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Self-drive trip questions for N. TZ

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Hello, I am new to this forum and new to Africa. Did Nam/Bots trip in 2012 and just got back from Kruger and now we are definitely hooked on finding animals in their environment, but driving on our own. Love the independence, freedom, and sense of real adventure this kind of trip affords us.
So now I am planning a self-drive safari through the parks of N. TZ mostly camping and self-catering, but staying also in budget lodges every few days. We will have a 4x4 Hilux with a roof tent and are looking to travel in August, together with my sister and her husband and two GPS systems. Getting to and around Arusha NP, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara seems easy and pretty straight-forward. There is food and fuel on the way and camping is either at public campgrounds or more expensive special campsites.
It seems, however, that self-driving in the vastness of the Serengeti has its own problems. We are looking at spending 8 consecutive days camping there, and I don't see any budget lodges in the park, unless someone considers $750 per person per night budget.

Here are some of my questions that I hope some of you experts will be able to answer.

1. Is it possible to leave the park at either the Ikuma gate or the western Corridor gate, sleep outside the park, restock and refuel then enter the park again? Is there even gas and food available outside these gates?

2. How will this affect the entrance fees?

3. Having 8 nights in the Serengeti, what area should we spend the most time in, considering we want to see most animals, but fewest crowds . Don't even know if that place exists!

4. Has anyone driven from Lobo area to Mara River and is it worth it to , maybe, hopefully, see the tail end (literally) of the migration)

I appreciate anyone's input and suggestions. Thanks.

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