Serengeti National Park
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The word iconic comes to mind when thinking of Serengeti National Park. Have you dreamt of safaris on the vast African continent? Then, there’s a surefire chance you’ve dreamt of the golden Serengeti savannahs. Meaning a place where the land runs on forever, the Serengeti is among the top wildlife destinations and probably the most remarkable natural wonders left on our planet.
Only a few places on Earth have such rich habitats, unspoilt lands, and thrilling wildlife experiences. Home to the greatest show on the planet, some of the largest concentrations of animals and birds, and a range of safari activities, the endless plains of the Serengeti are truly a wonder.
If you want to have a distinctive Safari In Tanzania on the lands where humanity is believed to have originated, then there’s no better place than here.
Serengeti Safari Quick Facts
Location: Northern Tanzania
Area: 14,763 square kms
Number Of Visitors: 350,000 per year
Famous For: The Wildebeest Migration
Serengeti Location And Geography
Situated in the northern region of Tanzania, the golden plains of Serengeti National Park stretch for almost 15,000 square kilometres. The park is located completely in the northeastern part of the Simiyu region and the eastern Mara region.
The landscapes of the Serengeti Ecosystem are extremely varied. They range from savannahs and open grasslands to hilly woodlands and riverine forests. This diversity is because of the extreme weather conditions, in particular the combination of heat and wind.
The habitats of the Serengeti are believed to have originated from a series of volcanoes. The volcanic activity helped shape the features of the ecosystem by adding craters and mountains to the surroundings.
The Mara River flows through the Kenyan highlands to Lake Victoria, where terrific migration crossings happen. This is the only river in the Serengeti ecosystem that flows permanently.
Now, Coming To The Rich Flora Of Serengeti National Park:
- Over 300 species of plants are recorded in Serengeti.
- 15 alien species of plant are distributed throughout the park as well.
Acacia trees and sausage trees are the two plants that Serengeti is famous for. When you’re out on game drives in the vast savannahs, you’ll be able to see them right from your safari vehicle.
- Woodlands are commonly found in the northern region of Serengeti, as this section is covered by hills.
- Lush savannahs with some acacia trees, make up the surroundings of the Western Corridor. The Grumeti River also makes its way through these surroundings.
The flora of the park isn’t just great to look at though, it offers the wildlife of the park life force. And, without flora, your Safari In Serengeti here will seem wholly different. Forget scenic views, the lush green cover of the park will just be dry lands.
Accessing Serengeti National Park
Even though Serengeti is situated in a rather remote corner, accessing the park is fairly easy. Your most suitable option would be to fly into the town of Arusha. There are seven airstrips in the park, so it’ll be very convenient.
Or you could go another way, which is to book a 4WD safari vehicle from Arusha to Serengeti. This way you’ll get an opportunity to visit a couple of other parks along the way. Naturally, you can also choose to combine both these options and book a one-way overland safari and fly back to Arusha.
Accessing Serengeti by Air
Getting To Serengeti National Park by air is the most convenient and quick option. You will have a couple of choices if you want to access Serengeti by air.
Our recommended point of entry is Kilimanjaro International Airport. It’s situated between the towns of Arusha and Moshi and is around 320 km. from Serengeti’s southern entrance.
There are some international flight options you can choose from. We recommend carriers such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines.
Airlines like Emirates and British Airways also fly into Dar es Salaam (DAR). Though, you may have to stay overnight at a hotel and then hop on a domestic flight.
All regional flights are operated by local airlines like Coastal Aviation and Grumeti Air. Flying from Arusha Airport (ARK) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the most favoured route.
Another quick and convenient option to get to Serengeti is booking a private or charter flight. Some of the luxury lodges have their private airstrip and they can arrange a direct scheduled or private charter flight from Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Accessing Serengeti by Road
If you’d like to skip taking a flight and take the road less travelled, then this option is for you.
You can get to Serengeti National Park by booking drive-in safaris. They usually start in the town of Arusha. From there, it will take about 7.5 hours to drive to the Serengeti.
Self-drive safaris are possible but not recommended. This is because it takes utmost care and careful planning to drive by yourself through the park. A 4WD safari vehicle is necessary to access the roads throughout the year. You can get fuel at the Seronera region in Southern Serengeti.
Access Points of Serengeti National Park
There are four primary entry and access points in the Serengeti. They are referred to as gates.
Naabi Hill Gate
This is the main access point of Serengeti National Park. The gate is situated around 45 km. from the Seronera region. Opening hours are from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm.
This gate is the main access point for the Western Corridor region. Ndabaka Gate is located around 145 km. from the Seronera region and it takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Mwanza to the gate. Opening hours are from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm. Though keep in mind that the last time of entry is 4.00 pm.
This access point is located in the northeastern region of the Serengeti. The opening hours are the same as the above two. I.e. From 6.00 am to 6.00 pm.
TThis access point of Serengeti National Park is located just south of the Kenya-Tanzanian border. It lies in a remote area of the park, thus the gate is rarely utilized.
Fort Ikoma Gate
The gate is situated on the northwestern border of the Serengeti. Fort Ikoma Gate is easily accessible from the Seronera region with the drive taking about an hour.
Located in the southwestern region of Serengeti, this access point is rarely used. The gate is just six km. from the Grumeti Game Reserve and is close to the Kirawira B airstrip.
History Of Serengeti National Park
Imagine never knowing about the Great Wildebeest Migration! But this was true at one point in time. Going back to the early 1900s, explorers described the unbelievable plains of the Serengeti and the enormous numbers of animals found there.
This seemed too amazing to be true. And it went on like that for a few years. But, in the 1920s, the first photographs of the region came out. And, everyone was left stunned at the sight of this spectacle.
In 1930, an area of over 2,000 square kilometres was set up as a game reserve. This land is now known as the Southern and Eastern Serengeti. In 1951, the national park was established. The headquarters of the park was based on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
The original park also included an area which is now called the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Though, the area was separated from the park in 1959. This was done so that the native Maasai communities could live and graze their cattle without any interference.
In 1961, the Masai Mara National Reserve was set up in Kenya. In 1965, a permanent corridor was created between the Mara River and Kenya border. It was called the Lamai Wedge. This allowed the herds to migrate from the Serengeti savannahs to the Loita plains in the north. Later on, the Maswa Game Reserve was established in 1962.
What was once an undiscovered treasure, is now renowned across our planet! The Serengeti was among the first places to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Now you can have the pleasure of exploring the endless plains of the park on Safaris To Tanzania.
Weather And Climate Of The Serengeti
The extensive ecosystem of Serengeti National Park has many seasonal differences when it comes to weather and climate. The park experiences a cool and dry season from the months of May to August, a warm dry season in September and October, and a wetter hot season from November to April.
Everyone has a belief that Africa is mostly a very hot place, but the temperatures of the Serengeti are moderate and pleasant. It rarely gets uncomfortably hot and temperatures drop during the nighttime and early mornings.
The minimum and maximum temperatures vary according to the seasons. The wet season is generally considered to be the warmest. The following chart will show the average temperatures of Serengeti in more detail.
|Months||Minimum Temperature (in Celsius)||Maximum Temperature (in Celsius)|
GOOD TO KNOW: The average maximum temperatures vary based on elevation: from 15 Celsius around the crater highlands to around 30 Celsius near Lake Victoria.
Two rainfall periods govern the climate of Serengeti National Park. The first to break the grip of the dry season is the short rains, in November and December. Long rains follow soon in the period from March to May.
Though it rarely rains for a whole day, it does rain on most days. These rains turn the landscapes of the plains into vibrant green. This is why the season is referred to as the green season.
Average Rainfall In The Serengeti
|Month||Amount of Rainfall (in mm)|
SOME INSIGHTS: Sometimes the rains fuse into a single extended period. This mainly happens in the northern region of the park. Also, the short rains may not occur entirely, particularly in the southeast region of the Serengeti.
Best Time To Visit Serengeti
The density of Wildlife In Serengeti National Park is among some of the largest on the planet. This is why safari experiences in the park are spectacular throughout the course of the year. However, the optimal time to visit is in the dry season, in January and February, and from June to October. The reason behind this is the vegetation. The grass is at its most thin in the dry season which makes spotting animals easier.
Although, this in no way means that visiting outside of the dry season is inferior. No at all, the wet season (from November to May) is considered the best time for birdwatching in the Serengeti. Moreover, in the wet season, there are fewer crowds around. So, if you want to have an exclusive safari experience, this is the season for you.
Following The Great Migration
You just have to know what time you should visit Serengeti to admire one of the last remaining natural wonders of the world – The Great Migration.
Winter is the best time to see these supersized groups in Southern Serengeti. Whereas, June and July are the Best Time To Visit Serengeti to see the migration in the Western Corridor. August and September are perfect months to witness the herds in the northern section of the park.
Below, we’ll look at the monthly breakdown of Visiting Serengeti National Park. This will help you decide when to visit based on what experiences you’d like to have.
From January To March – Lush Landscapes, Calving Season, And Budget Travel!
The rolling grasslands of the Serengeti are a vibrant shade of emerald in January. The game-viewing experience this month is top-notch because there’s hardly any hint of dust.
- The Ndutu plains are great to visit in January because the surroundings are greener compared to other regions.
- This attracts various herbivores to feed on the grass, and you’ll be able to see them up close.
Getting to see the birth of several calves is another highlight of Serengeti. This can be achieved if you visit the park in February. March is the end of the green season as the long rains begin. This is a great month to visit Serengeti if you want to have the park all to yourself and take advantage of discounted costs.
From April To June – Venture To The Lands Where Few Have And Track The Migrating Herds!
April is a great time if you want to go exploring the off-beaten tracks. In May, the migrating herds make their way to the western and central areas of the park. If you want to track them, then May is a great time for a visit.
June marks the start of the peak safari season and the migrating herds start moving to the northern section of Serengeti. There might be some afternoon showers in June, so do pack a raincoat and waterproof zip-lock bags for your electronics.
From July To September – The Peak Season. Witness The Mara River Crossings!
July to September is the perfect time to see the majestic wildebeest migration. The Mara River crossings are a major highlight of this period. Predator action isn’t far behind either, as they wait in patience for their next strike. The circle of life comes full circle in these months, this spectacle is so incredible that it can bring tears to your eyes.
From October To December – End Of The Dry Season But Not The End Of Spectacular Wildlife Viewing!
The short rain showers of the Serengeti begin at this time. Even though the migrating herds have made their way to Kenya, wildlife viewing is still amazing. In December, the cycle of the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration continues and the herds get ready for the breeding season in the Ndutu plains.
Serengeti’s Dry Season Vs. Wet Season
There are two sides to the same coin. And this is also true for the two seasons of Serengeti. Both the dry and wet season have their benefits and drawbacks. So, to provide you with a complete understanding of this, the followings are the pros and cons of the dry and wet seasons.
The Dry Season – June To October
|The thinner vegetation allows for seamless game viewing.||The park can get crowded in the dry season, particularly in the Seronera region.|
|Animals gather around the watering holes.||The temperature tends to get very cold at night. To counter this, we suggest you bring a few pairs of warm clothing essentials.|
|Bright days with lots of sunshine. This will make photography easier and game drives pleasant.|
|There are fewer mosquitoes, so the chances of contracting malaria are very low.|
|More convenient time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.|
The Wet Season – November To May
|This is a great time to see the calving season and the resulting predator action.||The months from March to May are the peak of the wet season.|
|The landscapes are wonderfully vibrant.||The park can get fairly crowded from January to March, mainly in the Seronera region.|
|Fewer tourists and discounted rates.|
|The birdwatching experience is fantastic with the presence of many migratory birds.|
Thus, you’re aware of what the seasons and months of Serengeti National Park offer. Now, you can visit the park based on your preferences and what you’d like to experience.
Serengeti Safari Packing List
Choices on top of choices – this is the case when it comes to packing for Safaris In Tanzania. Boiling things down to the essentials is the way to go. But, figuring out what these essentials are is the main battle.
So, to offer you a conclusive idea of what to pack and not, the following Tanzania Safari Packing List has been created. Thus, make sure you include all the items below in your checklist.
Clothing Essentials – Light, Comfortable, And Breathable!
Colour, and Comfort! You should remember these words when packing for Tanzania Safaris. Moisture-wicking clothes and breathable fabrics are highly advised.
- Lightweight long-sleeved shirts for keeping the sun and insects out
- Fleece pullover
- Lightweight jacket
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Tank tops
- Hooded safari jacket
- Pullover jacket
- Long pants to protect you from insects and tick bites.
- water-resistant hiking pants
- Zip-off safari pants
- moisture-wicking boxers or briefs
Make sure you have these items in your safari clothing checklist. But, do not wear bright-coloured clothes while on safaris in Serengeti. Earth tones and neutral colours are a good idea. Laundry services are available at most of the Serengeti Accommodations, so don’t overpack your luggage with clothes.
Tech Items – Probably One Of The Most Important Ones For You!
Camera, Binoculars, adapters, and a high-capacity power bank are must-pack gadgets for safaris. If you plan to go on night safaris, then a headlamp or a flashlight is recommended.
Pro Packing Advice
For birdwatching enthusiasts, a pair of binoculars is highly advised. 10×50 magnification is recommended. For capturing the best pictures on your safari – you should have a zoom lens with a magnification capacity of 300mm or more.
You should have all the necessary documents in your luggage before you leave for your Serengeti Safari journey. The following are some documents you should ensure are in your luggage:
- Passport and Visa
- Identification Documents
- Travel Insurance Papers
- List of Emergency contact numbers
- Medical Certificates
- Health Surveillance Forms
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
- Credit Cards
- Safari Itinerary
In Tanzania, there’s a risk of malaria in some areas. So, take all the essential safety precautions like taking anti-malaria tablets/tablets and having a DEET-based mosquito repellant.
What Not To Pack?
From the above list, you have gained some insights into packing essentials. But what not to pack for Serengeti safaris is just as important. So, below are some items you should not pack for safaris in Serengeti National Park.
- Camouflage and military-inspired clothing
- Drones. They are banned inside the premises of Serengeti National Park.
- Hairdryers. Most camps and lodges won’t be able to handle the power capacity of hairdryers or hair straighteners.
You should also keep in mind that plastic bags are banned in Tanzania. So, you should not bring them. Although zip-lock bags are permitted, if needed, you can pack them.
Get Connected With The Best Tanzania Safari Operator
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness some of the world’s most incredible wildlife and natural beauty in Tanzania. Start your journey now with the recommended tour operator!
Serengeti Safari Areas
The entire ecosystem of the Serengeti is a region of amazing biodiversity. If you want to have a safari in the park, you must know what things all the different areas have in store. So, the following are the primary five safari areas in Serengeti National Park.
The Seronera Region
The southeastern area of Seronera is the centre of wildlife viewing in the wet season, from December to April. Huge herds of wildebeests gather here in the wet season. This makes for amazing predator action and Seronera is widely known as the predator capital of Tanzania.
Lion sightings along the Seronera River are almost guaranteed. The riverbanks are also home to some of the densest populations of leopards. They can be seen on top of the sausage trees. Some patience combined with a bit of luck may also result in the sight of tree-climbing lions.
The region is also home to black rhinos and many herbivores. The plains around the Kamuyo Hills are a great site to witness cheetahs, elephants, and spotted hyenas.
If you want to experience the essence of classic Tanzania Safari Packages, then heading to the Ndutu Plains will be perfect. These vast open grasslands are home to several animals. Giant herds of wildebeests and zebras can be seen during the wet season.
The Ndutu Plains are also a site of the calving season, where wildebeests give birth in the months from January to March. The woodlands around Lake Ndutu offer shelter to an extensive range of birds with the Fischer’s lovebird being one of the most fascinating sights.
The southeastern plains are surrounded by many clusters of kopjes. They provide a habitat for wildlife like the klipspringer, rock hyrax, leopards, raptors, etc. Lions also utilize these kopjes as a vantage point to survey the plains. The Simba Koppies is a great place to see these majestic kings of the golden savannahs.
Grumeti Game Reserve
In the western reaches of the Serengeti, there lies an undiscovered gem – the Grumeti Game Reserve. The reserve is located in a beautiful and remote corner of the park. And because of this remoteness, the game-viewing experience is heightened.
The number of people who can stay in the camps surrounding the region is limited. So, as a result, the number of crowds is fewer, which is great news for you if you want a private safari experience.
- Only a few areas in the Serengeti offer walking safaris. This makes walking safaris in the Grumeti Game Reserve a special treat.
- You’ll be able to enjoy hours on foot with your safari guide and learn about the birds and smaller animals in the area.
Wildlife viewing in the reserve is great throughout the year. The savannahs in the southern region of the Grumeti River support a range of wildlife. They include wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, and lions. The remote surroundings north of the river are a great place to see cheetahs.
Lobo Hills and the Northern Plains
The northern plains of the Serengeti are undiscovered, beautifully scenic, and remote as compared to the plains of the Southern Serengeti. The region stretches from the Lobo Hills to the Seronera and is characterized by rolling green hills. This landscape is a pleasant departure from the flatter plains of the southern region.
Because the northern plains are much denser in terms of vegetation, animals are harder to spot. But the northern plains have fewer crowds, so it should certainly be considered visiting, despite the drawbacks.
You may even get to experience a game drive without another vehicle in sight. Just picture cruising across the landscape of open grasslands with some dense woodlands sprinkled in! A serene experience for sure.
The Western Corridor
The Serengeti Western Corridor is an expanse of land following the course of the Grumeti River from Central Serengeti out towards Lake Victoria. The foremost feature of the Western Corridor is a pair of rivers – the Grumeti River and the Mbalageti River.
The habitat of this region is mostly a combination of woodlands, dotted with dense whistling thorns and open savannahs. These habitats are home to a substantial range of wildlife like elephants, wildebeests, lions, zebras, and several other species of antelopes.
The Western Corridor is a wonderful portion of the Serengeti that supports a spectrum of resident wildlife all year round. From May to July the migrating herds pass through this region.
A place where the endless plains meet the horizon and the place where travellers witness the endless wildlife! This is the charm of Serengeti National Park. The primary reason for visiting the Serengeti is to see wildlife in an endless and unspoilt natural environment. And rest assured, you will achieve exactly this!
The golden savannahs of the Serengeti are considered one of the greatest wilderness regions on the planet. The clear changeover from the rich flat soils to the hilly soils leads to a varied diversity of vegetation and habitats across the park.
A distinctive habitat is the riverine forests, a preferred spot for crocodiles and hippos. Other common wildlife in the park is long-necked giraffes, and several hooved animals like zebras, topis, impalas, elands, Grant’s gazelles, etc.
All of the big cats are easily witnessed. Lions are practically everywhere around the park. Whereas, cheetahs can be spotted on the southeastern grasslands and leopards are found lazing on top of acacia trees along the Seronera River.
The Big Five
The Big Five define the essence of what ultimate Tanzania Safaris are all about. The imposing cape buffaloes, the king of the African savannah – lions, the elusive leopards, the gentle giants – elephants, and the rare rhinoceros are all big five members.
A question that naturally arises is why these animals were categorized into the big five. This is because the term big five was coined by colonial hunters. It doesn’t refer to the size of the animals but because they proved to be the ones that were the most difficult to hunt.
Seeing the big five in their natural habitat is undoubtedly incredible. It’s going to be an experience that will penetrate your memories and make a home there so that you will never forget this amazing spectacle.
Lions – Kings Of The Golden Savannahs!
Seeing a pride of lions is an experience that will leave you with an unforgettable memory. And, there’s some good news in store! The Serengeti is home to the largest density of lions across the whole African continent numbering around 3,500 in over 300 prides.
Lions tend to live in prides because they’re very sociable. In a group, the females hunt more than the males. A favourite activity of the lions is snoozing under a tree and you can see the tree-climbing lions in the Seronera region.
Prince Of The Darkness – Elusive Leopards!
With a blend of classy grace and an amazing coat of fur, leopards are among the shyest and most elusive members of the big five. They would be brilliant at hide and seek, we think. Mainly because if they don’t want to be seen, they can be perfectly camouflaged.
But, the good news is that they can be seen on top of sausage trees in the Serengeti. Just head to the Seronera region and you’ll be set, just don’t forget to look up!
The Imposing And Mighty Cape Buffaloes!
Buffaloes can be seen around the different waterholes of Serengeti National Park. The gaze of cape buffaloes is something to wonder at. Their eyes will stare right into your soul. There’s a good chance of seeing these mighty beasts as there are herds of them in the Serengeti.
With Size Comes Gentleness, The African Gentle Giants – Elephants!
The elephants of the Serengeti roam the endless plains and disappear into the dense woodlands. They can be seen across the park as there are over 7000 of them. You can even catch sight of them right from your Serengeti Accommodations, as they quench their thirst by drinking from waterholes.
Prehistoric Heavyweights – The Endangered Rhinoceros!
Even though the population of rhinos in the Serengeti are less compared to other African destinations, sightings are still possible. Conservation efforts for the rhino population have gone a long way to protect this wonderful species.
Female rhinos only give birth every five years, this makes them one of the rarest species of wildlife on our planet. But alongside one of our experienced guides, you might get lucky and see them out on the Serengeti Bush.
Even if you’re not a fan of birdwatching, believe us, you’ll become an eager one after you have the Serengeti birdwatching experience. Home to more than 500 species of birds, the park is indeed a birdwatching haven. Some of the major highlights include the secretary bird, the Kori bustard, the green and yellow coloured Fischer’s lovebird, etc.
The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem hosts five endemic bird species that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
If you want to have the ultimate birdwatching experience in the Serengeti, then a visit between November and April is recommended. This is the nesting time for the resident species. Moreover, North African and European migratory birds are also present.
If you want to have an extensive birdwatching adventure on Safari In Tanzania, then combing your Serengeti Trip with Lake Manyara is a brilliant choice.
A Bit Of Small Talk!
No one is a huge fan of stinging and biting insects. But, they do play a critical role in the ecosystem of the Serengeti. Our guides will be more than happy to explain to you the role and importance of insects to the Serengeti ecosystem in more detail. Some primary insect groups are grasshoppers, termites, moths, butterflies, moths, dung beetles, and ants.
The Great Migration Serengeti
The race of life for the herbivores of the Serengeti! This is the greatest show on our planet, and you’ll get the opportunity to witness this stunning spectacle on Safaris in Serengeti.
The expedition of the main cast in the migration – the two million wildebeests begins in Southern Serengeti. This happens after the mass calving season, in the months of January and March. This is the favourite season for all of the safari-goers and the atmosphere during this time is filled with new life and exciting action.
Reason for the Migration
The 800-kilometre journey of the supersized herds of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles is the largest mammal migration on Earth. The timing of the migration corresponds with the wet season when the short grass plains turn a lush green.
- The region is much safer because the shorter grass offers a great place for calving.
- This is because predators can be easily spotted, so if the animals sense any danger, they have plenty of time to run away.
- But, the plains soon dry up and the wildebeests have to move in search of greener meadows in the Western Corridor.
Serengeti’s northern ecosystem receives the highest amount of rainfall, and yet the grasses are the least nutritious. This is the dry season getaway for the herds, which is until the grass transforms greener again. The result is a clockwise movement from the south, west, north, and finally back again to the south.
Mapping out the Great Migration
The picture of the circle of life is represented perfectly in Serengeti’s Great Migration. The expedition begins in the southern region of the Serengeti. This is when the calves are born. Predators like hyenas and lions are seen constantly looking for prey, and tons of calves are born within just a few weeks. This predator-prey interaction is one of the most enthralling moments you’ll ever witness.
The drought arrives in May and the herd moves north, towards the Masai Mara in Kenya grazing down the high grass. They’re quickly followed by zebras and gazelles.
- The migration comes with a risk factor as well and crossing the rivers is no cakewalk.
- First, the herds come face-to-face with more than 3000 crocodiles waiting patiently in the river.
- Then, the lion population come to the forefront. Despite the abundance of hooved wildlife in the region, life doesn’t come easy for these big cats in this challenging landscape.
- Seeing a group of lions cooperating to hunt down a wildebeest is a sight that you’ll only get to see once in a lifetime.
With the beginning of the short rains in late October, the migrating herds make their way back to the Serengeti. And, by December the herds trek past the Seronera region to finally return to their calving grounds. Thus, migration comes full circle.
Diving deeper into the Great Migration!
Although some variations happen at different points, the migration in Serengeti follows a fairly predictable annual cycle. This is dictated by the local rainfall patterns. The following periods are the cycles of the Great Migration.
From December to April
The main calving grounds are in the Seronera region. Wildebeests stick around this area until the long rains (around late April and early May). The great news is that this section of the Serengeti is easily accessible and the surroundings are wonderfully vibrant.
February is the calving season in the Ndutu plains. Several wildebeests and zebras give birth to calves and this spectacle works as a magnet for the predators.
Then, in late March and early April, the herds move again in search of greener grasses. Witnessing the actual migration in this period may be a bit challenging, but you’ll for sure see large herds on the move.
From May to July
These months see the wildebeests getting ready for their 800-kilometre-long trek. This is the time when you’ll get the chance to see one of the greatest phenomena on the planet. I.e. more than a million wildebeests marching in a column up to 40 km long.
During this journey, the herds move towards the Western Corridor. This is where they face the major challenge- crossing the Grumeti River. Many animals perish here, as they are awaited by the deadliest crocodiles. This is the circle of life where the weak ones have no place in the natural course of the world.
From August to September
After tackling the battle of the Grumeti River, the herds move further north and come against the greatest battle for survival. This is the Mara River Crossings. So many iconic pictures of this spectacle have been taken here. Whilst, on safaris in Serengeti, you’ll witness these herds tumble into the great Mara River where some of the deadliest crocodiles await attack.
After the Mara crossings, the herds move towards the northwestern plains and eventually to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. An interesting thing that happens is about half of the herd stays on the Tanzanian side, in the Mara Serengeti region.
In October and November
This period sees the herd cross the northern plains and Lobo hills region of the Serengeti. This area is rarely visited, so if you want to experience the Great Migration in complete exclusivity, then this would be the time.
The herds return to the short grass plains of the calving grounds around the Ndutu region in late November. And from here, the Great Migration begins all over again.
Going Beyond The Great Migration
Witnessing the greatest show on Earth will be an awe-inspiring sight, that’s for sure. But, many visitors overlook the fact that Serengeti National Park has many other things to offer too. Below are some examples.
The culture inside the Serengeti National Park is just as rich as the wildlife. It is a blend of impacts. The impacts that the native tribal communities have had on the park for years. The culture isn’t just limited to humans, but also human ancestors (Australopithecus Afarensi), they lived around the area for almost 4 million years.
Today, the Serengeti is still home to many indigenous communities. One of the most famous is the Maasai people. The Maasais are popular and unique because of their long-preserved culture.
- The pastoralist Maasai communities inhabit the eastern region of the Serengeti ecosystem.
- This includes the Narok district and the Lolindo area.
The Maasai communities have stuck to their traditional way of life, making them a symbol of Serengeti and Tanzania’s culture. You too can experience their way of life on Serengeti safaris.
A safari in Serengeti National Park wouldn’t be complete without meeting the charming Maasai people. Tanzania Cultural Tours will let you immerse in the fascinating way of life of these noble communities. You’ll get opportunities to visit a traditional boma, village huts (known as manyattas), and perhaps even a local school or clinic.
Moreover, you’ll get to take part in other activities too. This includes the Maasai cultural dances, also known as the dance of seeing tomorrow.
The Bond Between People And The Land
Going back several years, the Maasai people lived in harmony with the wildlife and the surroundings of the Serengeti. And they have to this day followed in the same footsteps.
Although, along with the advancement of life, they have also adapted to the modern world. Today, they are learning how to trade their crafts, grow crops, enhance their skills and cooperate with the tourism sector of Tanzania.
The Maasai communities have rightfully established their place as drivers, trackers, guides, and cooks. This helps to bring in revenue for the government and provides training opportunities for the younger generation.
Conservation Efforts – To Protect The Natural Ecosystem For Generations To Come!
The survival of wildlife is a matter of utmost importance! And to make sure that future generations will enjoy these precious inheritances, conservation is a must.
Tourism helps to generate international awareness of conservation issues. Whereas, the presence of tourists will also help in preventing illegal poaching activities and help park management with the game management work.
All the national parks in Tanzania are managed by TANAPA. In the Serengeti, TANAPA works closely with the Serengeti Conservation Project organization. Their primary goal is conservation. They are dedicated towards the preservation of the rich natural heritage of Serengeti National Park. They also provide secure breeding grounds where the diverse flora and fauna of the Serengeti can flourish.
Furthermore, ecotourism is also on the rise in Tanzania and TANAPA is committed to low-impact, sustainable visitation that will protect the natural environment from irreversible damage.
This includes closely monitoring human activities, regulating the development, disposing of waste in a controlled and careful manner, and dividing visitors and facilities. All of this combines to ensure that there’s a minimization of the human imprint on the environment.
Safari Activities In Serengeti National Park
Endless golden savannahs, majestic creatures, the greatest show on our planet, and some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever get the pleasure to witness! All of this and much more await you on Safaris In Serengeti National Park.
Going on a Safari In Serengeti is an intensely personal experience and you should indulge in experiences that excite you the most. So, to know and decide which ones you’d like to do, the following are the Serengeti Safari Activities you can do during your Safari In Tanzania.
Game Drives – The Perfect Way To Witness The Diverse Wildlife And Landscapes Of The Serengeti!
Picture driving across the rich savannahs of the Serengeti on a safari jeep. While you’re surrounded by mountains and craters.
Right next to your safari vehicle, there’s a gathering of wildebeests. After driving for a while, you happen upon a pride of lions.
This scene looks right out of a movie. But, you get to experience this cinematic experience right on your safari in the wildlife kingdom of Serengeti National Park.
Get An Aerial View Of The Rich Savannah Plains – On Hot Air Balloon Safaris!
As the name implies, the Serengeti is quite a massive area of land. So, to see a large portion and get an extensive view of the park, Hot Air Balloon Safaris are a great choice. They typically begin early in the morning and you will get an aerial view of the sunrise peeking out from under the mountains, and large herds of wildebeests walking underneath.
The panoramic view from up above is simply stunning. After your ride, you’ll get to also enjoy a glass of champagne and a delicious breakfast. Isn’t that some way to start your day?
The Great Wildebeest Migration – Catch The Thrilling Moments Of Survival!
Nothing will make you stand in awe and appreciate the complexity of life more than the great show on our planet! The circle of life comes to the forefront and you’ll observe the natural course of life and the cruel beauty of nature.
The migrating herds of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles make their journey with predators patiently waiting for them. They face tough challenges from the deadliest crocodiles in the rivers and on land the king of the savannahs awaits their arrival.
Venture In Search Of Adventure At The Moru Kopjes!
In the middle of the Serengeti, there’s a place where you can see enormous round rocks rising from the land. These are the Moru Kopjes and they are dispersed around the Serengeti. They provide water and shade for the wildlife across the park. The kopjes also serve as a vantage point for lions and other predators.
Game drives across this landscape will make you feel as though you’re in the Lion King.
Go On Cultural Tours And Learn The Way Of Life Of The Native Communities!
Safaris In Serengeti aren’t just about game viewing! It’s also a glimpse into the lifestyle of the native tribes. Cultural excursions will take you across the attractions of the diverse heritage and will offer opportunities to interact with several of the native Maasai people.
Many of the bomas (settlements of the Maasai people) are happy to invite visitors and share their way of lifestyle and enriching stories. You will be able to learn about the Maasai customs and traditions. Or you may even purchase authentic arts and crafts made by the local communities.
Game Drives Experience In The Serengeti
Game viewing across the landscapes of the Serengeti is primarily carried out on game drives. This will be your front seat to catch the sight of the Great Migration and see animals up close from a 4WD safari vehicle.
Knowing about the different private concessions of the Serengeti is a must for optimal game drives. All of the safari areas of the park offer their unique share of experiences.
- The Ndutu plains capture the crux of classic game drives. The area is also a site of the calving season.
- The Seronera region is renowned for being the predator capital of the Serengeti and offers a great wildlife viewing experience.
- If you want exclusivity, then head to the remote corners of the park – the Northern Serengeti and Lobo.
Game drives in the park begin just as the first sunrays spread across the endless meadows, illuminating the surroundings. Morning game drives are an ideal way to start your day and explore the exciting possibilities that the endless plains offer.
You’ll see cubs plating with one another just as the sun rises, hippos lazing about by a pool of water, and a leopard slowly chasing after something, all in a span of 3-4 hours in the morning.
- Hot Air Balloon Safaris also start in the morning.
- This is an enthralling adventure that’ll let you gaze down across the surroundings and get amazing panoramic views.
Evening game drives in the Serengeti start just after a light afternoon snack. After, that, you’ll head out on a safari vehicle and see various animals preparing to go in their hides. A great feature of these game drives is the stunning backdrops. The gorgeous sunsets will make you feel like you’re in the Lion King and the skies will be bursting with bright orange hues.
Accommodations In Serengeti National Park
The land of the Serengeti can be a blend of wilderness and comfort. A crisp linen king-size bed? For sure! A viewing balcony to see the animals crossing by? You have it! Mouth-watering delicacies served under the starry night skyline? This is the place!
- A bag full of safari memories needs a cosy bed for the night. And the accommodations of the Serengeti deliver!
- With choices like eco-friendly campgrounds, tented camps and lodges, luxury safari lodges, and mobile camping.
We’d love to help you set up a base away from home that offers experiences that will be everlasting. So, the following are some recommendations about Serengeti Accommodations:
Embalaki Camp – A Place Where Humanity Meets The Authentic Natural Wilderness!
This is a great choice for budget travellers and backpackers looking to experience the authentic natural wonder of the Serengeti. The camp is created to offer great amenities while you relax in the comfort of your tented lodging.
There are night bushfires set up outside the camp as well. This is where you can unwind while gazing at millions of stars in the clear skyline of the Serengeti.
Thus, just let go and appreciate the beauty of the Serengeti Bush while living off the natural clock!
Wayo Africa Camps – Where A Touch Of Luxury Meets Immersive Safari Experiences!
Just a notch above the budget choices, this camp may be light on the ground, because it’s eco-friendly, but it’s high on experience. This Serengeti Green-tented camp offers brilliant amenities. Such as non-stop safari adventures, stunning natural sceneries, sundowners and bush dinners.
Experience the mixture of immersive safaris and memorably luxurious rooms, right in the land where the human race began!
Four Seasons Safari Lodge – Your Luxurious Refuge In The Serengeti Savannahs!
This is probably one of the most magnificent safari lodges in the savannahs of the Serengeti. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line luxury safari lodge, then venture no further, this is it right here! The lodge sits right next to a large watering hole where several animals gather in all four seasons.
So, enjoy sundowners on your deck and spot a family of elephants drinking water and bathing. Or satisfy the adventurist in you and go on game drives and hot air balloon safaris. Whatever you’d like to do, a refreshing spa will be waiting where you can re-energize yourself for the next adventure.
Budget-friendly options to Find Out during your Serengeti Tanzania Safari
|Budget Accommodations||Budget Accommodations|
|Embalakai Authentic Camp||Ang’ata Serengeti Camp|
|Serengeti Safari Lodge||Serengeti Wild Camp|
|Tanzania Wild camps||Bougainvillea Group|
|Tanzania Bush Camp||Tortillis|
Luxury options to Find Out during your Serengeti Tanzania Safari….
|Midrange Accommodations||Midrange Accommodations|
|Karibu Camps||Sopa Lodge|
Midrange options to Find Out during your Serengeti Tanzania Safari….
|Luxury Accommodations||Luxury Accommodations|
|One Nature||Four Seasons|
|One Nature||Four Seasons|
Key Takeaways Of The Serengeti
The endless plains of the Serengeti are teeming with all kinds of natural splendours that you can imagine. Want panoramic landscapes? You’ve got it! Some of the most diverse wildlife ever? No worries! Luxurious accommodations and amenities? It’s covered!
A welcoming place for couples, groups, backpackers, and families alike – the Serengeti is perfect for everyone! So, with that in mind, the following are some of the major takeaways of Safaris in Serengeti National Park:
- A place where wildlife flourishes, with over 2 million hooved animals, 400 lions, 1000 leopards, 500 cheetahs, and more than 500 species of birds.
- Picture the perfect destination for safaris – with exhilarating game drives, and walking safaris!
- The largest wildlife spectacle on our planet awaits – The Great Wildebeest Migration!
- A private and remote safari – in the undiscovered plains of Grumeti Game Reserve.
- Unparalleled aerial views of the surroundings of the Serengeti – On Hot Air Balloon Safaris!
- Visit the site of our ancient ancestors, the cradle of humanity- the Olduvai Gorge!
- See the lazy giants bathing, feeding, and relaxing – at the Hippos Retina Pool!
- The flowing rivers, towering mountains and gorges of the Seronera River Valley.
- Experience the way of life of the semi-nomadic Maasai communities – On cultural tours.
- Get transported right into the Lion King – on a visit to the Moru Kopjes.
- Witness the calving season in the Ndutu Plains – and appreciate the discovery of new life!
- Exceptional birdwatching experience – see several endemic birds along with the secretary bird and Kori bustards.
- Spot the wildlife of the Serengeti when it’s most active – on morning safaris!
- The life force of the wildlife – the rich flora of Serengeti. See acacia trees, sausage trees, as well as umbrella trees, and yellow-fever trees on game drives.
These are just the tip of the amazing takeaways of Serengeti National Park. Visit these endless plains and discover what lies in store for you! Archive them into your dream board and make cherished memories.
Get Connected With The Best Tanzania Safari Operator
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness some of the world’s most incredible wildlife and natural beauty in Tanzania. Start your journey now with the recommended tour operator!
Begin planning your Tanzania Honeymoon
Tanzania is unquestionably one of the very best destinations for an African Honeymoon. It has it all for a safari and beach honeymoon – fantastic Indian Ocean havens a short flight away from amazing parks with plenty of big five and predator action. We understand that your Tanzania honeymoon needs to be a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience and absolutely perfect. With our in-depth knowledge of the country and many decades of travel planning experience, we can ensure that it will be.
Tanzania Honeymoon Itineraries:
Horse and Camel rides safaris
Horse and Camel rides safaris are a specialized product aimed at experienced riders, with the average safari being at least a week in duration. If you are a competent rider, there are few better ways to experience Africa’s beauty and wilderness than getting on a horse and heading out into the wilderness.
If you are a rider going on safari in Africa, among a few better ways to experience Africa’s bush and scenic places is on a galloping horse out into the wilderness or through the lush vegetation of Africa.
Horse and Camel ride safaris are specialized products aimed to animal ride lovers, with an average safari being at least a week in duration to half day basis depending with visitors’ interests and time Horse and camel rides are available from a few camps and centres in Tanzania, for all standards of riders the experience is rewarding as it allows visitors to approach the wildlife much more closely than usual.
The best part about these adventures is that game animals are not afraid of Horses and camels in the same way they are of cars or pedestrians. There are a few superb areas for horse riding in Tanzania.
In the Northern circuit, Manyara Ranch Conservancy is a private concession that lies between Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks where Horse rides is professionally organized. Everything about Manyara ranch is a treat for the senses bordering on magical setting. From the huge wildlife families of elephant, wildebeest, zebra, Lesser Kudu, Impala, Grant and Thomson Gazelle, dikdik, Ostriches, jackals, hyena, leopard, lion, cheetah, eland, giraffe, waterbuck and several birds species (an unbelievable collection of birds – especially brightly coloured love birds) wandering in the 44,000-acre piece of land.
The abundance of animals, the Maasai warriors wandering around to protect visitors and cattle from the wild animals, is a bush experience that is more authentic. The Horse ride is complimented by the sundowner drinks in a different magical place each evening creates unforgettable memories for visitors. The best times to visit the ranch for Horse riding are between June and February although Horses are stalled at the ranch all year round.
Horse riding is now conducted in a number of National Parks; in Arusha National Park, visitors explore the slopes of Mount Meru with lush mountain forests and sweeping views of the surrounding scenic places on a Horse back. Horse riding in Arusha National Park offers visitors a full benefit of the knowledge of the wildlife, bird life, forestry, waterfalls and many more. Following game trails stimulates visitors as one gets closer and interacts with the wildlife and then learns much more about it.
Specialized on Camel riding; Mkuru Camel safaris are among the most fascinating adventures in Northern Tanzania. The Camel Safaris are organized from the camel camp located in Mkuru Maasai village; from a few hours to a week long expedition to Oldoinyo Lengai, Ngorongoro highland and Lake Natron. A trip on a camel back through the Maasai land is magical, visitors get a great chance to experience wildlife, Maasai people ‘day to day life’ and the beautiful scenery Horse and camel riding adventures are also organized within and around West Kilimanjaro, Usa River, Meserani Snake Park and Lake Natron area.
In Dar-es- salaam there is a “Horse club” which offer horse riding activities south of the city along the Indian Ocean. With horse club visitors will enjoy low tide rides along the shoreline for fresh air under the moonlight alone or with friends.
Hot air balloon Safaris
Scenic Helicopter Tours
The Helicopter Tours in Tanzania is very special and adventurous activity and suitable for Photographers and Clients who want to observe the Scenic views from the Helicopter on air. We offer jaw-dropping views with our helicopter safaris in Tanzania . As it stands our helicopter safaris in Tanzania generally take place in northern & Southern Tanzania.