1 day Serengeti safari

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The Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and even on a 1 day safari, it’s worth it, with memories that will stick with you forever. 

The Serengeti supports a magnificent diversity and abundance of animals, from the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino, to giraffe, Grant’s gazelle, impala, kongoni, topi and eland. You’ll also see more than 500 species of birds, including ostriches and flamingos, a truly magnificent sight on the incredible Tanzania plains. 

The best 1 day Serengeti Tours 

Price of a 1 day Serengeti safari?

Budget tours start from $250 per person whilst mid-range tours start at $350 per person and luxury tours come in at approximately $500 per person.

The biggest factor determining the price of a safari is the level of accommodation. However, on a one day safari however, this may be the transport i.e. flight given the time constraints if you choose this means versus road transport. Shared flights are usually cheaper than private tours. 

This is especially the case for single travelers. On a 1 days trip you might want to consider a fly-in safari, but these are considerably more expensive than road safaris. Check out the seasons too; low-season prices can be favorable and while you’ll probably get some rain at this time, it’s when the scenery is at its best.

Tour breakdown for a typical 1 day safari in the Serengeti

Safari tour highlights

  • World’s largest lion sanctuary
  • Home of the Great Migration and the Big Five including the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo in an iconic world-famous game park
  • Private tour guide in English and other languages
  • Entrance fees, lunch and transport
  • Game drives in comfortable, open top safari vehicles
  • Optional activity add-ons including hot air balloon safaris

Tour inclusions

The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best 1 day Serengeti safari package:

Tour inclusionsTour exclusions
Game drives per the itinerary as well as pick-up and drop-offVisa fees, laundry services, drinks including mineral water at the hotels
Experienced english-speaking guide and driverInternational/domestic flights
TransportCultural visits to Maasai villages (15 USD p/p)
Park feesTips to the driver guides, waiters and porters
Breakfast, lunch, and bottled water
Government taxes

Safari essentials and information

Is a 1 day safari in the Serengeti sufficient?

A one day trip is indeed short, but it can be done and you will get to see the Big 5. If you’re coming from Mwanza, taking an internal flight direct to the Serengeti would be ideal, as this takes just 50 minutes, if your budget allows for it. 

If you travel by road, you’ll have a drive of 5 hours, however you will arrive in time for two game drives and enough time to have your lunch and more. In summary, it is possible and indeed worth it, however if you can commit more time, two or three days would be even better. 

A longer safari would be better as you’ll have more time in and really immerse yourself in the bush experience, however this depends on your available time and budget. On a safari trip, you can even break up the drive to or from the Serengeti with an overnight stay in Grumeti Game Reserve or the stunning Ngorongoro Crater

With one full day in the Serengeti however, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore this iconic safari destination with a dusk-to-dawn game drive that will include lunch at one of the incredible picnic spots overlooking a wildlife watering hole. 

Animals on a Serengeti safari?

You’ll find just about everything in the Serengeti! The reserve is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo) and visitors will also find spotted hyenas as well as numerous hippos in the Serengeti Retina hippo pool. 

Serengeti contains a high concentration of lions with over 3,000 of them found in the park and about 1.5 million wildebeests. A view of these huge beasts crossing the crocodile infested river Mara has been included in the 7 wonders of natural Africa.

You’ll also see wildebeest, gazelle, giraffes, African bush elephants, big cats, black rhinos and more spread across the endless plains. If you don’t mind a lot of driving, it is possible to visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on a 1 day road safari. 

This combination gives you a reasonable chance of seeing all the Big Five in a short time. Ngorongoro is the only reliable park in Tanzania to see black rhinos.

Fly or drive to the Serengeti?

On a 1 day safari, flying and driving to the Serengeti are both viable options, with flying bringing obvious time savings (2.5 hours from Kilimanjaro and 2 hours from Arusha) and incredible views of the wildlife and landscape. 

Flying also comes with a higher price tag. The drive to the Serengeti from Kilimanjaro takes almost 4 hours. Fly-in safaris usually include top-end accommodation and all your activities. 

On a 1 day tour of the Serengeti, you can easily break up the drive with a stopover. The Ngorongoro Crater is the most popular option and is often referred to as ‘Africa’s garden of Eden’, due to the sheer volumes of animals and wildlife found there.

The crater floor is also home to old elephant bulls that boast some of Africa’s largest tusks. The giant creatures are often found flaunting their ivory tusks near the Lerai Forest.


How much spending money do I need for a 1 day Serengeti safari?

Visitors should budget for approximately $300 for a Serengeti safari per person per day, including food and accommodation. Serengeti safaris can be more expensive than their continental counterparts due to the higher costs of accommodation and food.

What animals will I see on a 1 day Serengeti safari tour?

Visitors on a 1 day Serengeti safari will see the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo), hyenas, wildebeest, giraffes, cheetah, zebras, endangered black rhinos, hippos, crocodiles and much more.

What is the best time to go on a 1 day Serengeti safari?

The best time to go on a 1 day Serengeti safari is in the Dry season (from late June to October). This period offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight.