Serengeti National Park Parks and Reserves
Covering a vast area in north-western 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. Over and above the incredible Great Migration that moves through the area seasonally, it’s an incredibly beautiful park with diverse flora and fauna.
* Serengeti National Park 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 people
- ∞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 area 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 park itself covers just under 15 000 km² of the area.
This huge area includes an equally enormous diversity of 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 (that is just 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 good water and grazing, followed closely by their predators. The spectacular river crossings occur at specific times of the year, but the entire process is unpredictable, depending on when and where the rains fall. Speak to our safari consultants to find the best times for what you want to see.
The Serengeti 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 beetles!).
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 around 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, as there is plenty of resident game that stay all year round and do not 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 unpredicable and the movement of the animals can be just as erratic. At best, there is a pattern to where they move and, based on previous years' patterns, an estimate of when they’ll be where. Speak to our consultants about the best times to go, and where, in order to increase your chances of catching it.
Do remember, though, that this area is one of the world’s best game viewing parks, even if you miss the migration!
By car: Serengeti 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 can land at a number of airstrips, including Seronera or Grumeti, and daily scheduled flights from Arusha run throughout 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.
Before you go to Serengeti National Park Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Serengeti National Park
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention