mellivora

Serengeti

Destination Detail

SERENGETI

great migration Serengeti

The word Serengeti means “endless plains” in the Maa language (Maasai), people who live around the Serengeti national park. The park is covered with grassland plains and in the middle of it offers views of distant landscapes (plains). When on safari the only feeling you can get is of typical African wilderness experience.

  • Serengeti is Award winning, best national park for African safari.
  • The park upgraded from a game reserve (big game hunting ground) to a National park in the year of 1951 (the first national park in Tanzania), and is located in northern Tanzania extends to south-western Kenya.
  • Serengeti national park covers the area of 5,700 square miles (14,763 square km) and is normal referred as the great grassland range in Africa as well as vachellia woodland.
  • The park extends 100 miles (160 km) southeast from the shores of Lake Victoria and, in its eastern part 100 miles (160 km) south from the Kenya – Tanzania border.

The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem encompasses several protected areas like Serengeti national park, Mara national reserve in Kenya and a number of game reserves and conservation area (Ngorongoro) surrounds the area.

HISTORY OF THE SERENGETI.

The Maasai people are the first humans to live and graze their livestock in the open plains of Serengeti for around 200 years. German geographer and explorer Dr Oscar Baumann were probably the first explore to enter the Serengeti. He entered the area in the year of 1892.

A group of Maasai warriors doing a traditional dance in front of tourists.

Maasai exploited the area as a hunting ground for big lions for many years (must kill a big lion so as to become a warrior).

As a result, the number of lions in the area started to shrink and this made firstly British explores to establish a temporary game reserve of 800 acres (almost 3 km) and in 1920 they made a second game reserve. These game reserves took place up to the year of 1951 in which the area gazetted as a national park.

WHY VISIT THE SERENGETI.

Serengeti national park is best known for its annually wildebeest migration and it is a must for any Tanzania or Africa safari visitor.

The park has abundance of biodiversity starting from the fauna and flora species, landscapes, culture and history.

In addition to wildebeest, the Serengeti National Park holds many types of large antelopes, including zebra, impala, eland, klipspringer, dik-dik, and several different kinds of buck.

Also look out for lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, hippos, hyenas, bat eared foxes, jackals, warthogs, porcupines, crocodiles, baboons, mongoose’s and different types of monkey.

The Serengeti is also home to almost 500 different bird species, including; vultures, storks, flamingos, martial and fish eagles and ostriches.

WHAT TO DO IN SERENGETI.

The Serengeti national park is the most famous park and a top safari destination. The Serengeti has so much to offer, from the Big Five and the world’s largest overland migration to stunning landscapes. These are the best things to see and do when visits Serengeti National Park.

  • Walking safari.

Discover the Serengeti on foot during a multi-days walking safari. Go back in time and feel like you the first explorer.

The wilderness becomes more real when you become part of the environment. Explore remote areas where safari vehicles are not allowed.

Your senses start working when you connect with nature and walk on the same path as lions, elephants and giraffes. Smell the bush, feel the warm African breeze and hear elephants trumping in the distance. It is such an exciting experience to be so close to nature.

  • Balloon safari.

The ultimate way to see the beauty of the Serengeti is by floating in a hot air balloon over the endless plains at dawn. Witness the sunrise over the African savannah and the variety of wildlife below.

Balloon safaris in Serengeti, Tanzania.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of this awesome park, while you float in the direction the wind takes you. After a one-hour balloon flight, a glass of champagne and delicious English breakfast awaits, to celebrate this amazing adventure.

  • Great migration.

For a lot of people this spectacle of nature is the reason why they visit the Serengeti. It’s an impressive sight to witness millions of mammal’s thunders across the plains in search of fresh grass and water.

Huge lines of wildebeest, storms of red dust, wild river crossings and predators everywhere. The Great Migration is a year-round circle and can be seen in different parts of the Serengeti.

  • Game drive.

Serengeti national park offers viewing animals from the moving vehicles. When choosing to book a drive-in safari a driver/guide will take you to Serengeti in a 4×4 safari vehicle (and other places to visit depending on your itinerary- along the way. In general, the driver/guide will also be your guide in the Serengeti and take you on the game drives through the park experience at their lodge.

  • Bird watching.

The Serengeti national park is a bird paradise. The park has approximated of 500 bird species which make it to be the best spot for bird watching. This open grassland supports other variety of bird such as Kori bustard, larks, fiches and raptors.

The park is home to the amazing lilac-breasted roller and three endemic species of Tanzania, Fischer’s lovebird, grey-rumped spur fowl and babbler-like rufous-tailed weaver.

SO WHATS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK?

The best time to visit the park is during the dry season (late June to October). However, the Serengeti is visited throughout the year and some travelers prefer different durations as they can be best suited to match your interests. Here is a month by month guide to visit the Serengeti national park.

January to February.

  • Beginning of Tanzania’s green season. Suitable for birdwatching.
  • The famous Great wildebeest migration is concentrated in Ndutu area and give birth (calving season).

March

  • this is a grey time, not clear if it will be dry or perhaps the rainy season will begin
  • almost end of wildebeest calving season

April to may

  • it is expected to be rainy season therefore very difficult to move around or enjoying the sun
  • migration expected to be in south/central Serengeti
  • less travelers

June to August.

  • This is the beginning of the dry season and the peak season for safari visitors.
  • Great migration crossing grumeti (west Serengeti) river in June
  • Great Migration making its way north towards the Mara river for the dramatic river crossings into the Masai Mara reserve.

