The jewel of the crown
The oldest and best known national parks of Tanzania, the Serengeti is famous for its endless plains, theater of the great migrations of wildebeest. Here you can see huge herds of buffalo, elephant and giraffe groups, many species of gazelles and antelopes. Faced with this abundance of life, you will encounter large predators, lions with golden manes, cheetahs and leopards in the vicinity of acacia trees lining the Seronera. The Serengeti region covers the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Lollondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo controlled areas and the Maasai Mara National reserve in Kenya. The ecosystem of Serengeti is one of the world’s oldest and it’s essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. More than 90,000 people visit the park every year. Today, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve across the border in Kenya, protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact.
The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected areas, which altogether make up some 14% of the country’s land area, a conservation record that few other countries can match. Perhaps Serengeti is most famous for the migration. The wildebeest are one of the most important pieces in the Serengeti ecosystem puzzle. Their migration is as old as the history of mankind. The human history of the Serengeti is largely the history of the African people, from the hunter-gatherers of the distant past who roamed the vast plains, to those today who preserve it as a prime destination for visitors. Man has always been part of the Serengeti and many people, tribes and remarkable individuals have left their footprints on its endless plains.
With it’s impressive size, Serengeti National Park has a lot to offer and it is best explored by staying in the park for a few days rather than just making a one day visit.
When is the best time to visit?
Depending on the movement of the herds the location of your accomodation is crucial if you wish to see the Great Migration. If not, then Serengeti center is pretty good all year round (less good in mid March-mid June).
The Serengeti is a huge national park and to make it more comprehensive for you we have divided it into 4 parts; The Western Corridor, Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti (Seronera) and the Southern Plains.
The Western Corridor – game drives are best here during May and June all through mid July; the herds hang around and cross the Grumeti River at this time and there might even be some action during the crossing as the waters are filled with crocodiles.
Northern Serengeti – Areas in the north include Lobo and Kogatende. Visiting the north between July to October will give you a fantastic experience; it’s an ideal place to see the daily Mara River crossings because the herds are resident here during the period. These areas are relatively quiet and secluded mainly because the location is far away from central Serengeti (approximately 200 km) but this only makes us more in love with the place.
Central Serengeti – Central Serengeti is very rich in wildlife all year around; the web of river valleys in the central called Seronera region ensures water supplies and is the reason for the concentration of wildlife. The migration herds move through the park, from south to north in April/June and then start moving back south again in November/December.
Serengeti Southern Plains
These short grass plains stretch from the south of Serengeti to the north of Ngorongoro Conservation area and game viewing here is excellent between late December and mid April when the migration covers this whole area. Every year in February during a couple of weeks, around 8000 wildebeest calves are born every day in the area around Lake Ndutu.
What is there to do?
In Serengeti the main (and fantastic) acitivity is game drive during the day; night game drives are not allowed in the park; there are however a few camps just outside the park boarders that offer night time game drives. No walking safaris are allowed in the park but you can do walking outside the park boundaries.
Contact us for more detailed information about which camps that offer walking.
How about accomodation?
In Seronera there are loads of options of accomodation; we at Lemasani usually use the absolute gems of this area. Our favourite for best value is Serengeti Kati Kati and Ndutu Kati Kati (if you are in the south) operated by TWC. Other gems on the higher end are Asilia’s Dunia Camp and Naskia Camp’s newest addition Naona Moru Camps. A cheaper option to the high end camps is Serena Serengeti Lodge that offers it’s guests lots of comfort and warmth.
Seronera has several public campsites where you can enjoy the adventure of a campingsafari with you very own private cook.
In the northern Serengeti there are both permanent and mobile camps; our favourites are TWC’s Mara Under Canvas, Serengeti Migration Camp, Nomad’s Lamai camp and Serengeti Safari Camp and
Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp is situated in Bologonja between July and October, offering very easy access to the crossing of Mara River. Even Naskia’s Kaskaz Mara Camp that is situated in Kogatende is a great choice in the north.
If you are looking for a little cheaper but great options, Tingitana Camps have their mobile camp situated in the area in season and Serenas Mbuzi Mauwi can be found between Seronera and Lobo.
Or why not camp a little bit closer to nature in Lobo on a Lemasani campingsafari adventure?
In the western corridor our favourites is Serena Lodge’s Kirawira Camp and Mbalageti. Some great options on the higher end is Singita’s camps and lodges in the area, Mbali Mbali’s newest eco-friendly addition in Musabi plains – Soroi Serengeti Lodge.
Nomad’s Serengeti Safari Camp and Serengeti Migration Camp of Sanctuary Retreats are absolutely amazing!