Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania accounts for the longest and largest over land migrations in the world. The Serengeti plains cover over 18,641 square miles of rich eco-system, one of the most diverse in the world  with habitats for animals such as Africa’s big five game in addition to wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, snakes and reptiles among other species.

Serengeti Wildebeest Migrations

The Serengeti migrations are an old African legend listed as one of the 7th wonder of the world. The great migrations are more than million of years old and happen every month of the year throughout the Serengeti plains. The annual migration of wildebeests is a 500 miles path from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.

The migrations include more than one million wildebeests, 300,000 gazelles, 200,000 zebras and more than 10,000 elands, topi, warthog, Kongoni, waterbuck and other smaller animals. The significant herds are typically followed on the trail by predators such as lions, hyenas, elusive leopards, wild dogs, jackals and vultures. The Annual migrations will kill off around 250,000 wildebeests each year-many die crossing the river, others are devoured by hungry predators and crocodiles and the rest die from extreme hunger/thirst before they reach the new pastures.

The growing herds were thus forced to migrate in their search for water and grazing grassland, starting the circular migratory route following the dark rain clouds that shift far into the northern Serengeti Plains as the year goes on. Timing of the migrations may not be so exact as all migrating animals entirely depend on the rainfall patterns

Serengeti Migrations by Months

January –February Migrations-the herds of the animals early in the year are found in the southern Serengeti plains feeding on the short grass sprouts. Many animals choose to stay around the Seronera River are and others move close to Ngorongoro Crater and Ndutu. This marks the Seronera/Ndutu local migrations within Serengeti

Calving season is a short time (lasting about 3 weeks) begins around February around the nutrient rich grass of Ngorongoro Conservation area. However many calves are born to the sight of several predators such as lions, hyena and leopards-it is the best time to see African’s predators in the Serengeti.

March to April migrations– the grasses around Ngorongoro begin drying up with onset of the dark clouds in the north. Some herds of zebras and wildebeest begin concentrating in the Ndutu plains or near Kusini on the western corridor of Serengeti Park towards Lake Victoria. April is associated with heavy rains in the central part of Serengeti and towards the western corridor. Game drives to this area are often restricted due to the bad roads

May to June Migrations-the rains in the central focus the herds to move slowly and further into the western corridor towards Grumeti River that now has green grass for pastures. Some of the herds begin to cross the river where hungry Nile crocodiles await for the hesitant and frail ones. The scene is beautiful and those living around the camps (Serengeti Grumeti Tented camp, Grumeti River Camp and others) on the Grumeti river banks enjoy a spectacular sight

July to August and September Migrations – the wildebeest migration moves to the far northern plains near Masai Mara Game reserve. The scene at the Mara River is most spectacular and is a draw for many tourists to Mara game reserve in Kenya. The animals are a grunting sea of life fighting the gushing water to cross over to the greener side in Mara Kenya. Some animals decide to stay in the Serengeti and move North West towards Lake Victoria

It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later. By September, the animals are spread all through the Masai Mara game reserve, some moving further into the north. Get Kenya Accommodation from Governor’s camp and Mara river camp to enjoy the sight!

October to December migrations– the grass plains are long drying up in the Mara and thus animals congregate again around south of the Mara to shift back to the Serengeti now replenished with fresh pasture. The animals cross the river to western Loliondo and Lobo area and move further into the south around December.

The Serengeti wildebeest migrations then continue the routine migrations for another year…and on and on

serengeti safari

Serengeti Safari Tanzania

Serengeti National Park is the largest national park on Tanzania northern safari circuit covering an area of 14,763km². The park is only part of the greater Serengeti eco-system that stretches into southern Kenya in Masai Mara Game reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and North West towards Lake Victoria.  Serengeti (Siringeti) is a masaai world that means Endless plains.

Seerngeti has evolved overtime as the most prominent safari destination in Tanzania/ East Africa being that it features on many documentaries and television writings about the African wildlife especially because of its large lion prides among other game.

serengeti safari

Serengeti loosely translated as endless plains by the locals, the park is one of the seven wonder in Africa due to its vast beauty and plains. The park has over 500 bird species and it has the densest population of lions.

Serengeti is located in Tanzania and it is one of the most visited National parks when it comes to a safari. The vast plains filled with lots of vegetation form the Savannah grasslands, the plenty baobab trees and the un- spoilt wilderness are a sight to see when one decides to take a safari in Serengeti.

Serengeti has a variety of both animal and bird species which can be viewed when one decides on a Serengeti safari. the Great Migration is the major attraction in Serengeti and you can get to see like Elephants, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, Colobus monkeys, bat eared fox, the porcupine, zebras, buffaloes, hyenas and many more animals and it has over 500 bird species that can be viewed.

