Serengeti Safari Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti Safari
Serengeti National Park is among world’s renowned wildlife sanctuaries with incredible numbers of predators all over the Savannah plains and a Great Migration of over 2million wildebeests, 300,000 Thomson’s Gazelles, over 250,000 Zebras that annually cross over to Kenya’s Masai-Mara via the Mara River. Source, Serengeti National Park Website
The term Serengeti is a Maasai term that means “Endless Plains”. The Park is vast covering an area of 14,750 km², it is found in the Northwest of Tanzania, bordered by the Tanzania-Kenya border to the north, in the Southeast – the Ngorongoro (NCA), in the Southwest – the Maswa Game Reserve, and in the West lies twoGame Reserves; Grumeti&Ikorongo, all these make up the overall Ecosystem of Serengeti.
Serengeti being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it ranks among the world’s largest National Parks with unspoiled savannah grasslands bringing out the true wilderness. It’s the best Park for Game viewing. Truth us you can’t be wrong on choosing to spend a few days of your African Safari along the Serengeti Plains. Below are a few compiled things you need to know as you plan your Safari to Serengeti.
Wildlife can be viewed all year around concentrated along the Serengeti Plains. Though there are some specific times/seasons with better wildlife viewing. In general, the best game viewing time is from June all through to October (it’s a dry season). The highlight in Serengeti is the Great Migration where wildebeests together with Thomson’s gazelles and zebras migrate from the Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai-Mara. The times to view the migration changes every year though the best time would be from June to July and between Late January&February where the wildebeests are calving.
Also large herds of buffaloes, elephants and giraffes are spotted around the park. The big cats such as the Lions, Cheetahs, and Leopards are a must see since they are all over the plains and it’s possible to see them hunting down their prey (this shouldn’t be watched by the faint-hearted though a greatexperience). Other animals found here include; White Rhinos, Black Rhinos, Topis, Impalas, Elands, Kongoni and Grant’s Gazelles.
For tourists to viewwildlife at their best they caneither go on game drives through different tacks which are great spots for wildlife. While on the Game drive you can get closer to the animals. You can also go for a Balloon safari – you get a hence to explore above the Serengeti and all its breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Another option is a Guided walking safari, here you are led by an armed park ranger and it gives you chance to see well the plant, reptiles, insects, birds among others that you couldn’t see very well while seated in a car on the game drive.
Serengeti NPis a greatfamous Park for bird lovers. The park is home to over 238 bird species. Bird watching is an all year round activity in Serengeti but the best time is from November all through to April. This is the time when the North African and European migratory birds come in but also it’s the nesting time for the resident bird species.
Bird species found here include; Grey-breasted spurfowl, Rufous-tailed weaver,Grey-headed sparrow, Variable Sunbird, Secretary bird, Purple Grenadier, Black-headed Heron, Yellow-throated sandgrouse, White-bellied goaway bird, White-crowned shrike, Red-backed scrub, D’Arnaud’s barbet, Decken-Toko Tockus, Dark Chanting Goshawk and manymore.
When and Where to stay
Being a massive tract of land, where to stay in Serengeti National Park is determined by when you are visiting, the activities and areas you are visiting in Serengeti NP. The accommodation ranges from Luxurious lodges to the Budget camps; therefore you book where to stay basing on what you can afford. So basing on your choice we have broken down below the different regions where you can stay in different months of the year;
January to March
During this time you can stay in Ndutu region, because this is the season when the wildebeests are calving. Yes in this time you might not see the wildebeests crossing but you have a chance to see the Migration in its entirety. Over 10,000 young wildebeests are born in this time, therefore the predators are also everywhere trying to look out for a meal for themselves.
Some accommodation facilities include; Kenzan Ndutu Camp (Budget travellers), Ndutu Safari Lodge (Families), Kirurumu Mobile Camp (Mid-range travellers), Ndutu Under Canvas safari Camp or Angata Migration Camp (Adventurous Luxury travellers), Lake Masek Tented Camp or Sanctuary Kusini (Honeymooners and Luxury travellers).
Please note that; some lodges in this region tend to be seasonal and sometimes close between April and October every year. Also, itis not possible to dopersonalCamping in Ndutu Region.
April to May
This period is a rainy season in Tanzania, and the wildebeests begin their journey northwards in the Western Corridor or the Grumeti Region towards Kenya. Truth be told this is a great place for game viewing and because it’s a rainy season visitors get a chance to enjoy luxurious accommodation facilities at a fraction of the price. The tented camps or camping is not recommended during wet season and some luxurious lodges like Sopa, Four Seasons and Serena lower their pricesalso at this time of the year.
Accommodation facilities include; Grumeti Migration Camp or Mbugani Migration Camp (Mid-range travellers), &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp or Serena Kirawira Tented Camp or Mbalageti Serengetior Melia Serengeti(Luxury travellers) among others.
This month starts offSerengeti’s peak season in the Seronera region(in Central Serengeti)which is the bestplace for Game viewing. In this season, it’s worth visiting the Seronera region at the heart of the Serengeti, you will view a number of lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Still you can catch the wildebeest migration as they continue to the North.
While in Central Serengeti you can stay at;Seronera Campsite(Budget travellers), Sopa Serengeti or Kiota Tented Camp or Kenzan Tented Camp or Kat Kati Tented Camp (Mid-range travellers), Kubu Kubu Tented Camp or Serena Serengeti or Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp or Four Seasons Serengeti Safari Lodge or &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas or Angata (Luxury Travellers).
July to September
From July through September is when Serengeti receives more visitors. By this time the wildebeests are approaching theMara River in the Northern Region near the Kenyan border and this is when the dramatic crossing of the river increases.
There are a number of lodes and camps open in these months and they include; Lobo Campsite (Budget travellers), Chaka Tented Camp or Mara River Kati Kati or Kenzan Mara Tented Camp or Lobo Wildlife Lodge (Mid-range travellers), Angata Bologonja Tented Camp or Bologonya Under Canvas or &Beyond Klein’s Camp or Singita Mara River Tented Camp or Lemala Kuria Hills (Luxury travellers).
October to November
By this time most have crossed to Kenya’s Masai-Mara regiontherefore there are few visitors around Serengeti, but this shouldn’t put you of the Park is not so congested and since Serengeti can be visited all year round. Even without the wildebeest migration Serengeti still stand out- enjoy game viewing in the Seronera region. In factgiraffes, large herds of elephants, zebras, antelopesand many animals call Serengeti their permit home. So you can stay at any of the luxurious lodges or tented camps in this region.
By this time the circle of the Wildebeest Migration is full and they return to the Ndutu Region by December. In this time you can enjoy your Christmas or begin the New Year on a completely unique note as the Wildebeest start calving again.