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Serengeti Airport & Airstrips Transfers

Serengeti Airport: Airstrips in Serengeti: Due to  Serengeti National Park being essentially a wilderness area, there is no Serengeti airport as such to fly to in Serengeti or near the near National Park and the area is instead served by a network of all weather gravel airstrips. 

Seronera airstrip, at one time the only tarmac airstrip in the park and now converted to a high standard gravel runway, along with Grumeti Airstrip, are both among the primary and most well known airfields in the National Park. 

There are scheduled twice daily flights from Arusha to Serengeti that stop at several airstrips per flight. Additionally there are several airlines that serve this route including Regional Air. Coastal air, and Auric Air. 

Serengeti flight time tables

Serengeti Airport - List of Airstrips on Map

Serengeti Airport - List of Airstrips: FAQ:

The recommended point of entry is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which lies between the towns of Moshi and Arusha. The airport is located about 200 miles / 320 kilometers from the park’s southern entrance.

Serengeti drive-in safaris

The most popular way to travel to Serengeti National Park by road is by booking a drive-in safari. In general the drive-in safaris start from the town of Arusha. As it will take approximately eight hours to travel from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park, an overnight stay at one or more wildlife sites en route is usually part of your safari itinerary.

Serengeti self-drive safaris

Although not recommended, the Serengeti National Park is accessible when travelling by (rental) vehicle. Please keep in mind that careful planning is necessary when driving by yourself through the Serengeti National Park. A 4×4 vehicle is required to be able to access all roads throughout the year. Petrol is sold at Seronera in the Southern Serenget.

Serengeti National Park access gates

The Serengeti has four main entry and exit point:

Naabi Hill Gate

Serengeti’s main gate, and therefore also the busiest. Naabi Hills Gate is located approximately 45 kilometers from Seronera. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily.

Ndabaka Gate

Main access gate for the Western Corridor area; approximately a 1.5 hours drive from Mwanza and 145 kilometers from Seronera. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily but please note that last entry is at 16h00.

Klein’s Gate

Klein’s Gate is located in the far north-east of the Serengeti. Gate is open between 06h00 and 18h00 daily but please note that last entry is at 16h00.

Bologonya Gate

Bologonya Gate is loacted en route to or from Kenya, but the border is currently closed and unlikely to open soon.

Most safaris to Serengeti National Park start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated about 50km/31mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and fly on to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

There are regular flights from Arusha to several airstrips inside the park, but it is also possible to drive. The trip is about 325km/200mi and will take around 8 hours*. It is a bumpy ride, but it’s scenic and you’ll see wildlife along the way.

As the drive takes you through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a popular option is to fly one way, and drive the other way taking in an overnight stop to visit the Ngorongoro Crater. Coming from the crater, the distance to the Seronera area in the Serengeti is about 140km/90mi and the driving time is around 3 hours*.

*Driving times are only a rough indication. You should always consider the possibility of significant delays.

Wildlife viewing is good throughout the year in Serengeti National Park, but certain areas are better at specific times. Most people want to see the wildebeest migration and the predator action that goes with it. 

The good thing is that you can witness different stages of the migration in Serengeti from around January to October, so most of the year. 

The bad news is that the movement of the wildebeest depends on the rain and the exact timings are unpredictable.

Around January to February is a fantastic time to be in the Ndutu area for the wildebeest calving. June and July is the best time to be in the Western Corridor, and around September the migration is in the north where you might be able to see the famous Mara River crossings. Beware though that the crowds follow this calendar, so for an uncrowded experience you should stay away from the migration.

The climate in Serengeti National Park is usually moderate and pleasant. It never gets very hot, but it is consistently cool to cold at night and in the early mornings. Don’t forget to take warm clothing.

Serengeti’s Dry season is from June to October. The Wet season consists of two rainy periods: the short rains (November to December) and the long rains (March to May), with a dry spell in between. During the Wet season, it rarely rains all day, but afternoon thundershowers can be expected.

International Airports

Arriving in close proximity to the Serengeti is fast and easy, with numerous international airports that provide connecting flights to the Serengeti airstrips.