The predator viewing here is exceptional with approximately 3-4,000 lion and huge numbers of cheetah, leopard and hyena. Other animals commonly found in the park include topi, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, elephant, caracal, serval, bat-eared fox, hyrax, genet, hares, porcupine, aardvark, giraffe, jackal, mongoose, crocodile, monitor lizard, aardwolf, many kinds of primates including baboons, vervet and Colobus monkeys, and over 500 species of bird.

Preparing For A Safari To Serengeti

Before you head out on a Serengeti safari, you need to pack correctly in order to have maximum fun on your safari. I have listed down a few things that you will need on this wonderful journey.

  • If you want to stay connected on the different social media platforms then you are in for a surprise as there is hardly any Wi-Fi both in the tented camps and campsites and you will have to wait till you leave Serengeti to get back on the internet.
  • At night, Serengeti can be chilly even with the availability of fire camps and you will need to pack some heavy clothes so that you are more comfortable when it comes to sleep.
  • Pack comfortable shoes that will be used for hiking and the guided walks so that you do not get blister on your feet in the process and sneakers might be the best option.

You will also need to pack extra batteries for both your camera and phone as Serengeti camps do not have a supply of 24 hour electricity and you should note that the service on the phone might be slow or non-existent

Sights within Serengeti

As a unique and the oldest eco-systems in the world, Serengeti has so much that fascinates its visitors just beyond its vegetation and wildlife. The park is a vast savannah plain with occasional rocky outcrops/kopjes spread over the northern region, valleys, acacia trees and woodlands, water stream and rivers, small lakes and so much more.

The Serengeti Tanzania Park is sectioned into four distinctive safari routes and it may take you a day or two to explore each of the safari areas. The area are particularly of savannah plains and Kopjes in the south, a northern corridor linking up with the Masaai Mara in neighboring Kenya, Seronera River and campsites or lodges at the heart and finally a western corridor along the Grumeti River reaching the shores of Lake Victoria 8km away.

Annual Serengeti migrations are the main reason for Tanzania safari to Serengeti Park. More than a million animals move from the southern Serengeti plains in February in search of water and fresh grass pastures which they find more 300km away in the neighboring Masai Mara Game reserve in Kenya. The animals migrate and cross two rivers, Grumeti and Mara making an amazing spectacle of a sea of grunting herds.

Lake Ndutu in the south is a spectacular area to catch the Serengeti Big five and other animals early in the year (December to February). This seasonal lake is fringed by forest woods and you’ll see giraffes, flamingoes and other birds here. The area is a calving site for wildebeest and gazelles in January and February before they set off for their migrations later on.

The rocky outcrops (Kopjes) are an important past of the Serengeti eco-system. Many of the kopjes are famous outposts for lions, leopards and insects. Moru and Simba kopjes are identified for their big cats on the hunt. Besides, some of the kopjes have water holes which attract several herds of animals looking for water. The Lobo kopjes in the north are excellent outposts for wildlife viewing during the migration.

Serengeti Wildlife Safari

The vast park is gifted with the largest herds of African lion moving in herds of more than 10 members. The serengeti lion safari is a safari trip that no Tanzania tourist should miss. Other animals in the park include hippos, crocodiles, warthog, gazelles, buffalos, wildebeest, giraffes, crocodiles, impala, dik-dik, eland, reed buck, elephants, rhino, waterbuck, hyenas, leopards, jackals, servals, cheetahs, spring hare, porcupine, hyraxes, baboon, vervet monkey, colobus monkey, patas monkey, snakes, lizards and mongooses.

More than 500 birds are recorded in the park alone, minus the migrant species that flocks in from Asia and Europe in the onset of the winter season that last from October to April. Some of the birds regularly seen here include flamingoes, vultures, storks, sun birds, ostrich, martial fish eagles and many others.

Getting there

Serengeti is not located near the city centers and therefore it will need sometime as it is a long way from Arusha which is known to be the nearest town. As you are heading to Serengeti, your first day will be spent on Lake Manyara as it is half way enroute Serengeti. Some other people can make a stopover at Tarangire before setting out to Serengeti. There are actually four ways that one can get to Serengeti and they have been listed below:

  • You can travel to Serengeti from Masai Mara. Flights from Kenya are shorter mostly if you are travelling from Kenya and a drive form Masai Mara is about 10 hours.
  • You can travel from Lake Manyara to Serengeti through Tarangire. If you set off in the morning, by mid afternoon you will be in Serengeti.
  • You can also travel from Lake Natron and use the Northern entrance into Serengeti and this route is mostly used during the migration in the North between July and September.
  • You can also fly from Zanzibar as there are daily flights and these can land at the different airstrips that can be found in the park.
  • As you are on the game dives, you will be able to go with delicious packed picnics like juice, sandwiches, chicken, muffins and other snacks.

