Serengeti National Park is famous for the annual wildebeest migration and also; for its wealth of leopard and lion. The park is a hiding place for the endangered black rhino; and provides a protected breeding ground for the vulnerable cheetah; alongside the Serengeti’s thousands of other diverse species; from the 500 varieties of bird to 100 different types of dung beetle! Safaris don’t get better than this!
Following the rains, the Serengeti’s magical golden horizon is transformed into an endless green carpet; flecked with wildflowers. The famous plains are interspersed with wooded hills, towering termite mounds, monumental rocky kopjes; and rivers lined with elegant acacia trees. Its large stone kopjes are home to rich ecosystems; the sheer magnitude and scale of life that the plains support is staggering.
Large prides of lions laze easily in the long grasses; plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trump to each other across the plains; and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers.
The park has varied zones in which each ecosystem is subtly different. Seronera in the center of the park is the most popular and most easily visited area. The Grumeti River in the Western Corridor; is one of the locations for the dramatic river crossings during the wildebeest migration; along with the Mara River in the north.
Activities in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
Besides traditional vehicle-bound safaris; hot-air ballooning over the Serengeti plains has become a must-do experience in the Serengeti. The flights depart at dawn over the plains; and take passengers over the awakening herds of wildebeest and zebra, gazelle, and giraffe. The extra altitude allows guests to witness the striking stretches of plains punctuated only by kopjes.
When to safari in the Serengeti
During the day it is warm, with temperatures ranging from 18 – 25°C but it almost invariably rains at some stage; except in the very driest months of January and February. The year-round temperatures stay within this range.
To search for the at times elusive wildebeest migration; visit the Serengeti from December to July. To see predators; June until October are the best months. For the best chance of finding the migration; allow a minimum of three days or longer if possible.
For birders, December to March is when you’ll see the migratory species from Europe and North Africa in the Serengeti. It’s also a good time for photographers as the landscape is lush and the sky clearer.
You can visit the Serengeti any time of the year; for each season has its own special highlights, and you will find the game is plentiful all year round.
January to March: wildebeest calving in the Southern plains & Ngorongoro Crater/Conservation Area
April to May: the beginning of the migration, and the rains; which covers the dust with a fine green blanket of grass! Consequently; this is an excellent time for photography.
June to July: the migration is moving west and northwards over vast areas
August to October: excellent game viewing; particularly around the central and northern areas
November to December: the return of the wildebeest through the central and the southern plains of the Serengeti to begin the whole process again.