Serengeti National Park located approximately 320 kilometers north-west of Arusha is a large national park within Tanzania covering an area of 14,763 sq. km. This park is situated 320 kilometers northwest of Arusha, on the high plateau located between the Ngorongoro-highlands, Tanzania and Kenya borders and then to the west extending towards Lake Victoria. In 1921, the Serengeti was declared a protected area and by 1951, it was gazetted as a national park, making it the Tanzania’s oldest national park and without a doubt among the world’s most famous wildlife sanctuaries. Fittingly named the ‘Serengeti’ a word that means “endless plains” in the local Maasai language, you will not fail to notice the vastness of these plains on arrival.
The Maasai people, who for centuries have grazed their livestock in the vast Serengeti plains call this area the Siringitu, “a place where the land-moves forever”. Nonetheless, the Serengeti is most renowned for the exceptional migration that takes places every year following the rain patterns and the availability of pastures. The vast Serengeti plains which are more of an endless area of wilderness extending to the horizon in all the different directions! This vastness serves as home to one of the largest populations of wild animals in the whole world. Important to mention is that this National wildlife sanctuary is one of the most prominent National parks in Tanzania and is well traveled by various tourists from all corners of the world.
How to reach Serengeti National Park
The amazing Serengeti National park can be accessed either by road transport or air transport.
For those using air transport; there are charter and Scheduled flights connecting from Arusha, Mwanza, and Lake Manyara.
If driving, you can connect to the Serengeti from the Ngorongoro Crater, or Arusha, or Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Park.
Wildlife in Serengeti National Park
Tarangire national park is home to wide variety of wildlife among which are a variety of antelopes such as Patterson’s elands, klipspringers, dik diks, in addition to rhinos, giraffes, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, wildebeests, gazelles, hyenas and lions. There are also a number of different bird species living within this park, and a bird list of approximately 500 different species has been recorded here.
When to visit
The climate in Serengeti National park can be generalized as warm and dry. In March, April and May, it experiences a tropical rainy season, while in October and November are the short rains. After these rains, the Serengeti is blossoming and green, however this is shortly followed with a dry season that dries up most of the vegetation, consequently resulting into most of the animals migrating to different areas in search for water. The park experiences the coldest temperatures from the month of June to October.
Activities / What to do in Serengeti National Park
Be part of our guided bird watching tours during which you will have an opportunity to see a great profusion of different bird species. Our bird watching tours normally begin early morning and are lead by guides who are very knowledgeable about the birdlife surviving in this park.
Exciting Walking Safaris:
Walking Safaris within the Serengeti are guided and led by the local guides. During these you will visit the nearby villages and also interact with the local people as well as get a chance to interact with them. You will see their traditional ways of life including their unique traditional maasai style of dressing, traditional cooking methods, cultures and so much more.
Hot Air Balloon rides over the Serengeti:
These begin very early in the morning offering you an aerial view of the vast park. During these you will have an opportunity to glide over the wide plains crowded with numerous different animals. You will also be able to enjoy views of the rising sun. After this you will enjoy a bush breakfast.
Game watching / game drives are conducted very early in the morning or in the afternoon in powerful four wheel drive vehicles that can take on the terrain as you explore the different trails within the park during these you will be able to encounter various wild animals such as zebras, wildebeests, Patterson’s elands, klipspringers, dik diks, in addition to rhinos, giraffes, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, gazelles, hyenas and lions among many others.
The Serengeti is a perfect place for not only wildlife adventures but offers a lot more than you can expect. Below I have highlighted some of the safaris you can take in the vast wildlife haven.
Weather in Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is a very popular safari destination not only because of its rich wildlife, but also because of the very conducive weather nearly all year round. It experiences both the wet and dry seasons as highlighted below
The Dry season
The best time to visit and explore the Serengeti is during the dry season which starts in June, through July, August, September and October. During this time, it shines throughout the days and the animals are very active. The average maximum temperature in this season is thirty (30) degrees Celsius while the average minimum is fifteen (15) degrees Celsius with hardly any rainfall; so you are advised to carry with you sunscreen lotion or cream.
During this season the vegetation is thin hence clearer views of wildlife however one thing that you should keep in mind is that this is the peak tourism season which implies that the tourist crowd is normally big.
The Wet / Rainy season
The wet season is the is the off- peak season; call it the least traveled season in Tanzania. This begins in November and lasts all through to May. However, the park received the highest amount of rainfall in March, April as well as May heavy rainstorms as well as low visibility for the wild animals; definitely not the best time to enjoy a Safari in Tanzania.
