3 day Serengeti safari

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The Serengeti is an incredible ecosystem spreading over 1.5 million hectares with the highest density of big mammals in the world, over 500 bird species and is also home to the Great Migration. 3 days is short but very doable with wildlife memories that will last you a lifetime. 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to wildlife numbers on another level with the Big 5 taking center stage (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and the African buffalo) roaming the endless plains, which are dotted with stunning hills, rivers and acacia trees.

The best 3 day Serengeti Tours 

Price of a 3 day Serengeti safari?

Budget tours start at $250 per person whilst mid-range tours start at $350 per person, while luxury tours start at approximately $500 per person.

Safari packages to the Serengeti span a wide price range, influenced by several variables. The biggest factor determining the price of a safari is the level of accommodation. This will ultimately categorize tours as being budget, mid-range or luxury. Shared tours are usually cheaper than private tours. 

This is especially the case for single travelers. On a 2 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 3 days in the Serengeti

Safari tour highlights

  • One of Africa’s seven natural wonders
  • Home of the Great Migration and the Big Five including the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo in an iconic world-famous game park
  • World’s largest lion sanctuary
  • Private tour guide in English and other languages
  • All-inclusive tours including lodging, entrance fees, meals, and transport
  • Game drives in comfortable, open top safari vehicles
  • Unique accommodation including safari lodges and tented camps
  • Optional activity add-ons including hot air balloon safaris

Tour inclusions

The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best 3 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
Transport and park entrance feesCultural visits to Maasai villages (15 USD p/p)
Accommodation (full-board safaris)Tips to the driver guides, waiters and porters
Park fees
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bottled water
Government taxes

Safari essentials and information

Is a 3 day safari in Serengeti sufficient?

3 days is plenty to see, hear and experience the incredible wildlife and sights of the Serengeti. The number of days needed to properly do a Serengeti safari can range from 1-2 days to 1-2 weeks, depending on how much time and budget a visitor has. 

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 the amount of time you have available and budget. 

Each day consists of an early morning game drive and a late afternoon game drive, certainly sufficient time to view the big 5 and incredible scenery. 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

Alternatively you can spend all of your time in the Serengeti. With full days at the reserve, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore this iconic safari destination including a full-day dusk-to-dawn game drive that will include lunch at one of the picnic spots. 

Morning and evening game drives are rewarding as well, but on a full day you can get further into the reserve, away from the more-crowded areas. Overall, 3 days is a good amount of time for a safari in the Serengeti if it is part of a larger Tanzania tour, but if not, allocating a few more days to your safari would be ideal if possible.

Accommodation offered on a 3 day Serengeti safari?

After a long day surveying the incredible Tanzania landscape and wildlife on offer, guests can look forward to the very best safari accommodation the Serengeti has to offer. The accommodation here is excellent with numerous options from tented camps, luxury lodges to camping grounds. 

From camping in the bush with amenities to mid-range and luxury lodges located inside the reserve, there’s something for everyone. The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is the ideal place to stay near the Grumeti River and have a front-row seat to see the fabulous crossing of the river by the wildebeest and zebras. 

Of particular note include the luxurious Four Seasons Serengeti safari lodge, the Serengeti Serena safari lodge and the Nomad Serengeti safari camp.

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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 day Serengeti safari tour?

Visitors on a 3 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 3 day Serengeti safari?

The best time to go on a 3 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.