Covering a vast area in northwestern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is an absolute bucket-list destination. With over 70 mammals, including huge populations of lions and other predators and over 500 bird species, this is a wildlife viewing paradise. Beyond the incredible Great Wildebeest Migration that moves through the area seasonally, the Serengeti is an incredibly beautiful park with diverse flora and fauna.
- The Great Wildebeest Migration
- Huge populations of lions and other predators
- Diverse habitats from endless plains and acacia woodlands to rocky outcrops
- Vast numbers of wildebeest and antelope
- Cultural interactions with local Maasai and Hadzabe
- Wide range of accommodation available
- Many activities including hot air balloon flights over the game filled plains
- One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
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 such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas as well as the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya to the north. The Serengeti National Park itself covers just under 15,000 km² of that area.
This huge area includes an equally enormous diversity of smaller ecosystems and landscapes, each more beautiful than the one before. There are vast plains, acacia woodlands, rocky outcrops and wooded hills that play host to hundreds of thousands of African game.
The Great Wildebeest Migration
Most famous for the Great Migration, it is a mistake to think that this event happens in a tiny window each year with the dramatic river crossings at Grumeti and Mara. In fact, the migration takes place all year long with over a million wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebra and antelope following an ancient pattern in search of water and grazing.
The wildebeest, in turn, are closely followed by predators. The spectacular river crossings mostly occur at specific times, but the entire process remains unpredictable, depending on when and where the rains fall. Take a look at our blog The Great Wildebeest Migration: A complete guide and 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 and has more to offer than just the Great Migration; breathtaking scenery and prolific game from the Big Five and a wide range of antelope to reptiles, birds and bugs. In the Serengeti alone, 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
- Day game drives
- Witness the Great Migration
- Spot the Big Five and many more
- Hot air balloon flights over the plains at dawn
- Cultural interactions with locals
- Walking safaris in neighbouring parks
- Visit nearby Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge, one of the world's most important paleoanthropological sites
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. The 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.
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This fly-in 5 Day Luxury Serengeti Safari explores one of Tanzania's hidden gems, the big cat region of Soit le Motonyi. The safari includes a flight from Arusha to the Serengeti, game drives in a prime game-viewing area far from the jostling crowds and accommodation in a luxury, eco-friendly tented safari camp with uninterrupted views of the endless savannah. Speak to us about the best time to book if you also want a glimpse of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Experience the vast expanses of true wilderness and perhaps some of the best game-viewing areas on the African continent. Our 7-Day Taste of Tanzania Safari Tour takes in the untamed Tarangire, the world-renowned Serengeti (famous for the Great Migration) and Ngorongoro National Park. Accompanied by some of the country's best guides, your safety and comfort will be in excellent hands, leaving you to enjoy the safari of a lifetime at the best possible price.
Perched on a rocky kopje near the Grumeti River in northern Serengeti, this tented camp provides a luxurious camping experience. Time it right and you'll not only get to see the abundant resident game, but you may also catch the once in a lifetime spectacle of the Great Migration passing through.