I am an RV enthusiast with more than 50 years of experience owning, driving, traveling and living in recreational vehicles.
It is one thing to read an RV review written by someone who has never lived or traveled in a specific unit, but quite another to hear the truth from another individual who has had direct experience with that same coach.
I owned, lived in, and traveled in the above 1996 Safari Serengeti Diesel Pusher for several years, and want to share my experience with you.
Fortunately, you can still purchase these coaches today, so if you like what you read, do not hesitate to become an owner if you discover one of these units that has been well maintained.
1996 Safari Motorhomes Are Terrific Coaches
The 1996 Safari Serengeti Motor Home has more pros than cons, and although it is almost 20 years old at this writing, it is still a worthy travel unit.
In its day, it was the top of the line, and I have yet to find another brand that compares to it. Therefore I would be remiss if I did not write a review about this beautiful vehicle.
If serious health problems had not stopped my husband and myself from traveling, and if we had known then that he was going to attain a full recovery, we would never have sold ours. Ironically, I know right where it is today because the man who purchased it from us still lives in it year round. I would never ask him to sell it back to me because I know he loves it as much as I did!
These days such units are difficult to find, especially if they are in good condition. I know, because I never stop looking!
My 1996 Safari Serengeti Was a Dream Machine
My husband and I have owned several motorhomes, all of which have been beautiful and well appointed. However, since this one was going to be our retirement unit, we spent two years looking for it. That was time well spent as this Safari was literally a dream boat.
As you can see from the first photo, I really loved it, and so did my husband. This coach was 38 feet of simple lines, spacious interior, comfortable furniture, and fantastic performance. New units with similar options ran about $168,000, but the former owners of our unit had added $20,000 worth of upgrades which included, among other things a doorbell, stained glass door window, custom rear mural, new paint, custom front bra and a water filtration system. They even put new tires on it! So, when we purchased it, this unit was ready for the road, and boy did it see a lot of miles during the time we owned it.
We would travel for four to five months at a time and completely circle the US so that we could visit friends, relatives, national parks and just enjoy the drive. This unit was the basis for fulfilling our dreams, and would do the same for anyone else who might own one.
This RV Got the Job Done!
My husband said it drove beautifully, and although it only got about 10 mpg, diesel was cheaper than gas at the time we purchased the Safari and the trade off of mileage for luxury, power and comfort was well worth the added expense.
This motorhome spent 4 to 5 months traveling across the United States every summer. It climbed and descended mountains with no problems, towed our Honda CRV as if it did not even exist and kept us warm when it was cold and cool when it was hot.
Problems With the 1996 Safari Serengeti
As with all motorhomes, there were always minor problems, but nothing with this one that ever ruined one of our vacations other than a small accident we had which had nothing to do with the structure of the coach.
The only troublesome problem came one summer when we realized we should have taped the front and rear roof seams to keep them from leaking when heavy rains occurred. This was an easy fix, but the first leak we had prior to making the repairs was a real mess.
A Well-Designed RV
One of the things I liked most about this unit was the clever way it was designed.
For example, the dining chairs fit exactly through the interior doorways, there was still space to move around in the kitchen even when both leaves were in the table and the pass through bathroom had sliding doors on each side to allow for flexible privacy.
As I said previously, I have owned several motorhomes. However none, no matter how expensive or fancy, have ever been as cleverly designed as this one.
Similar Motorhomes Are Still for Sale Today
When it came time for us to purchase another unit we searched for another one but none that met our needs ever came on the market. This was bad news for us, but it forced us to try other brands and years. They were OK, but none ever matched that Safari.
These units are still available today, and once in awhile you can find one that has been well maintained and still has relatively low miles on the engine.
It’s too late for us now as our current motorhome fits our needs, and we know that soon our traveling days will come to an end. However, I would urge anybody who wants a good diesel pusher motorhome to think about looking for a 1996 Safari Serengeti.
Even though old, a well-maintained unit like this one is still serviceable and can provide many years of travel comfort.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: My 1996 Safari Serengeti measures 40 feet. Do you know where I can get one of the bottom stainless storage doors I can put on the outside?
Answer: You would either have to find an RV salvage yard that might have one or have one made. These doors are very difficult to find and can be costly to have made. Your best bet is to look online.
Question: What is the exterior height of the 1996 Safari Serengeti?
Answer: It's been years since we've owned that coach, but I'm guessing approximately 11 feet.
© 2013 Sondra Rochelle
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on July 29, 2019:
Hard to beat those older Safaris, that's for sure. Thanks for sharing.
Jack Lape on July 29, 2019:
I proud owner of a 1990 Safari Serengeti Ivory edition is a 460 Ford gasoline engine and gear vendors overdrive transmission it has all the bells and whistles commercial ice maker tilt wheel cruise and controlling the wheel stereo control in the steering wheel 2 Coleman super Mach 15000 BTU rooftop air conditioners Honda water cooled Eevee 6110 generator has a tiger Safari Serengeti seen airbrushed on the back for the factory I live in my coach Arizona and I love every minute of it I want sell it for anything in the world I have a 125,000original miles
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on January 16, 2013:
dilipchandra12: Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate your input.
Dilip Chandra from India on January 16, 2013:
Good article, well written and thanks for sharing
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on January 12, 2013:
Hi Bill: I've been away for three weeks so am trying to reorganize, add, catch up, etc. Numbers are WAY down all the way around, so it seems like a lot of effort for little return, but I keep hoping. Hope you had a nice holiday.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 12, 2013:
You are a writing machine! Every time I open up HP I see a new Hub from you! Way to go my friend. All useful information presented in an easy to understand style.
Have a great weekend!