 

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

A large international airport serving Northern Tanzania and the cities of Arusha and Moshi, Kilimanjaro International Airport is serviced by numerous major airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Rwanda Airways, and Turkish Airways.

Depending on arrival, it is possible to board a plane connecting to Serengeti before 12:00 PM, with a 45 minute to 1 hour flight time. Flights arriving at JRO before 10:15 AM have the option of a one-hour land transfer to Arusha Airport, where a flight to any of the Serengeti airstrips will leave at 1:00 PM. Flight duration from Arusha Airport will range from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the airstrip of your choice.

If your flight does not allow for a same-day connection, we will be happy to assist you with overnight accommodations or airport transfers that best suit your needs. Luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants are available within minutes of the Arusha Airport, providing plenty of options before your safari adventure begins.

 

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)

A travel hub in Nairobi, Kenya, NBO offers service from numerous major international airlines, including Air France, British Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa, and Delta. Visitors arriving via NBO can take one of many connecting flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport in order to access flights to all Serengeti airstrips.

If your flight lands in Nairobi before 7:00 AM, you will have the option to connect to a flight to Serengeti or a short flight to Kilimanjaro to connect to flights to the Serengeti airstrips. If your flight lands later in the day, we can help you make arrangements to transfer to Kilimanjaro and then on to Arusha, where our advisors can help you make luxury hotel accommodations. Alternately, if you would like to stay in Nairobi, we would be happy to manage bookings on your behalf.

 

Arusha Airport (ARK)

A smaller regional airport serving the Arusha Region of Tanzania, numerous flights to Serengeti are offered from Arusha Airport on a daily basis by a choice of local airlines. Departures leave throughout the morning, with the last flight currently scheduled at 1:00 PM. Flight time ranges from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your chosen airstrip.

 

Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR)

Julius Nyerere International Airport is located in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. With service from numerous international airlines, including British Airways, KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and South African Airlines, passengers coming through Julius Nyerere have numerous transit options. For those arriving before 7:30 AM, it is possible to take a flight from the domestic terminal to Serengeti, with a flight time of roughly two hours. Other travelers are welcome to take a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

 

Charter Flights

For those seeking a fast, efficient alternative from any area airport, charter flights are available for direct connections to Serengeti with no additional stops or delays. These flights provide a luxurious experience in a private cabin with the option to arrive in Serengeti at any time during daylight hours.

If you would like to consider this option, our safari advisors would be happy to help you make arrangements.

 

Local Airlines and Requirements

Numerous local airlines handle the short flights between larger airports and the Serengeti airstrips, including Air Excel, Auric Air, Coastal Aviation, Flightlink, and Regional Air. Please note that these airlines use Cessna Grand Caravans or other similarly-sized aircraft that can accommodate 9 to 13 passengers each. Luggage is limited to 15 kg (33 pounds) per person and must be carried in a soft-sided bag.

Due to the sheer volume of passengers flying to Serengeti National Park during the peask season months from July to October, almost all airlines place an additional midday flight service to handle the passenger numbers. During these months we recommend booking early enough to secure seats.

Serengeti  Fly ~ In Safaris

Flying Safari package to Serengeti National Park are convenient due to the short one hour flight versus the 5 to 6 hour road journey from Arusha. Flights to Serengeti a being readily available, a flying package safari is possible to book for most Camps and Lodges. Flying to the Serengeti  is also recommended for those who want to enjoy game drives in Open sided safari vehicles. You can also check Zanzibar to Serengeti flights.

Connecting to Zanzibar InternationlAirport – New Terminal: For travelers who want to fly to Zanzibar after their Safari in Serengeti, various flight connections are available from Atusha including on airlines such as Kenya Airways and Precision air.


Travelers would need to know which airstrip in Serengeti they should use when booking their flights as there are close to a dozen airtsrips in Serengeti, including the community wildlife conservancies and game ranches surrounding the main Reserve.

 It is imperative to fly to the airstrip nearest to your accommodation to avoid unnecessarily long transfers which also happen to be rather expensive. 

Some of the most common airstrips include : Seronera airstrip, Kogatende, Ndutu and Grumeti and we have detailed below which lodges and camps are served by each airstrip.