The Best Safari in East Africa According to a Tour Leader

There is no doubt in my mind that Serengeti National Park is
home to the best wildlife safari in East Africa. I have worked as an overland
tour leader for many years throughout East Africa and nothing compares to this
region. I even say a Serengeti safari is much better than the Masai Mara in
nearby Kenya. But why exactly do I say this? Let me explain why you should
consider this safari…

Quick Answer – Serengeti Safari Including Ngorongoro Crater & Old Duvai Gorge

Why You Should Take a Serengeti Safari in East Africa

  1. The Greater Sense of Wildness in Serengeti National Park

The trip into Serengeti National Park is a long one and this is how you will first experience the vastness of the region. This vastness is much more apparent than when you travel into the Masai Mara for example and largely because of the immense open landscapes you encounter in Serengeti National Park. This space will create a greater sense of remoteness and wildness on your journey.

2. You Should Encounter The Big Five

It takes time to locate the wildlife, but this is all part
of the journey, and the animals are most certainly there. On a 3-day safari,
you should encounter ‘the big five’. This is never guaranteed but it is rare to
spend this amount of time in the region without ticking all the boxes.

3. The Ngorongoro Crater Safari

Many first-time visitors to East Africa will not have heard
about Ngorongoro Crater. This is often one of the highlights of a trip to Tanzania.
You will drive down into this immense caldera (extinct volcano) and go in
search of the wildlife down below. This usually happens at either sunset or
just before sunrise and the spectacle is unrivalled in terms of wildlife
safaris in East Africa. In fact, I would say the addition of Ngorongoro Crater
alone makes this tour worthy of the title of best safari in East Africa.

4. You Can Take a Side Trip to Old Duvai Gorge

Never heard of it? Nicknamed the Cradle of Humankind, Old
Duvai Gorge is an archaeological site next to Serengeti National Park. This is
where the remains of some of the first humans to roam the earth were
discovered. It is a spectacular gorge, but the importance of this discovery makes
for a very interesting visit. Please note that not every safari will include a
trip to Old Duvai gorge.

5. Travel Arrangements are Straightforward for a Serengeti Safari

You can begin your Serengeti Safari in Arusha Tanzania which is easy to reach via Kilimanjaro Airport. However, you can also find itineraries which will begin in Nairobi, Kenya which receives hundreds of international flights every day. I will outline the best travel itineraries for a Serengeti safari below and include options which begin/end in both Arusha and Nairobi. I always recommend the following tour operator because I believe they are the most competent company and they really set the standard in terms of the quality of transport, crew and accommodation.

Let me outline the best options for your Serengeti Safari. The first two options start and finish in Arusha, Tanzania. Option 1 includes a trip to Old Duvai gorge and option 2 does not. If you decide against flying directly into Tanzania, option 3 starts in Nairobi, Kenya and finishes in Arusha Tanzania.

Option 1: Serengeti Safari Incl. Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater & Old Duvai Gorge

Trip Name – Tanzania Safari Experience

This 7-day tour starts and ends in Arusha, Tanzania. You take a trip to the stunning Lake Manyara National Park en-route and enjoy a safari in Ngorongoro Crater. The tour includes ample time in Serengeti National Park and takes you to the previously mentioned Old Duvai Gorge.

Check out full trip itinerary and pricing for this tour


Option 2: Serengeti Safari Incl. Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro Crater (Without Old Duvai)

Trip Name – Tanzania Camping Safari

This 6-day tour also starts and ends in Arusha, Tanzania. You take a trip to the stunning Lake Manyara National Park en-route and enjoy a safari in Ngorongoro Crater. The tour includes ample time in Serengeti National Park but it does not include a trip to Old Duvai Gorge.

Check out full trip itinerary and pricing for this tour


Option 3: Serengeti Safari Incl. Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro Crater

Trip Name – Tanzania Camping Safari (Starting in Nairobi, Kenya)

This 7-day tour starts in Nairobi, Kenya and ends in Arusha, Tanzania. You take a trip to the stunning Lake Manyara National Park en-route and enjoy a safari in Ngorongoro Crater. The tour includes ample time in Serengeti National Park but it does not include a trip to Old Duvai Gorge.

Check out the full trip itinerary and pricing for this tour

By the way, I wrote a fantastic article that shows you exactly where to find the best travel insurance for Africa. It is really important you have this insurance to protect the cost of your tour and anything that might happen during the safari!

Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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The Author - Derek Cullen

I worked as an overland tour leader in Africa for many years. I now want to help you book the trip of a lifetime and find out everything you need to know about taking an overland tour in Africa.

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