 

When to visit Serengeti

The safari experience on Serengeti National Park goes on all through the year but different safari activities in Serengeti have specific timing. The rainy season that starts in March and ends in May, with short rains in October and November –it is the best time to visit Serengeti on Tanzania birding safari however the road are indeed slippery and only robust 4X4 vehicle can access some parts of the park.

July up to August has less game viewing opportunities as most of the herds move on the annual migration trails into northern Serengeti crossing over to Masai Mara Game reserve in Kenya. The herds later return in November and thus create great game viewing time up to late February.

Serengeti Safari Lodges and Accommodation

Serengeti safari lodges define luxury safari overnights to the dot. There are a number of excellent safari lodges located near the Seronera area, being a game crowded region in serengeti. Such include Serengeti Sopa lodge, Serena Serengeti lodge, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Seronera Wildlife Lodge and Ndutu Safari Lodge near Olduvai Gorge among others. The safari lodges usually offer fully equipped en-suite bathrooms, private verandas and elegant furniture.

There are also several tented camp, 12 bush camps and public campsites that include Kijesereshi Tented camp and lodge-south of Nsabaaka Gate, Serengeti Migration camp around the Lobo area, Kensington camps, Mapito tented camp, Grumeti river camp, and many others . The public campsites have basic facilities, some without running water but African night sounds dominate the night fall among them are laughing hyena, roaring lions, cooing owls, cricket, croaking frogs-ofcourse under a star-filled sky.

The tented camps

Travelling to Serengeti is all wildernesses and the best one can sleep in is a tented camp and several of these are located in Serengeti.

The tented camps offer you a private bedroom and bathroom and you can clearly feel the grass rustles as the different animals pass by your tents.  This will give you a double feel of hotel life and the wilderness combined.

Some of these tented camps can be fixed all round the year and yet others are set up as they follow the Great Migration.

Serengeti safari camping

Camping at the Serengeti is majorly done by those who love nature and are basically on a budget. The camping safari is serviced by basic facilities and public restrooms which are all in good condition. And they also come with a private chef who prepares all the meals from breakfast to picnics. The camps in Serengeti are divided into two campsites that is the Lobo and Seronera.

The Lodges at Serengeti

The lodges in Serengeti offer accommodation to all depending on the person’s budget. They can accommodate people with low budgets and those that have heavy budgets and they are very conducive when it comes to children that is they provide a distraction to the kids in form of televisions, pools and clubs for kids.

They are majorly taken on by those who love comfort since they have WI-FI hot water and they are more secure from the wild animals as they are brick and mortar unlike the tented camps.

Serengeti safety

The park has enough security as you enter the park but you still need to be conscious when inside the park.  There are some rules that need to be followed once one is inside Serengeti National Park and these have been listed below to increase on personal safety of the tourists.

  • You should not feed the animals as this is not allowed, do not walk through the park without a guide,
  • You should keep your head and arms inside the car during the drive through especially through the window. This should be done at the pop top roof only.
  • If you have children, it is best to keep them close to you to avoid attacks from predators.
  • You are not allowed to shout, use drones in the parks as this will attract the wild animals to your car.

 

There are several things that you can do on a safari to Serengeti and some of these include the following:

The hot air balloon safari

This is one of the fun things to do on a Serengeti safari and it is one of the highlights. This is done during the evening hours at dusk and can be done either at the Northern or central part of the Park. Hot air is filled in the balloon and you get to soar above and view the park with its wild animals and you can also carry a picnic basket to this adventurous activity. This is one activity that you should not miss.

The great migration

The great migration take place in phases in Serengeti national Park and they migrate in large numbers. These animals are over one million and the migration happens due to the climatic change and this sees animals migrating into Masai Mara located in Kenya. The best time to view these animals is in the morning and the movement of the animals is as follows.

They migrate to Naabi hill which is South of Serengeti during the wet and rainy season and then head towards Lobo valley and Bologonja in the Northern part of the Park. You will be able to see Gazelles, Impalas, and many more other animals.

You will also be able to see the big five that is the elephants, lion, rhinoceros, leopard, leopards and the buffalos. Although you should note that the rhinoceros is hard to sight.

 

 

Visit the Grumeti River

This is located in the central part of the park and it has a large population of crocodiles and you can easily picnic from the area especially for those who love nature. You will also be able to view the Great migration from here and enjoy the anticipation of the crocodiles waiting to feast on the different animals which are in the great migration.

Visit the Masai land

You cannot do a Serengeti Safari minus visiting the Masai land and learning about their beautiful culture. You will be able to get yourself souvenirs from the different shops, lesus from the local Masai women and the vast beads that are sold at affordable prices. The locals can also give you an insight on the different animals that are found in the park and the different cultural norms found in Tanzania.

You can carry out your Serengeti Safari throughout the year but the best time is April and May during the great migration and wet season.

Serengeti Balloon Safaris

Having the chance to experience a luxury Hot air balloon rode in any part of the world isn’t a treat just for anyone! For Serengeti National park, the hot air balloon safari is just another amazing wildlife safari excursion like no other.  On one early morning, you’ll have an eagle’s eye views over the animals below, the vast Serengeti plains and also exceptional opportunities to capture beautiful moments and sights.

On the morning of your safari, you’ll be collected from your Serengeti Safari lodge as early as 5h00 to the hot air balloon launch site near Masaai Kopjes. The drive to this launch site is rewarded with sights of Serengeti’s nocturnal predators like lion, leopard, jackals and sound of laughing hyenas as they retire after nightly hunt in the wild. It is the only time you have to take some of their picture as they creep around the bush.

On reaching the launch site, the balloon pilot will foremost give you some briefing as you watch the inflation of the balloon with hot air.  Every Morning, a pair of Hot Air Balloons launch into Serengeti skies carrying 12 fortunate people as the sun sets its first rays on the savannah.

The pilot can control the altitude of the hot air balloon: sometimes taking you to a height of 1,000ft altitude for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Serengeti plains or flying at treetop level giving you the chance to take great pictures of Serengeti wildlife below.

Seronera River and valley area is the first destination on your luxury African safari. Watch different animals as they visit the river banks to have a morning drink. Many of the predators will be found lying very quietly in the wild. Some of the spotted game includes lions, buffalos, leopards, hippos, cheetah, vultures, wildebeest and eagles as identified by the balloon pilot.

From time to time, the pilot will need to put more heat into the giant hot air balloon giving a gentle roar of the burners as you glide silently over the wild African savannah.

The memorable safari lasts for 2-3 hours and soon the pilot instructs you to keep way your cameras and head for the balloon descend. As soon as the balloon lands, a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine is popped to celebrate the experience that only comes once in a life time.

A sumptuous full breakfast is served in an umbrella tree near the landing point as you view different Serengeti animals. Sunbirds will make the music for the breakfast and some times elephants and other small mammal will arrive to accompany you on the breakfast table.

You’ll receive your Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Certificate before being driven back to your luxury safari Lodge or campsite, viewing game animals en route. The adventure safari is more convenient if you are staying in a lodge in central Serengeti. The rates for the Serengeti Hot Air Balloon ride are between USD 500-700 depending on the peak season and weather. A relative experience is also given in Masai Mara game reserve on a Kenya Safari.

Wildebeest Migration Tanzania

The annual wildebeest migration in East Africa takes place around the same time of the year with hundreds and hundreds of wildebeest, thompson Gazelles, zebras, Grant gazelles and other animals join the trail as Serengeti wildebeest move from the dry plains of Serengeti into the fresh green grasses of Masaai Mara Game reserve.

The annual animal movements entirely depend on the onset of dark rain clouds and start of rains each year. The animals move every month in search of the fresh pastures starting in January and then continues for another year.

January- Serengeti  Wildebeest Migrations

Herds of Wildebeest and zebra normally gather in the southern Serengeti plains as the dark rain clouds cross to the slopes of Ngorongoro near the Ndutu Plains. The animals from the north arrive to feast on the fresh mineral rich pastures. The rains dedicate that the herds stay here for the calving season until the short grasses have dried up around late March or early in April.

Game viewing in southern Serengeti National Park Tanzania is good around this time as many animals congregate on the banks of River Grumenti and its water holes around the Moru Kopjes, Kusini and east on the Ngorongoro conservation area. Predators such as leopards, lions and hyenas will roam across the plains pursuing the herds on their Migration route. Only 4X4 trucks and vehicles are able to cross the plains as the ground in wet and muddy

April -May Migrations

The herds move into the western parts in the direction of the western Corridor (Seronera Area) of Serengeti. The area is dominated by long Fresh grasses that stretch far to Moru Kopjes and Simiyu.  On sight are several male blue wildebeests fighting over territorial dominance as different animals start moving including Zebras and a few gazelles

June Wildebeest Migrations

For June more animals migrate into the Seronera area some moving further north but remain closer to the southern side of the Grumenti River on the Dutwa plains. If you are staying at Serengeti Serena Lodge or in Grumenti River camp, you’ll have the opportunity to see these herds right from your window or verandah.

The Grumenti River is dry for this season forming a few water pools that attract animals only to find dangerous crocodiles that feast on the hesitant animals. Animals start crossing the dry river in this month. June is fantastic with Serengeti migrations; sizable herds move far north into the Lobo and Loliondo area and other blue wildebeest have resorted to the northern parts beyond Liliondo in north central Serengeti. However most of the animals stay in central Serengeti.

July-August-September

The wildebeest migration continues on for July as herds move northwards spreading across the plains around the Musabi and Simiti in search for fresh green pastures while the water in Grumenti river is almost done. The herds than amass near the Mara river banks grunting their way past the slow flowing water.

This time of the year is transitional with several frail animals dying from the thirst and exhaustion before the reach the Mara River. The young calves also die as the search for water to drink. As many die, predators are thankful that they have something to feast on for the day-lions, hyenas, crocodiles and cheetahs share the spoils of the drying migrants.

Over 2 million animals have now crossed over into the Masai Mara Game Reserve grazing and feeding on the fresh short pastures. August is highlighted with light showers in northern Serengeti thus stopping a few herds from crossing over into the Mara reserve. The scene on the Mara River is compared of a grunting sea of life moving into another world!

Wildebeest migration in Masai Mara begins in after the animals have crossed the Mara and thus spread cross the Mara greedily feasting on new pastures, moving further north of the reserve

October to December

The rains return to South and eastern Serengeti region, filling up the dry Grumenti river and yet pulling the herds from all parts of Masai Mara to the borders of Mara. The Mara pastures are then getting dry thus herds begin the Great Migrations yet again, this time back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Slowly, small herds begin migrating back to Serengeti until the end of the year. December is rainy month and thus short grass shoots appear in other parts of the Serengeti, as animals increase, and calving season begins all over again!

Serengeti Wildlife Safari

Serengeti National Park ranks as Tanzania’s number one wildlife safari destination thanks to its diverse habitat of vast open savannah grasslands, acacia thickets, forests, woodlands, rocky outcrops, and rivers that make a rich habitat fro several game, insects, birds and small mammals.

Even with the annual Serengeti Migrations of animals to the neighboring Masaai Mara in Kenya, the park still remains with several wild animals to view on game drives. Some of the game in Serengeti includes buffalos, zebras, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, warthog, gazelles and antelopes like the bushbucks, dik dik, elands, elephants, reedbuck, waterbuck and impalas. Predators are also a regular sight with many spotted hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, African wild hunting dog, serval, jackals and prides of lions.

Serengeti Wildlife safari

There are several ways to experience Serengeti’s wildlife but the most prominent is safari game drives and the luxury Serengeti Hot Air Balloon safari. Other styles will include birding walks, guided walking safaris and helicopter flights.

Wildlife Safari routes in Serengeti

Serengeti is found on the northern Tanzania safari circuit that includes other parks like Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater Park.  Serengeti however is the most visited safari game park occupying more than 15,000sq km.  The vast safari game park is thus divided into a number of safari routes that are popular spots for game viewing.

There are savannah plains and rocky outcrops called Kopjes in the south, the Seronera river area from the south central part, northern corridor that links to Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya and the western corridor that stretches from Grumeti River to the shore of Lake Victoria. Covering all these safari routes on Serengeti Tanzania safaris is not an easy adventure-it normally takes 2-3 days safari to conclude all the safari routes.

The rolling grassland plains of Serengeti are seemingly endless but occasional outcrops and trees are part of the scenery in the southern part of the park. More than 3 million years ago, Ngorongoro volcanic mountain erupted created the renowned Ngorongoro crater and also spilling volcanic ash over the low lying plains on the foot hills. The molten lava soon dried to form hard coat that doesn’t allow deep rooted vegetation. The grass that grows on the Serengeti are short root but very rich in minerals. The short rains in October up to November usher in new grazing pastures for the calving season in January and February when lactating animals enjoy the nutrient grass.

Seronera River and Valley is a very game rich area in the southern part of the park. The river drains the dry savannah attracting several animals for the dry season as they search for drinking water. There are many Tanzania safari lodges and camp built near the river for excellent game views of animals like buffalos, hippos, predators and crocodiles live near the muddy riverbanks.

Game drives are a popular way of experiencing the wildlife in the area. Seronera river circuit and Kopjes circuit have been ranked as the best game viewing areas in Serengeti.

Lake Ndutu Basin has very good game viewing opportunities from December to May every year as animals congregate here before they begin the annual Serengeti migrations. Many wildebeests and gazelles calve from these rich grasslands before the great migration start. Predators like lions, hyenas and cheetahs are seen roaming around on the hunt for hesitant calves. Lake Ndutu is a seasonal lake surrounded by beautiful acacia woodlands that feed giraffes and birds are too abundant in this area.

Simba Kopjes are named after the lions ( Simba –in Maasai language), which frequently lie and bask on the rocks as they take sight of their potential prey.  Also in the area are baboons, different birds and giraffes among other Serengeti wild animals.

Western Corridor is a spectacular 50km wide strip west of River Seronera. The corridor runs along Grumeti River, through valleys, forests, swamps and stretches all the way to Lake Victoria some 8km from the park. Grumeti River is a popular game viewing spot in the park that attract several herds of animals in due course of the annual migration in May/June. Hungry predators like the lions and crocodiles are often part of the game seen along the river banks. This is the ultimate time to experience the Serengeti migrations before animals cross to the Mara in July.  Other animals that live in the woodlands that fringe Grumeti River include giraffes, eland, impalas, hartebeest, colobus monkeys and huge hippos. There is plenty of accommodation on the river bank such as Grumeti River camp.

Lobo Area from northern Serengeti is another scenic section of the park marked with rolling Lobo hills, rocky outcrops, acacia thickets and woodlands and doted grasslands. The annual migrations cross through Lobo hills before meeting the gush of Mara river further in the north. Lobo kopjes are excellent area for viewing animals on the migration. There are several lodges that offer accommodation for Serengeti tourists in the area with wide balconies from where visitor take sight of the migrant herds.

The Moru Kopjes in the far north are traditional game viewing area for big cats like lions, hyenas and leopards on the hunt for animals on the migration route. The area is also famous with Masai herdsmen because of its nutrient grass pastures. There are paintings on some of the rocks done several years ago by masaai herdsmen who were though to use the rock for shelter as they grazed their cattle herds.

Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safari

This is surely a luxurious way to go on Serengeti wildlife safari. Departures are often early in the morning for the gratifying 6-hour flight that often ends with a sumptuous breakfast and a toast to the memorable safari experience. Take a good camera to record your journey as you glide silently over the vast plains, the same way it is done in Masai Mara Game Reserve. The pilot often lowers the balloon by reducing the air in balloon often reaching tree top level-there is no better time to take pictures as this!

How To Get To Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

The majority of safaris to the Serengeti start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which is situated about 46km or 29miles from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), just outside of Dar es Salaam, and use a domestic flight to get to Arusha Airport (ARK).

Optionally, you may take a cheaper flight starting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, which is among the key transportation hubs in the whole of Africa, and then take a shuttle-bus to the town of Arusha. Usually you will be picked up by your tour operator from the airport within Tanzania who will cater for all your ground transportations as per your arrangements.

The most suitable means of moving from Arusha to the Serengeti is by taking a small charter plane to one of the numerousairstrips in the park.  From the Serengeti to Arusha it is approximately 325 kilometers or 202miles and will take 8 hours on road. The biggest part of the ride is bumpy, over dirt roads- but the trip offers beautiful scenery. You’ll be rewarded with views of wild life during your en-route game drives to the park. Also, if you travel by car, you’ll rarely do the whole trip in a single day. Usually, your safari tour will include a day or two in other parks on the way, reducing the trip to approximately half the total time.

Airlines & ticket prices

Domestic flights to Serengeti National Park

Passport, visa and other entry requirements

Airlines & ticket prices

Please check Skyscanner or, for multiple destination flights, check Expedia to see which airlines can take you to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) or Arusha Airport (ARK) and what tickets would cost.

Domestic flights to Serengeti National Park

Charter flights around parks are normally reserved by tour operators as part of your overall trip package. Domestic flights on the other hand can be reserved with various domestic carriers which include:

Air Tanzania

Precision Air

Regional Air

ZanAir

Safari Air Link

Coastal Aviation

Visa, passport, including other entry requirements

 

Serengeti ecosystem is one of the ancient existing ones on the planet and prides of various unique climatic conditions, unmatched plant and animal species that for millions of years have not transformed. The presence of Early man is really evident here with the discovery of his fossils in the Olduvai Gorge which date up to 2 million years back in time. A couple of adaptation, life as well as death patterns plus migrations are actually as old as some of the hills here.

More than a million wildebeests and 200,000 zebras move south coming from the northern slopes to the plains in the south during the short rains in the months of October and November. From there they proceed west until they eventually cross the river filled with hungry crocodiles. And reach the other side having green fresh pastures where they feed and even go through the calving phase that sees the re birth of thousands of wildebeests.
Serengeti Safari Tanzania

How To Get To Serengeti

Best Time To Visit

Birding in Serengeti

Best Time To Visit Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Best Time to Visit Serengeti National Park

Excellent time is: JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, and OCTOBER

Good time is: NOVEMBER, DECEMBER, JANUARY, and FEBRUARY

Fair time is: MARCH, APRIL, and MAY

 

Best time to visit Serengeti

Game  viewingwithin Serengeti National Park is great all year round, however particular areas are best at particular times. In the dry season which starts in late June up to September, that is the overall best time to watch the wildlife since the wildebeest migrations actually the highlight to see.offers the best wildlife viewing in general- with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.

Quick facts

Best time to go:                January-February for the wildebeest calving; June-September for general wildlife viewing with a chance of seeing the wildebeest crossing of the Grumeti River June-July.

High Season:      Most of the year – July to March (The Serengeti will be crowded around the Seronera area)

Low Season:       April and May

Best Weather:   June to October (Little to no rainfall)

Worst Weather:               March and April (Peak of wet season)

June to October – Dry Season

 

Wildebeest passage through the western corridor is best viewed in the moths of June and July.

Animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers and they are easier to spot since the vegetation is less thick.

This is because it is usually sunny and dry.

Mosquitoesare few so are the chances of contracting malaria.

The park gets quite crowded around the Seronera area.

Mornings and nights from June to August are usually cold. So you are cautioned to bring warm clothing for early morning game drives

November to May – Wet Season

Late January to February is an excellent time to see predator action. This is the calving time in southern Serengeti.

The scenery is glamorous.

April and May are low season, so it’s usually less crowded and rates might be less.

Despite the fact that wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, Serengeti compromises good game viewing all year.

Travelling birds are present and birdwatching is at its finest.

With exception of March, April and May, rains are habitual short afternoon storms and rarely destruct with your tour.

March to May is the climax of the wet season.

The Serengeti ecosystem is among the oldest on earth yet the indispensible features of climate, flora and wildlife have barely transformed in the preceding million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.

Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November. Thereafter they turn west and north following the long rains in April, May and June. The prehistoric instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile housing river can stop them. No wonder it is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous.

Serengeti NP’s weather 

The climate in Serengeti is typically moderate and lovely. The average temperatures areeven throughout the year. On top of consistently being cool to cold at night and in the early mornings, it never gets very hot. Therefore it is better to take warm clothing for early morning game drives. The altitude in the Serengeti is between 1139 to 2174 m (3737 to 7133 ft). Temperatures fall by about 6.5°C per 1000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1000ft), hence the park has wide climatic variations.

 

There are two wet seasons. The ‘short rains’ are from November to December and the ‘long rains’ are from March to May.Serengeti’s dry season is from June to October. In the wet season it rarely rains all day though afternoon thundershowers are possible.

Dry season – June to October

 

 

June, July, August, September & October most days have a fine, clear sky, sunny weatherand afternoon temperatures are usually around 27°C/81°F. However, casual rains my fall begin in October, as the eve of the rainy season. It gets cold at night with minimum temperatures around 15°C/59°F. Cold fronts with temperatures close to freezing are rare but it’s still cold in the morning.Endeavor to bring sufficientwarm clothing for early morning game drives.

 

Wet season – November to May

Wet season – November to May

Temperatures are moderate in the wet season. Afternoons are normally 28°C or 82°F and nights are around 17°C/63°F.

November & December – ‘Short rains’ – A month of random rains occurs between October and December. Although afternoon showers are more likely, these rains rarely fall throughout the day and are not likely to hinder your trip. Daytime temperatures are usually around 28°C or 82°F while night and early morning are around 17°C or 63°F.

January & February tend to be a dry spell between the short and long rains so the exact timing is unpredictable.

March, April & May – ‘Long rains’ – These are the wettest months with cloudy days and frequent rains. However it rarely falls the whole day. On average maximum and minimum temperatures are 27°C/81°F and 17°C/63°F respectively, though in April and May, cold fronts might bring colder peak temperatures.

 

Serengeti National Park is certainly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unique for its natural beautyand scientific value. With over a quarter of a million zebras, two million wildebeest, as well as half a million Thomson’s gazelle, it hosts the largest number of plains wild animals in Africa. The wildebeest plus zebra form the highlight of a unique spectacle of the yearly Serengeti migration.

‘Serengeti’ is a word in the local Maasai language that means an extended place. The National Park sits on 12,950 square kilometers; the size of Northern Ireland. Its ecosystemis roughly the size of Kuwait, and comprises of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maswa Game Reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve (in Kenya). It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, Lake Eyasi in the south, and the Great Rift Valley to the east. No wonder, it offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth.
Serengeti Safari Tanzania
How To Get To Serengeti
Best Time To Visit
Birding in Serengeti

What Birds To Watch In Serengeti National Park

Serengeti national Park hosts over 500 different types of birds that have been recorded and the larger Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is among Africa’s Endemic Bird Areas, with 5 endemic bird species that cannot be seen in any other place, with have of these restricted to the Tanzanian side of this ecosystem.

The Serengeti specials can easily be seen and even identified within their confined range. In Seronera area right in the middle of the park,the grey-breasted spurfowl is among the common roadside birds. In forest areas, you will catch sight of flocks of Fischer’s lovebird and unique rufous-tailed weavers. The other 2 Serengeti-Mara EBA endemics are the grey-crested helmet-shrike together with the Usambiro barbet. From November up to Appril, you will be able to see the various Migratory birds that swarm this area.

 

distinguished birds

The Locally common Fischer’s lovebird, endemic to Tanzania

The Locally common Rufous-tailed weaver, endemic to Tanzania

The Locally common Usambirobarbet, endemic to Mara-Serengeti

The Locally common Grey-breasted spurfowl, endemic to Tanzania

The Locally common Kori bustard

The Locally common Secretary bird

Best time for birdwatching

Birdwatching within the Serengeti is excellentall year round, however at its best starting in November up to April. During these months the European plus North African migratory birds can be seen, and also the local resident species are nesting. This makes it actually very easy to see birds during their breeding time. In the dry season which starts in June to October, we recommend that it is the best time for watching other wildlife.

Best parks for birding

All the famouswildlife parks provide excellent opportunities for birding and specials may be seenalmost everywhere you travel. The often ignored, Arusha National Park offers an astonishingvariety of habitats, that host an unbelievable list of about 400 species within its tiny area. Lake Manyaraprovides a wonderfuldiversity of waterbirds.

The Serengeti region includes the Serengeti National Park, the famed Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ikorongo reserved area,Maswa Game Reserve, Grumetiand LoliondoControlled Areas together with the Maasai Mara National Reserve found in Kenya. More than 90,000 tourists every year visit this Park.

one million wildebeests each one propelled by the same old rhythm of fulfilling its inborn role in the unavoidable cycle of life: a hyperactive 3 week stretch of territorial conquests as well as mating; it is survival of the fittest as the lengthy 40 km / 25 mile columns forcetheir way through the crocodile polluted waters on the yearlymass migration north; refilling the species in a short population explosion whichsees the birth of over 8,000 calves each day before the long 1,000 km / 600 mile pilgrimage starts yet again.

2 World Heritage Sites and 2 Biosphere Reserves have been set upinsidethis 30,000 sq km area. It’s distinctive ecosystem has enthused writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Peter Mattheissen, along with filmmakers like Alan Rootand Hugo von Lawickalong withseveral photographers plus scientists most of which have offered their works to the public’s disposal to offer an insight of this area.
Serengeti Safari Tanzania

How To Get To Serengeti

Best Time To Visit

Birding in Serengeti

What Animals To See in Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is without a doubt the finest national park in the whole of Tanzania. All year round large  herds of buffaloes, smaller herds of elephant plus giraffes, in addition to millions of antelopes including  elands, topi, impalas, kongoni as well as the Grant’s gazelles. You will easily also see the 3 big cats. Lions can as well be seen often enjoying a kill.Also in the southeastern plains you will be able to regularly see Cheetahs, whereas leopards may be seen resting in the giant trees on the banks of River Seronera.

Wildlife specials

The Serengeti is renowned for its yearly migration of wildebeests, when about6 million hooves traverse the open plains, and over 1,000,000 wildebeests, about 200,000 zebrasplus 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles join the match in search for fresh pastures.

Best time for viewing game

The Serengeti offers amazing views of wildlifeall year round. However the best time to see the yearly wildebeest migration is from June to July, while in February you can enjoy watching the massive calving of the wildebeests. During dry months of June up to October you will also be able to see the other wild animals living within the park such as: Elephants, Giraffe, Hippos, Buffaloes, Zebra, Wildebeest, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, and Wild Dog

The oldest as well as most popular wildlife national park, that is also an international heritage sitewhich not long ago proclaimed as a 7th wonder of the world- the Serengeti is well-known for its yearly migration, that includes about six million hooves match the open wide plains, as over 200,000 zebrasplus 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles join the massive wildebeest’s trek for the search of fresh pasture. Even when the wildebeest migration is not there, the Serengeti providesperhaps the most dazzlingwildlife views in Africa includingherds of buffaloes, smaller herds of elephant plus giraffes, in addition to millions of antelopes including elands, topi, impalas,  kongoni as well as the Grant’s gazelles..

The vision of predators and their prey dominates this greatest park in Tanzania. Golden-maned lions feast on the profusion of plain grazers. The Solitary leopards preoccupy the acacia trees around the banks of River Seronera, while a great number of cheetahs stalks the southeastern plains. Nearly unique here is that all the 3 African species of jackal can be found here, besides the spotted hyenas and the elusive smaller predators, that range from the aardwolf that feed on insects to the gorgeousserval cat.

However there is a lot more in Serengeti than the large mammals. Rock hyraxes scuffle plus Gaudy agama lizards on the remote granite kopjessurfaces in the park. 100 types of dung beetles, more than 500 bird speciesincluding the very large ostriches and odd secretary birdsin the open grasslands, and the black eagles which soar easilyover the Lobo Hills can all be seen here.

The Serengeti is actually the jewel of all wildlife sanctuaries within Tanzania and its worth visiting.
Serengeti Safari Tanzania

How To Get To Serengeti

Best Time To Visit

Birding in Serengeti