When it comes to your journey from Arusha to the iconic Serengeti, there are two distinct paths you can choose – the road transfer or the flight. Each option offers its own set of experiences, and understanding the differences can greatly influence the way you immerse yourself in this remarkable adventure.
The Road Adventure:
For those who relish the idea of a road trip, the journey from Arusha to Serengeti presents an opportunity to connect with the landscapes in a deeply immersive way. It's an early start that promises to unfold into an unforgettable day of exploration. As the sun rises, you set off on a long 320-kilometer drive that winds its way through the heart of Tanzania.
The road journey requires a substantial time commitment. You'll arrive at your lodge in the evening, with the drive taking approximately 6 to 7 hours. Along the route, you'll encounter two entry gates – Ngorongoro Loduare and Serengeti Naabi Hill Gate – each adding an additional 30 to 45 minutes to your journey. Between the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, you'll navigate a 1.5 hour drive section notorious for corrugation – affectionately referred to as the "Swahili massage." While this may give you a unique and bumpy experience, it's also known to take a toll on the 4x4 Safari vehicles. As you traverse this challenging stretch, you'll truly earn your stripes as an intrepid traveler.
It's worth noting that driving to Serengeti you'll need to pay an additional entrance fee, even if you're just transiting through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is USD 71 per adult.
Though the road journey provides glimpses of the landscapes, wildlife sightings tend to be minimal due to the focus on reaching your destination. It's a journey that's best suited for those who value the process of travel as much as the destination itself.
The Flight Escape:
On the other hand, if you're inclined towards a faster and more convenient approach, the flight option offers a different kind of adventure. Flights are typically scheduled in the morning, ensuring that you arrive in Serengeti in the afternoon. This means you'll have the luxury of a relatively early start, without the hours spent on the road.
Upon landing in Serengeti, you have the flexibility to dive straight into a game drive, fully capitalizing on your time in the wilderness. Alternatively, you can choose to unwind and recharge at your lodge with a leisurely hot lunch. The choice is yours, and it's all about making the most of your arrival in this captivating destination.
The flight option provides you with more game drive time, as you're able to begin your adventure sooner. What's more, you won't have to pay an additional fee for Ngorongoro entrance, which can save you a significant amount of money.
While the flight option is undoubtedly more expensive due to the cost of the flight and repositioning the vehicle, it offers a level of comfort that road travel can't match. In addition, it allows you to spend more quality time exploring the Serengeti's abundant wildlife and untamed landscapes, creating memories that will linger long after your journey ends.
Finding Your Journey's Pace
Ultimately, the choice between road and flight boils down to your travel style, priorities, and preferences. The road journey promises a true adventure with its immersive landscapes, while the flight option provides efficiency and more time in the wilderness. Whether you seek the thrill of the road or the comfort of the skies, the journey from Arusha to Serengeti will undoubtedly be a significant chapter in your Tanzanian safari experience.