Covering a vast area in northwestern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is an absolute must-see. With over 70 mammals, including huge populations of lion and other predators and over 500 bird species, this is wildlife viewing paradise. Beyond the incredible Great Migration that moves through the area seasonally, this is an incredibly beautiful park with diverse flora and fauna.
The Serengeti National Park is part of the vast Serengeti ecosystem which covers about 30,000 km² in northern Tanzania. The ecosystem includes a number of other parks, including the Maasai Mara in Kenya, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas. The national park itself covers just under 15,000 km² of the area.
This huge area includes an equally enormous diversity of smaller ecosystems and landscapes, each more beautiful than the last. There are vast plains, acacia woodlands, rocky outcrops and wooded hills that play host to hundreds of thousands of African game.
The Great Migration
Most famous for the Great Migration, it is a mistake to think that this happens in a tiny window each year with the dramatic river crossings at Grumeti and Mara. In fact, the migration happens all year, as over a million wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebra and antelope follow a circular route in search of water and grazing. They, in turn, are closely followed by their predators. The spectacular river crossings mostly occur at specific times, but the entire process remains unpredictable, depending on when and where the rains fall. Speak to our safari consultants about the best times for what it is you want to see.
The Serengeti National Park is a spectacular place to visit any time of the year, with breathtaking scenery and prolific game from the Big Five to a wide range of antelope, reptiles, birds and bugs; there are 100 varieties of dung beetle!
There is close co-operation between the park and the local people to preserve this beautiful land. Hadzabe, Maasai, Iraqw, Kuria ad Sukuma tribes all live in the Serengeti, each with their own culture, traditions and history.
Things to see and do in Serengeti
Best time to visit
There is no bad time to visit the Serengeti National Park as there is plenty of resident game that stay all year round and don’t follow the migration route.
The short rains usually fall around November and December and the long rains around March to May. Dry season is between June and October. Some camps close during the wet season as the roads become impassable.
If seeing the Great Migration is top of your bucket list, bear in mind that nature and its rainfall are highly unpredictable and the movement of the animals can be just as erratic. At best, there is a pattern to where they move. Based on previous years’ patterns, an estimate of when they’ll be at any given time can be made. Speak to our consultants about the best times to go and where to go in order to increase your chances of catching the migration.
Do remember, though, that this area is one of the world’s best game viewing parks. Even if you miss the migration, there is still plenty to see.
By car – Serengeti National Park is about 325 km from Arusha. The road passes Lake Manyara, goes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area past Olduvai Gorge and takes approximately eight hours.
By air – Flights into Serengeti National Park can land at a number of airstrips, including Seronera or Grumeti. Daily scheduled flights from Arusha run throughout the high season. Charter flights are also available. Arusha is served by two airports. Arusha Domestic Airport has daily flights from numerous local destinations and Kilimanjaro International Airport has daily flights from local, African and international destinations.
Tours & Safari
Most people visit Serengeti National Park on a guided Northern Safari Circuit safari, although self-drive safaris can also be done. It is a vast park with diverse habitats and abundant game. The Great Migration moves through the area on its annual circular route.
A vast park in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is world renowned for its beauty and wildlife. It also forms part of the Greatest Show on Earth, the Great Migration. This is the annual circular route taken by millions of wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebra and antelope, followed closely by the predators that prey on them. Time it right and you could see the dramatic river crossings at Mara and Grumeti.
If you don’t manage to catch the migration, Serengeti National Park still boasts resident game throughout the year which promises a fantastic safari experience one way or the other
Serengeti National Park is one of Tanzania’s top destinations. And for good reason. Vast plains, hilly outcrops and acacia woodlands provide habitats for an incredible array of wildlife and hosts The Great Migration. There are plenty of places to stay to suit all budgets and taste from basic campsites to tented safari camps and high-end luxury lodges.
Accommodation in Serengeti National Park and surrounding areas ranges from basic to high-end luxury. There’s a wide choice for a base to explore this area of exquisite beauty and abundant wildlife. If you time it right, you may experience the breathtaking Great Migration, but even if you don’t, you’re guaranteed incredible game viewing and a spectacular African safari experience throughout the year