So you have looked into your dream trip of a safari in Africa and the next step is to book it. Many people have grand visions of booking their safari on the Serengeti plains, a region of Africa in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Serengeti is also home to the majestic mountain Kilimanjaro, one of the most impressive peaks in the world that you can climb with a guide. So why shouldn’t you do a Serengeti safari? Here are a few reasons why:
Safaris are expensive, it’s true. But some safari companies in more popular areas such as the Serengeti can really hike the price way above what you might have to pay elsewhere. They know that people will pay their exorbitant prices to be able to say they went on a safari in the Serengeti. Some of the higher end safaris can be thousands of dollars per person, which immediately prices out those on a budget and makes it so only the well off can afford a trip to the Serengeti. While having luxurious options is good, it can create a higher price point for other providers in the area as well, which means that from the off, when compared with what you can get in other areas, the Serengeti is much more expensive.
This is something that many people who have been to the Serengeti complain about – the crowds. Everyone seems to come to the area for their safaris, and as a result the plains are packed with trucks and vans taking patrons out to see the animals. In some places at high season there are even lines to see the animals, so it becomes more like a zoo and less like a safari. If you don’t mind big crowds, then come check out the region, but if you find it pointless to have a similar experience as a zoo back home, then the Serengeti at certain times of year may not be for you.
Many countries in Africa are very hot on sustainable tourism and even ecotourism, especially when it comes to safaris and animal based areas like the Serengeti. With some companies in the Serengeti though, sustainable tourism and ecotourism fall by the wayside and so the continued huge flocks of tourists that come to these regions may be doing more harm than good in the long run. Of course, this is not to say that every company which runs safaris in the area doesn’t adhere to sustainability, but only that it should be something to be considered when thinking about heading to an already packed and popular region.
So there you have a couple of reasons why you perhaps shouldn’t head to the Serengeti for your safari. With literally dozens, if not hundreds of other places where you can see many of the same animals (along with different ones!) it’s best to do your research and go with a reputably well known company for sustainable safari tourism.