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.

Highlights
  • The Great Migration
  • Huge populations of lion and other predators
  • Diverse habitats from vast plains to acacia woodlands and 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, 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

  • 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. 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.

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
Africa Travel Guide Tanzania Ngorongoro Crater Guided Bush Walk

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 home 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.

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Serengeti Migration Camp - Tanzania
Serengeti Migration Camp

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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