Serengeti National Park
Home of the Great Migration
Quite simply the Africa we dreamed of .....
The legendary Serengeti hosts the largest concentration of African wildlife on Earth, and is home to one of the great wonders of the natural world; The Great Migration. Over two million wildebeest and some 600,000 zebra move through the eco-system, with lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog and crocodiles making sure only the strongest survive. The sheer volume of numbers combined with the daily dramas of life and death make this an unforgettable experience.
The vast, swaying golden expanse of grassland plain sprinkled with acacia wooodland and rock kopjes offers so much more in addition to The Migration; The 5,625 square kilometers of the Serengeti are home to a vast wealth of animals from lion, leopard and cheetah to elephant, giraffe, hippo, the elusive rhino and all the range of smaller mammals; less celebrated species such as warthog and gazelle, lizards as well as a glittering flock of bird species.
Night skies in this vast wilderness are breath-taking with the dome of stars seeming to touch the very earth around you, breath-taking sunrises evoke dawns of millennia past and magical twilight breezes gently whisper nature's calming breath. Follow the daily ebb and flow of the unrivaled Serengeti and lose yourself in the rhythm of this true wilderness, home to the myriad of Tanzania's creatures.
Central Serengeti is known for being the most wildlife-rich region of the vast park with resident lion prides and peppered with ancient rock kopjes; a favorite hang-out for leopard and lion. It is the best location from which to base a Serengeti safari (if not planning around the migration) because of the wealth of resident wildlife and the central location making it possible to reach some other areas of the park on full day drives. For this reason there are more permanent camps in this area than anywhere else so more choice. The Seronera Valley is the central hub of the Serengeti National Park; the network of rivers in this area ensure a year-round water supply and as such, it has year-round phenomenal concentrations of game as well as spectacular migration viewing in season. To the south west of Seronera is a magical area known as Moru where the scenery is stunning with open plains, hills and kopjes and it’s easy to get oﬀ the beaten track and escape the busier Seronera area.
Mid June -October
The northern Serengeti area of lush, rolling grassland and tree-lined watercourses is the most northerly point of the migration journey, together with Kenya's Masai Mara. During the dry season from July to October, the herds mass on both banks of the Mara River, frequently crossing - and braving the crocs - in response to local weather patterns that only they seem to understand. Unlike the southern plains of the Serengeti that dry out, forcing all but the hardiest of species to leave, this area remains lush and green. There's a collective sigh of relief from the resident game when the one and a half million migrating wildebeest - and the madness that follows them - leave town for a few months. The resident game in the area is spectacular from varied plains game, and abundant big cat populations to the chance to see rhino. The landscape in the north is more rolling hills than iconic savannah and in certain light is reminiscent of English countryside. A gentler landscape in some respects and well worth a visit even outside of migratory season for the solitude it offers when the herds and visitors leave. (if you have the extra days).
Mid Jan - March
Southern Serengeti / NCAA
The southern plains of the Serengeti (which include the Ngorongoro Conservation Area around Ndutu and Lake Masek) are where the migration begins and ends its annual journey. Each year in late February or March, the wildebeest calving takes place and visitors bear witness to the eternal circle of life playing out on these Southern Plains, with daily births and lion/cheetah/leopard/hyena hunts and kills.
The endless views of the open grasslands in the southern plains are probably one of the most emblematic that you will see. Accompanying the migration, zebras, impala, buﬀalo, topi and hartebeest occur here in large numbers, as well as opportunist predators, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and jackal.
With no permanent camps, a host of mobile camps move into the area Jan - March. Camps are often surrounded by huge herds and camp life is accompanied by the perpetual (and comical) honking bray of wildebeest.
After 20 years of being off-limits to tourists, the Namiri Plains in the eastern Serengeti are now home to a staggering density of big cats; specifically large prides of lions and a favorite haunt of cheetah. With only two camps in the whole area this is a quiet backwater of the Serengeti with little visitor traffic but within a couple of hours drive to Seronera and Ndutu so access to the migratory herds from November to May (some years).
Mid May - June
A less visited area of the Serengeti, the Western Corridor stretches west of the Seronera Valley, almost as far as Lake Victoria. The two major rivers of the Western Corridor, the Grumeti and the Mbalageti River, sustain rich areas of riverine bush and a good resident game population. The crocodile infested waters of the Grumeti pose a signiﬁcant obstacle for the migrating herds when they pass through this area from May through to end of June.