Serengeti National Park is probably the world’s most famous national park. It’s known for it’s great plains and huge population of predators, especially lions. On top of that, Serengeti is home to one of the largest annual animal migrations on our planet; the great wildebeest migration.
Because of this (and numerous other reasons), Serengeti has become the safari highlight for many wildlife enthousiasts. The park has grown substantially more popular after appearing several times in nature documentaries like Planet Earth, BBC and many more.
Serengeti National Park lies in the most northern part of Tanzania, bordering Kenya and the Maasai Mara. The park covers a vast area of around 15.000 square kilometers featuring huge savanna’s, mountains, forests and many rivers.
There are numerous reasons why Serengeti National Park is among the world’s most renowned wildlife parks. From its impressive landscapes to its huge herds of animals. It’s said that there are more than 3.5 million animals living in the area. The national park is one of the few places left where you can find vast, untouched areas where animals can live freely, unaffected by human affairs.
Thanks to the diverse ecosystem and large habitats of the Serengeti, it can support a vast amount of wildlife. Here herbivores roam free in great numbers, feasting off Serengeti’s nutricious landscapes.
Due to the abundance of prey species, predators appear in great numbers as well. It’s said that over 3000 lions live in this ecosystem, making it the largest population of lion’s in Africa. The lions aren’t the only predators either, they share the area with many more cat like creatures and other predators. Serengeti is home to a great number of leopards and cheetah’s as well as hyena’s, wild dogs and many other species.
The Great Migration is the annual migration of wildebeest, along with other grazers such as zebra’s and gazelles. Each year they migrate from the Ndutu region of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, through the great plains of Serengeti National Park, to the Maasai Mara in southern Kenya.
Over two million individuals make the earth tremble as they migrate through Tanzania’s lands in search of fresh food. The migration is the largest annual animal migration in the world, making it a spectacular event to attend.
Generally the best time to visit Serengeti National Park is from January to February or from June through September. This is based on the movement of the Great Migration, which gathers in Ndutu for calving season in the first period. In the second period people hope to see the great Mara river crossing in the northern parts of Serengeti National Park.
However, you will need at least 3 days safari to get back and forth from the northern part of the Serengeti, making it quite costly. So, the best time for you… really depends on the amount of free time you have and of course, your budget.
The Great Migration can be seen year round, but is more scattered during the rain season. This is considered the least popular period due to the animals being harder to find and chances of getting stuck in the mud. Certain camps and campsites are also closed during the rain season.
A short list of the ‘most wanted’ animals in Serengeti National Park and the chances of spotting them. Some animals are (almost) unique to each park or only appear in certain areas. It’s important to let us know your wildlife preferences, so we can give you the best chance of spotting your favorite animal.
The numbers listed are an estimation of how often we’ve seen these animals ourselves based on our visits. Some animals we’ve seen 100%, everytime we’ve visited. However, it’s not a zoo, so there’s always a chance you miss an animal.
Feel like visiting yet?
Seronera is the most popular and well known area of Serengeti National Park. Seronera is often seen as ‘the heart of Serengeti’ and occupies the central-southern area of the national park.
The area consists mainly of the so iconic African plains and savannahs and is home to many lions. The chances of spotting a leopard are also quite high. Seronera area offer the complete package for many wildlife enthousiasts and offers that ‘authentic safari experience’, making it such a popular safari destination.
Seronera is also the most popular area of Serengeti National Park, as it is quite easy to visit compared to other parts of the park. This area can be visited year round, but can get a bit crowded in high season due to its popularity.
Northern Serengeti National Park is mostly known for ‘the great river crossing’. Here you may find the so famous wildebeest crossing of the Mara river between July and October.
It’s a long drive and the area is quite remote, so unless you’re visiting in the river crossing season you will have the area to yourself. Sometimes the only thing you might encounter there is wildlife, as they’re more common than humans there.
Being so remote is a dream for most wildlife enthousiasts, but it comes with a price. Spending several days in Serengeti National Park is not cheap.
The Ndutu Region forms an area on the border of southern Serengeti National Park and the northern section of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Ndutu is made up of rolling grasslands with alkaline lakes. The combination of the lakes and the surrounding acacia woodlands make a great habitat for flocks of flamingos and thousands of other birds.
The biggest draw to the Ndutu region is around January and February. During this timeperiod the calving season of the Great Migration takes place here. Thousands and thousands of baby animals are born everyday during the calving season. This also attracts many predadors such as cheetah, lion and hyena who’re seeing opportunity for an easy prey. After calving, many young animals can be seen trekking along with their parents to the northern parts of Serengeti National Park.
The prime game viewing spot in the Ndutu Region is around Lake Ndutu, where enormous herds of the wildebeest, zebra and other animals gather between December and April to graze and calve.
The western parts of Serengeti National Park are in comparison seldom explored by tourists. Western Serengeti is commonly called the Western Corridor as the area takes the shape of a giant valley (running east to west). The whole western region covers an area of 1,300 square miles.
Some of the highlights of the Western Corridor are the Great Migration crossing the Grumeti river and spotting the Great Migration moving northward from May – July. On the western rivers you may find huge crocodiles lying on the riverbeds and spot the endangered Colobus monkeys lurking in the forests. You’ll also find large herds of elephants and giraffes in this area.
Serengeti National Park has a subtropical climate. It can be hot during the days, but the nights are often quite cool, offering a pleasant night of sleep. The average temperature is around 28 degrees during the day. Serengeti knows various seasons. A dry and relatively cool season from May to August, a warmer and still quite dry season in September and October, and a rainy and quite hot season from November to April.
Serengeti National Park offers more than ‘just’ wildlife spotting. There’s quite a few amazing activities you can undertake if you’re on your way to the park.
For more info check out the activities on the right or contact us.
Here you will find some our favorite accommodations in Serengeti National Park, available in multiple price ranges, from budget to luxury. Of course there’s also the option of camping, which isn’t mentioned in the accommodations listed down below.
We select our accommodations on a few criteria that guarantee the best possible experience. Some of these criteria are most scenic views, unique (efficient) and adventurous locations and of course the wildlife-experience!
It’s also possible to fly in from Arusha Airport to Serengeti, which takes about 1 hour. Your Arusha Trips guide will be waiting upon your arrival with our safari vehicle at the Seronera airstrip.
Note that you’re only allowed to drive in the parks between 6am and 6pm.