On the other hand, just before the wettest months, the vegetation is short, green and very beautiful. The average temperature is 90mm while the temperatures range between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. At this time, there are very few tourists but I must mention the trails in the park are muddy and slippery.
There are numerous bugs and insects here so don’t forget to pack your insect repellent.
Best Time to See Wildlife
The Serengeti is best known for Africa’s “Big Five” animals which actually were once the prized animals for trophy-hunters. These are the most desired animals to see on a Tanzania Safari. Many tourists are commonly seen hunting down the large animals such as lions, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes and leopards with their cameras to take nice shots.
For those of you interested in seeing wildebeests, the best time to see them is during the calving season which starts in January, through February and March.
Thanks to the great conservation works of the Tanzania wildlife conservation authorities, the number of elephants within the Serengeti has greatly increased and you are assured of seeing one during your safari here.
Best Time to See the Annual-Wildebeest Migration
Each year, the short rains of November in Serengeti mark the start of one among the most marvelous wildlife spectacles in the worlds. Over two million hooves match creating a cloud of dust as they progress across the Serengeti plains looking for fresh pastures.
Close to 2 million wildebeest plus thousands of zebras and gazelles traverse an annual route in a dust-raising long column which may extend to close to 40 kilometers and this is known as the ‘Annual Serengeti Wildebeest Migration’, which is one of the greatest shows Mother nature offers to us.
Important to note is that it is not only tourists that pursue closely this Serengeti Wildebeest-Migration; several predators follow the large herd closely as there is an abundance of food for them to prey on. Among these are numerous lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas as well as crocodile, and these entirely making the long journey more dramatic.
The circular pace of nature well plays out in one among her most splendid fields as thousands of wild animals live while others die to the gulp of air offered by the different Serengeti seasons.
Because of the limited small amount and availability of permanent water in the vast Serengeti plains, the migration herd is closely attached to the patterns of rainfall. Consequently, the migration trails a somewhat predictable cycle, although the precise timing certainly varies from one year to another.
For tourists interested in watching the annual wildebeest migration, the best time to do so is from June through July, August, September and October. During the migration, nearly two million animals match across the Serengeti plains into Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve.
If lucky, you may be able to see the dramatic scenes as the large predators such as lions and crocodiles make a catch of these wildebeests as their prey. Fortunately the safari guideS are very knowledgeable of the movement of this herd so they will be able to guide you to the best places to see these animals in action.
The busiest time in this National park is when the herd is within the Serengeti. There is a very large number of tourists within the park and the cost of accommodation as well as a Safari in the Serengeti is generally higher, so we recommend that you make your safari reservation earlier to guarantee availability.
in general, the Serengeti National Park is beautiful all year round. Besides the few months of rain, for most of the year it is sunny and the weather is very pleasant and conducive for viewing wildlife. A Tanzania safari in the Serengeti will offer you the ultimate reward of watching wildlife in their natural habitat.
Where to Stay / Accommodation in Serengeti National Park
Accommodation within the Serengeti is as diverse as the different types of animals living within these beautiful rolling plains. Accommodation facilities are found inside and around the park. These include romantic tented camps, exclusive safari lodges, mid-range safari lodges, private villas as well as budget safari lodges.
The Serengeti offers a diversity of accommodation facilities tailored to suit your preference and budget. There are beautifully fashioned lodges for safaris in Tanzania that well blend with the surrounding environment, mobile tented-camps, luxurious villas, as well as colonial-designed retreats in which you can reside and enjoy the utmost luxury you desire. Among the most recommended accommodation facilities are: the Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, Olakira Camp, Serengeti Bushtops Camp and Singita Explore.
Serengeti Serena Lodge
Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Makoma Hill Private Luxury Camp
Turners Spring Serengeti
Seronera Private Luxury Camp
Serengeti Private Classic Camp
Seronera Sametu Camp
Lemala Seronera Camp
Bilila Lodge Serengeti
Kusuni Tented Lodge
Lemala Ndutu Luxury Camp
Lake Masek Lodge
Olduvai Tented Lodge
Ndutu Lodge Serengeti
Serengeti Migration Camp
Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Kleins Camp Serengeti
Lemala Mara River Camp Serengeti
Buffalo Luxury Camp
Serengeti Bush Tops Camp
Mawe Ninga Camp Serengeti
Kirawira Tented Lodge
Grumeti River Tented Lodge
Mbalageti Tented Lodge
Serengeti Soroi Lodge
Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp