Serengeti National Park experiences unprecedented visitor numbers

Typically seeing 350,000 visitors per year, the Serengeti National Park has been facing unprecedented visitor numbers over the last few months. Tourists are flocking to the area to see some of the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and to witness one of the last great annual migratory systems take place.

Both chartered and commercial flights have gone through the Seronera Airstrip. In an interview with THE CITIZEN, Tourism Officer Evans Magomba said, “There has been an increase in flights beyond our anticipation.”

Of course, this issue that the park is facing is a positive problem. The overcrowding of the area demonstrates the popularity of the massive National Park which covers 14,750 km² and explains why so many people go to visit it each year. The park is also just 340 km from the iconic Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The increase in visitors also calls for potential upgrades to the park. One of those upgrades could be the Seronera Airstrip. Magomba said that planes must fight space on the rather small runway. THE CITIZEN found that over 3,700 aircrafts landed at Seronera between January and September of 2017. This figure has seen a rise year on year.

Magomba’s attention to detail is certainly reassuring for travelers. The park is clearly committed to making the necessary changes in order to accommodate the increase in visitors making sure their trip is a once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully, that could mean expanding the size of the airstrip. Of course, we shouldn’t expect to see a gorgeous international airport in the middle of Tanzania. However, an updated airspace could open up many doors for travellers. This is essentially a win-win for everyone involved. If the airstrip were to expand, people like Magomba would have a less stressful job and more visitors could explore the historic park in years to come.

If you are looking to head to the Serengeti but want to avoid the overcrowding, we recommend travelling in either April or May. This is considered to be the low season for the park and during this time accommodation prices are lower.