September to October

  • Still dry season
  • Travelers reduce
  • The migration is expected to be in maasai Mara Kenya

November to December

  • short rains
  • few traveler (small peak season from late December to early January)
  • the migration is back, making way to south Serengeti & north Ngorongoro

HOW TO GET TO SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK.

Serengeti national park is located in northern Tanzania and extends to southwestern Kenya. The park can easily be reachable by either on ground or air.

Getting to Serengeti National Park by road.

The most popular way to travel to Serengeti National Park by road is by booking a drive-in safari. In general, the drive-in safaris start from the town of Arusha. As it will take around 7 hours (318 km) to travel from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park, an overnight stay at one or more wildlife sites and route is usually part of your safari itinerary.

Serengeti access gates.

There are four main entry and exit gates:

  • Naabi Hill Gate: Main and most heavily trafficked access gate if coming from Arusha; 45km from Seronera.
  • Ndabaka: Main gate for Western Corridor: 1.5-hour drive from Mwanza and 145km from Seronera.
  • Klein’s Gate: In the far north-east, it lets a loop trip combining Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Natron.
  • Bologonya Gate: not in use yet.

Serengeti fly in safaris (airstrips)

This form of getting to the park is dedicated to those who are looking for a faster and even more suitable option. An arranged or private charter flights are always on the way to go or you can search for scheduled flights, with some local charters inducing a route with after a booking by a minimum of 2.

Arusha to Serengeti flights.

WHERE TO VISIT & STAY IN SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK.

In the great Serengeti National park, there are plenty of accommodations varieties which will suit you according to your budget. Starting from the public campsites to luxury lodges. These accommodation varieties are located on different parts of the Serengeti part, with many in central Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is a vast ecosystem with plenty of accommodations types. Here are some of the accommodations styles found in the great Serengeti.

  • Public camping
  • Special camping
  • Seasonal lodges
  • Tented lodges
  • Lodges

Accommodation for a Serengeti safari does not come cheap at all, this is due to the fact that food and supplies have to be imported to the hotels and camps from outside the park. With many other licenses and taxes applied

Visiting Serengeti is awesome experience, but choosing the right place to stay at the right time can be an overwhelming process. This is due to the fact that Serengeti National park is very large and different activities occurs at different time of the year depending on a season.

We recommend the following places to stay depending on a time of the season.

  • DECEMBER TO MARCH: NDUTU (SOUTH SERENGETI).

(Wildebeest calving season)

In these months of the year greatest spectacle of the Serengeti takes place with the wildebeest calving season.

Approximately 8,000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the Serengeti calving season. There truly is nothing that compares to seeing a baby wildebeest take off running just minutes after being born.

It is not possible to camp in Ndutu region. And lodges in area are seasonal, opens from January to march then they close their doors from April to October waiting for another calving peak season.

So main accommodations choices are Mobile campsite and Lodges.

  • APRIL-MAY: SERONERA (CENTRAL).

(SERONERA) camping is not recommended in wet season.

April and late May are normally the rainy season in Tanzania, this presents a unique chance for visitors to experience Serengeti.

In this time of the year Wildebeest Migration begins making its way west towards grumeti, where a spectacular game view can be found in the Grumeti when they start crossing the river.

Fortunately, April and May lodges across Tanzania lower their prices in a great way. So, makes it perfect time for those wishing not to spend a lot on their safari & for budget travelers it’s an opportunity to upgrade accommodation style as camping is not suitable for the rainy conditions

Available option camping, tented lodges & lodges. Recommended lodges & tented lodges.

  • JUNE: GRUMETI (WEST SERENGETI).

(grumeti)

June marks the beginning of the dry season, it is a good time to be in the park. There’s slight rain and temperatures range from 27C during the day to 15C at night.

In June, the herds move from the Western Corridor into the Grumeti, (making the crossing of the Grumeti River) so either of these areas would be a good base.

Available option tented lodges & lodges.

  • JULY-SEPTEMBER: LOBO (NORTH SERENGETI).

(wildebeest migration crossing Mara river)

The northern region of the Serengeti is a vast unspoiled area of wooded rolling hills scattered with open grassy patches and large outcrops, kopjes.

This region extends north about 55 miles from Seronera in the central Serengeti to the Masai Mara National reserve in Kenya.

In this time number of seasonal camps and lodges are found, mobile tented camps are normally available to those who want to be as close to the action as possible.

Lobo public campsite is highly recommended for those who wish not to spend much on their north Serengeti visit.

Recommended seasonal lodges.

  • OCTOBER – NOVEMBER: SERONERA (CENTRAL SERENGETI).

The Seronera also known as central Serengeti is the region of the park worth for a visit during this time of year. Central Serengeti has most accommodation options claiming some of the park’s most luxurious and unique lodge and tented camp experiences.

Luxurious lodges found in the area are such as Serena, sopa and the Four seasons. For those who are looking for the budget accommodations then Public campsites such as Nyani, Nguchiro and Pimbi are highly recommended.

For the budget travellers, we Safari Soles recommends these places to stay while in Seronera.

BUDGET.

  • SERONERA CAMPSITES.

Pimbi, Nyani and Tumbili Public Campsites.

These are the chans of public campsites found in the central Serengeti, Seronera. Are known as a public because they can be used by more than one tourist or group at the same time, different from private ones which can only be used exclusively and normally require prior booking.

Accommodation is in private tents only, with facilities provided being a separate house for the kitchen and dining area, running water, and modern toilets with a cold-water shower, and hand wash basins.

Abbreviation (Other names): SENAPA.

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