Serengeti National Park

Gaze for miles over the African plains, green or gold according to the season but always full of life.

Overview

The Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous safari destinations in the world. Its vast open savanna plains allow wildlife to move according to the commands of the seasonal rains with no park boundaries. Below is our guide to the Serengeti safari lodges through the park. With the Serengeti National Park at its heart, the Serengeti eco-system comprises much of northern Tanzania. This includes the Ngorongoro Crater and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

More than other safari destinations, the best place to stay in the Serengeti depends on when you are travelling. You’ll also need to consider your tolerance towards seeing other safari vehicles. As the Serengeti is very busy when the wildebeest migration peaks in the central areas.

The Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti

Up to two million wildebeest and half a million zebra live in the Serengeti National Park. Combined with thousands of impala and other antelope, it is the largest concentration of wildlife in the world. Naturally this attracts the predators. But life on the Serengeti is a complex cycle defined by the rains. The Wildebeest migration is actually a continual circular movement of animals as they trek up to 800 km. As the year progresses, they trek north through the Serengeti National Park.

Then most of them cross into the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya in search of new grazing lands. And then as the short rains begin, they head back down again. On the way the wildlife migration spills out into buffer game management zones beside the park where wild animals co-exist alongside the local Masai tribespeople.

Serengeti safari - Lion Cubs

Seasonal and Mobile Camps in the Serengeti

Several Tanzania safari operators have focused on luxury mobile camps. These all have the comforts of permanent camps. (So perhaps it is wrong to even call them mobile?) But the whole camp does relocate twice a year. In the summer months they are located in the Southern Serengeti. And then after the long rains of April, they move to the northern part of the Serengeti. effectively following the the migration as it heads north. Nomad Tanzania are masters at this and their Serengeti Safari Camp was the original. But it is now joined by various others such as Asilia's Olakira.

Back to main Tanzania Safari page

Features

Why you may love it

  • The Wildebeest Migration, known as The Greatest Show on Earth.
  • Safaris by 4×4 game vehicle.
  • Night drives and even walks are an option in the Serengeti Game Management Areas.
  • Hot Air Ballooning.
  • Seasonal Camps for best game viewing locations.

When to visit Serengeti National Park

Mid-Dec to mid-Mar

Summer in Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti lies on the inland plateau at 1500m (5,000ft). So, it’s noticeably warmer than the Ngorongoro Highlands but cooler than the coast. The summer is warm at 26-27C in the day and cool nights. Occasional afternoon showers cool it down. It rains every month (at least 100mm) From mid-December to March, the short grass plains of the Ndutu in the south are alive with herds of wildebeest and zebra.
AVG RAINFALL 91 mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

Mid-Mar to May

Long Rains in Serengeti National Park

The long rains here take the form of afternoon hard showers and they make park roads – with their notorious black-cotton soil more tricky to navigate. But this is when the plains are at their most beautiful. Vivid with wildflowers and packed with game. Also the quality of light is magical.
AVG RAINFALL 112 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 58 ℉

Jun to mid-Aug

Most impressive season in Serengeti National Park

From late May, the Serengeti National Park is the theatre for the most impressive wildlife show on earth: the wildebeest migration. Hundreds of thousands of plains game begin moving north-westwards to the Seronera. This spectacular moving feast is trailed by predators: lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena. Given the Seronera’s centrality, you can stay here and still travel north or to the Western Corridor. So Seronera stays busy throughout the migration. Sometime in July, huge columns of wildebeest and zebra congregate at the Grumeti river in the northern Serengeti. They need to cross the crocodile-infested river to the permanent water of the Masai Mara which they start to do in late July or August.
AVG RAINFALL 16 mm
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 13.5 ℃ / 56 ℉

Mid-Aug to mid-Oct

Good game-viewing in Serengeti National Park

This continues to be a superb time for game-viewing as most wildlife is territorial and thus stays in the Serengeti.
AVG RAINFALL 28 mm
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

Mid-Oct to mid-Dec

Short rains in Serengeti

Late October & November is the time of the less intense short rains. However the rain comes as afternoon or night showers so there’s plenty of sunshine as well. The short rains herald the start of the return of the migration as it returns south into Tanzania, mainly into the Loliondo region of the Serengeti. But it tends to be more spread out and sporadic. The migration continues south to return to the Ndutu plains by the start of the summer dry season.
AVG RAINFALL 102mm
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

Popular tours & safaris

We arrange trips to more than 100+ destinations throughout the African continent.

Start planning your dream trip

Find me the best in for

Need a little help? View our Safari Guide to help you get started

Accommodation

View More Accommodations

Get our Wildebeest Migration Guide

How the great migration of wildebeest and zebra moves month by month... Get our complimentary guide here
 

Sonja Brand

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Sonja, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • NameSerengeti means 'endless plains'
  • Great MigrationWorld’s largest movement of animals

Serengeti National Park Articles

Load More Articles