self-guided walking trails within the national park, offering breathtaking views and wildlife encounters without needing a guide.

    Visit local villages and cultural centres to engage in cultural experiences. You can learn more about the Maasai traditions and lifestyle for a nominal donation or entrance fee. These immersive experiences provide insights into indigenous cultures and enrich your understanding of the region.

    Consider exploring lesser-known areas of the park, where entrance fees might be lower or waived, allowing you to enjoy the Serengeti’s natural beauty without straining your budget.

    How can I save some money on food and drinks in Serengeti?

    To cut costs on dining in the Serengeti, opt for self-catering by purchasing groceries and utilizing kitchen facilities if available at your accommodation. Before entering the national park, stock up on essential food items like fruits, vegetables, and non-perishables in nearby towns to avoid inflated prices within the park.

    Alternatively, explore budget-friendly dining options outside the park, including local restaurants and street food vendors, where meals are often more affordable. By planning and seeking economical food choices, you can enjoy satisfying meals while sticking to your budget during your Serengeti adventure.

    What are some lesser-known areas of the Serengeti that offer budget-friendly experiences?

    Venturing beyond the well-trodden paths of the Serengeti’s famed plains presents budget-conscious travellers with lesser-explored yet equally captivating regions. Areas like the Western Corridor and the Northern Serengeti offer rich wildlife encounters and breathtaking vistas without the crowds.

    Camping in public sites or community-operated conservancies within these regions can provide a more economical and authentic adventure off the tourist radar. By choosing off the beaten path, you can save money and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the Serengeti while supporting local conservation efforts.

    Are there any hidden costs to consider when planning a budget trip to the Serengeti?

    When organizing a budget journey to the Serengeti, don’t overlook potential hidden expenses that could affect your total spending. These include park entry fees, conservation charges, and extra costs for activities like guided hikes, nocturnal safaris, and cultural explorations.

    It’s crucial to account for these expenses in your budget and investigate any supplementary fees for your selected lodging, transportation, and excursions. By thoroughly planning and accounting for all potential costs, you can ensure a more accurate budget for your Serengeti adventure.

    What are the advantages of joining a group tour for a budget trip to the Serengeti?

    Joining a group tour for a budget trip to the Serengeti offers several advantages for cost-conscious travellers. Group tours often come with discounted accommodation, transportation, and activity rates, making them more affordable than booking individual arrangements.

    Additionally, travelling with a group allows you to share costs such as vehicle hire, guide, and park entrance fees, further reducing expenses. Moreover, group tours provide opportunities to meet like-minded travellers and share the experience of exploring the Serengeti together.

    Can I find budget-friendly safari camps in the Serengeti?

    Budget-friendly safari camps in the Serengeti offer affordable accommodation options without compromising the safari experience. Look for tented or mobile camps that provide basic yet comfortable lodging in prime wildlife viewing areas.

    These camps often offer shared facilities such as bathrooms and dining areas, allowing travellers to enjoy the Serengeti on a budget. These budget-friendly options are ideal for travellers seeking an authentic safari adventure without breaking the bank,

    What are some cost-saving tips for booking safari tours in the Serengeti?

    To save money on booking safari tours in the Serengeti, consider booking directly with local tour operators or through reputable online platforms that offer competitive rates. Look for special promotions, discounts, or last-minute deals that may be available for specific tour packages.

    Additionally, consider joining group tours or opting for shared safaris to split costs with other travellers and reduce expenses.

    Are there any budget-friendly alternatives to luxury lodges in the Serengeti?

    Yes, there are budget-friendly alternatives to luxury lodges in the Serengeti, such as tented camps, guesthouses, and budget safari lodges. These accommodations offer comfortable yet affordable options for travellers looking to experience the beauty of the Serengeti without breaking the bank. Many budget lodges and camps provide basic amenities, including meals, guided game drives, and cultural activities, at a fraction of the cost of luxury accommodations.

    How can I avoid overspending on souvenirs and gifts in the Serengeti?

    To save money on souvenirs and gifts in the Serengeti, set a budget before your trip and stick to it. Consider purchasing souvenirs directly from local artisans or markets rather than tourist shops, where prices may be inflated.

    Look for unique handmade crafts, jewellery, and artwork that reflect the local culture and support the community. Additionally, consider purchasing smaller, lightweight items that are easier to transport and won’t add extra weight to your luggage.

    What are some budget-friendly transportation options for getting around the Serengeti?

    Budget-friendly transportation options for getting around the Serengeti include public buses, shared shuttles, and rental vehicles. Public buses operate between major towns and cities, offering an affordable means of transportation for budget-conscious travellers.

    Shared shuttles provide convenient door-to-door service between popular destinations, such as Arusha and the Serengeti, at a fraction of the cost of private transfers. Renting a vehicle with other travellers or joining a carpool can reduce transportation costs while allowing flexibility and independence in exploring the Serengeti.



    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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