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.

Highlights
  • 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.

Serengeti National Park Tanzania Wildebeest at sunrise Cherero Camp

Wildebeest at sunrise

(Image: Cherero Camp)

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.

Serengeti National Park Tanzania Serengeti cheetah Partha Narasimhan I Unsplash

The Serengeti offers some of the best wild cheetah sightings in the world

(Image: Partha Narasimhan I Unsplash)

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.

Getting there

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.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Serengeti Sopa Lodge - Tanzania

With sweeping views over the vast plains of the world-renowned Serengeti, rich with wildlife, this relatively large lodge is bright and cheerful. There is resident game all year round and, if you time it right, you may even catch the Great Migration passing through, a once in a lifetime experience.

Serengeti Migration Camp
Serengeti Migration Camp - Tanzania

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.

Ngorongoro Crater
Feature Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania Mariola Grobelska

Ngorongoro is a Tanzanian must-see. The Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera or collapsed volcano, while only covering 260 km², includes a diverse range of habitats including montane forest, grasslands, acacia forests, a salt-lake and swamps. The diversity of the habitat provides refuge to an incredibly wide range of birds and animals, including the Big Five, in a concentrated area. Accommodation around the rim of the crater provides spectacular views and easy access to the crater.

Olduvai Gorge

Two-million-year-old archaeological UNESCO World Heritage site.

Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp
Kati Kati Camp - Central Serengeti - Tanzania

This mobile tented camp is set up in one of the best game viewing spots on the plains of central Serengeti. Kati Kati Camp is rustic rather than luxurious, but with fully-equipped, en-suite tents, you'll experience a more refined version of camping in the wild African bush. It's a true safari experience.

Olmara Camp [nee] Ehlane Plains Camp
00 Feature Olmara Camp Serengeti Tanzania

Located in the remote, untouched eastern plains of the Serengeti, Olmara Camp (formerly known as Ehlane Plains Camp) is a beautifully designed, eco-friendly, tented safari camp that offers sweeping views of Tanzania's vast savannahs and provides top-quality, year-round game viewing.

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Serengeti Migration Camp - Tanzania
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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.

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