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Maps are deceiving in Africa. A drive that would appear to take 3 or 4 hours… is 7! Today we drove a bone-rattling 7 hours from Lake Eyasi to Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti is enormous. At 5700-square miles (14,763-square kilometers), it’s about the size of Connecticut. Even though it’s the dry season, there’s no shortage of animals. Just on the drive from the front gate to our campground (granted, that drive was 1.5 hours!), we saw the following:

  • African Elephant
  • Grant’s Gazelle
  • Maasi Giraffe
  • Ostrich
  • Red-headed Agama
  • Savanna Baboon
  • Superb Sparling
  • Thomson’s Gazelle
  • Warthog
  • Wildebeest
  • Zebra

Pretty amazing!

Travel TipTravel Tip 16: Do not drive yourself!

You’d be pretty foolish to drive yourself in the Serengeti, but we did see some foreigners doing just that. The roads are extremely rough; you will likely breakdown at some point. It’s very difficult to navigate the area with few signs. Every Acacia tree looks like the every other Acacia tree. Hire a safari company with an experienced driver/guide.

Travel Tip 17: Safaris aren’t for young children.Travel Tip

There’s a tremendous amount of driving involved in an African safari. If you fly to Arusha – the jumping off point for most safaris in Northern Tanzania – it’s 11 hours to the Serengeti. In addition, the game drives – usually one in the morning and one in the late afternoon – typically last 3 hours each. It’s hard on young children. I wouldn’t take a child younger than 9 or 10 years old.

Travel TipTravel Tip 18: If your budget allows, fly to the Serengeti directly.

There’s a landing strip in the Serengeti. It isn’t cheap to fly into the park, but it does save you a lot of time in a Land Cruiser or Rover.