If you have limited time to plan the safari adventure of a lifetime, there's only one clear choice: Serengeti National Park. In just five days, you can experience all the majesty of Tanzania's crown jewel of wildlife reserves. This includes spotting coveted Big Five animals like lions, leopards, elephants, and more.


  • Enjoy great coffee in the country where it was invented
  • Spend days on the Serengeti plains searching for exotic animals
  • See giraffes, lions, elephants, wildebeest, and more in their natural environment

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Arusha Arusha
Day 2 Arusha to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 3 Serengeti Game Drives Serengeti National Park
Day 4 Balloon Safari, Walking Safari, Night Game Drive Serengeti National Park
Day 5 Serengeti to Arusha, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha

Arusha town
Welcome to Tanzania

Welcome to Tanzania! This gem of a country is a wildlife lover's paradise, home to some of Africa's most popular safari destinations and unspoiled national parks. Located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, Tanzania is known for its vast wilderness regions. After all, this country is home to the famous Serengeti, where millions of plains animals migrate around its fertile savannas. You'll spend the next few days in this unspoiled region and embark on game drives to spot Africa's iconic Big Five animals—lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, and black rhinos.

Upon arrival in the northern city of Arusha, your driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel. After unpacking and unwinding, take some time to head out and admire the views. Not only does this city sit at the foot of the 14,980-foot (4,566-m) Meru Volcano, but at certain places, you can also glimpse the snow-capped table of Kilimanjaro. Coffee lovers will want to hit a café and sample this country's famous robusta and arabica roasts. After all, Tanzania is the third-largest coffee producer in Africa, and this bean is its largest export crop.

Day 2: Arusha to Serengeti National Park

Get ready for a safari
In the morning, your driver will take you to the airport in Arusha to catch a 30-minute flight to the Seronera Airstrip in Serengeti National Park. This legendary wildlife reserve is the archetypal safari destination. In the Maasai language, the name Serengeti means "endless plains," and this protected area's 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km) deliver on that promise. The park is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve that supports the world's largest concentration of plains game. This includes the famous Big Five animals.
For the next few days, your base will be the Serengeti's northern region, located near the Massai Mara Reserve in neighboring Kenya. This is a prime area due to its high concentration of wildlife. It also offers a chance to escape the crowds, as this region is remote and relatively inaccessible. Those who make it here are rewarded with sweeping vistas of rolling green hills, granite outcrops, and acacia woodlands dotting the open savanna.
Upon arrival at the airstrip, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your tent lodge in the park.  
Plan your trip to Tanzania
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Serengeti Game Drives

Witness the Great Migration
With any luck, you'll arrive in the Serengeti in time to witness the Great Migration, which typically occurs from June to November. This "greatest wildlife show on earth" sees more than a million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of zebras and Thomson's gazelles, undertaking the long trek to new grazing grounds. Your position in the north of the park is the ideal vantage point to witness this occurrence in all its glory. An incredible sight is watching the massive herds of wildebeests and zebras making the dangerous crossing of the croc-infested Mara River
Today you'll embark on multiple game drives heading north toward the border with Kenya as you follow the animals. Depending on your preference, you can head out early for a morning game drive and return to camp in time for lunch. Then, later in the afternoon, embark on another game drive or opt to relax by the pool with a good book. Alternatively, enjoy breakfast in camp, then head out on a game drive later, returning mid-afternoon.

You're guaranteed to see incredible wildlife no matter what itinerary you choose. Besides the Big Five animals like lions, leopards, and cheetahs, this park section is also home to the greatest concentration of elephants in the Serengeti. There are also many giraffes, elands, and hippos.

Day 4: Balloon Safari, Walking Safari, Night Game Drive

Enjoy an aerial safari
First thing in the morning, you'll view the Serengeti from a unique perspective: high in the air in the basket of a hot-air balloon. It's an exhilarating tour that most people never get to experience. The route flies predominantly over the Seronera River, the only permanent water source in central Serengeti. Thus it's perfect for wildlife spotting. The area around the river is particularly scenic, teeming with open plains, acacia woodlands, and hippo pools. The views are guaranteed to be magnificent. 
Once back on earth, head out on another safari. This time, though, you'll eschew tires in favor of hiking boots. This guided walking safari puts you right in the middle of the savanna. It's an educational experience in which you'll learn how to track animals, see and touch the flora that comprises the region's complex food chain, and discover the secrets to medicinal plants that have been used for thousands of years to cure various ailments. Of course, you'll also do plenty of game spotting as you're led along by either a park ranger or real-life Maasai tribal warrior.
Then it's back to camp to enjoy a sundowner and a leisurely dinner to cap your last day in the Serengeti. However, your evening doesn't end there—enjoy one last safari adventure in the form of a night drive. This spectacular experience allows you to glimpse local wildlife that otherwise wouldn't be visible. Besides spotting larger animals like hippos, lions, and elephants, the searchlight wielded by your guide will also reveal smaller nocturnal creatures like bush babies and porcupines.

Day 5: Serengeti to Arusha, Depart

Farewell, Africa
After breakfast, you'll embark on one final morning game drive in the Serengeti. Then you'll transfer to the airstrip for your flight to the international airport and your connection home. No doubt you've filled your digital photo albums and created memories to last a lifetime. Hope to see you again soon!

More Great Tanzania Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Tanzania trip? Check out these other Tanzania itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Highlights of Serengeti National Park - 5 Days
Map of Highlights of Serengeti National Park - 5 Days