In this section, you'll find all the information you need to visit the national parks of Tanzania on an independent self-drive safari, including:
- Park entrance fees
- How to obtain your park permits for Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Natron, Selous Game Reserve and other national parks in Tanzania
- The top 5 national parks in Tanzania
How much are the park fees in Tanzania?
TANAPA manages the Tanzanian National Parks. Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Natron and Selous Game Reserve are managed by separate organisations.
The TANAPA fees as of 2019, per person per 24 hours are as follows:
- Kilimanjaro - $82.60
- Serengeti - $70.80
- Arusha, Tarangire and Lake Manyara - $53.10
- Ruaha, Saadani, Mkomazi, Udzunga - $35.40
Vehicle entry fee at the national parks for your Roadtrip rental car is 23,600 TSH ($10)per day for the RAV4 and 41,300 TSH ($20) per day for the Landcruiser. Public campsites managed by TANAPA cost $ 35.40 per person/night. So-called special campsites, a concession given to a private safari outfitter to operate a mobile camp, cost $59 per person/night. If you are staying in a private mobile camp, ask if TANAPA camping fees are included in the price.
The fee for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is $70.80 per person per 24 hours, plus the vehicle fee as mentioned above. If you are planning to visit the Serengeti and are only in transit through the NCA, you still have to pay the NCA fee twice: on your way going to the Serengeti and on your way returning from the Serengeti. If you want to enter the crater, you have to pay the additional Crater Service Fee of $295 per vehicle each time you go down the crater. Read more about how much to budget for your Ngorongoro Safari drive in our Destination Guide, here.
Selous is a private reserve and the largest game reserve in Africa. Conservation fees are $88.50 per person, vehicle entrance fee is 23,600 TSH and public campsites cost $35.40 per person/night.
Lake Natron fees
To enter the Natron area, a Wildlife Management Association (WMA) permit is required. The WMA permit costs are as follows:
- Entrance adult: $25 per person / day
- Entrance child: $6 per person / day
- Vehicle entrance $18 / day
- Bed night levy $18 per person/ day
There are also village fees which need to paid on the road to Natron. There are three separate gates and the costs will be $15 + $15 + $10 per person. The village fees are paid in cash on arrival to the gates.
How do I arrange my park entrance fees?
Permits are paid at the entrance gate by credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Cash is NOT accepted; neither are debit cards.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
You need to obtain an entrance quote from the NCA office first, before you go to the gate to pay. The NCA office is based in Arusha and Karatu. Note that the Ngorongoro offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Roadtrip Tanzania is happy to arrange the Ngorongoro quote on your behalf. We charge a handling fee of €30 / car for this service. This option is included in the online reservation form when you book a car with us.
The information we need is as follows:
- Number of people (plus age if anyone is 15 years or younger)
- Date of entering the NCA (on your way to the Serengeti)
- Date of exiting the NCA (returning from the Serengeti)
- When applicable: date(s) and visit(s) down into the crater. Note that the crater entrance permit is valid from 6 AM to 6 PM.
- In case you are not only in transit to and from the Serengeti, but also plan to spend more than 24 hours in the NCA, kindly provide us the dates spend in the NCA. Note that it's about 3-4 hours drive from the NCA Simba Public Campsite to the entrance gate of the Serengeti (which is also the exit of the NCA). So if you want to avoid paying the NCA twice, you have to time your visit such as not to enter the NCA to early, but leave very early the next morning.
6. Name of accommodation (if you are staying in the NCA park overnight)
Lake Natron National Park
To enter the Natron area, a Wildlife Management Association (WMA) permit is required. These need to be organised and paid for in advance in Arusha before driving to Lake Natron. It's quite a tedious task to go to their office and get these WMA permits. We can help you to obtain it. This option is included in the online reservation form when you book a car with us.
The information we need is as follows:
- Number of people (plus age if any child is 17 years or younger)
- Date of entry
- Date of exit
- Name of accommodation
Selous Game Reserve
Selous entrance fees must be paid in advance into the Selous bank account (NBC Bank), which you can find in any of the bigger towns. When you arrive at the entrance gate, you will show the deposit slip. They do NOT accept cash or credit card payments at the gate.
Highlights of Tanzania - Top 5 National Parks
Tanzania is Africa's ultimate safari destination. 25 percent of the country is protected in a network of conservation areas that incorporate the world's most famous national parks such as the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Wherever you go on your road trip through Tanzania, there are unparalleled opportunities to experience wildlife. We have highlighted the most visited parks.
In the when to go section, we discuss the weather and game viewing conditions for Tanzania's national parks. In our destination guide, you can read more about the Serengeti migration and how to time your visit for optimal game viewing.
The Ngorongoro crater floor provides a natural sanctuary, resulting in an incredible natural drama as the black rhino and great numbers of lions, elephants, buffaloes, ostriches and plain herbivores roam about. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. The Ngorongoro crater is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera and the only place in the world where you have a very high chance of seeing the safari 'Big 5' in one day. All this beauty comes with a price though. Ngorongoro is very expensive to visit and during peak holiday season (Christmas, July, August) you're likely have to queue and wait in line for an hour or more before you can descend to the crater.
The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest and most famous national park. The Serengeti is renowned for an annual migration comprising millions of wildebeest and other plains grazers on the move to find fresh grass and water, with predators like lions following in their footsteps. A Landcruiser is required if you want to explore the Serengeti.
Elephant lovers, pay attention. During dry season, Tarangire National Park is reported to have the largest concentration of elephants in the world! Another striking feature of the park is the abundance of baobab trees. This overlooked Serengeti rival is within easy driving distance from Arusha (<2h drive).
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is a perfect introduction for the first time self-drive safari goer. It's within easy reach from Arusha (<2h drive), the game drive circuits are well maintained, and it's a small yet very diverse national park. Lake Manyara is one of the few national parks in Tanzania where walking safaris with an authorized ranger are allowed.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is often cited as Tanzania’s best-kept game viewing secret, as indeed the sheer volume and variety of wildlife on show can be truly spectacular. Ruaha lies in the southwest of Tanzania and receives far less visitors than the parks in the Northern Circuit. You are likely to have things to yourself, adding to the wilderness feel.