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The Serengeti is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated national parks and a perfect snapshot of true African wilderness. Its great rolling grasslands and golden savannah give you an awe-inspiring sense of space and support large populations of zebra, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, gazelle and antelope – not to mention millions of wildebeest! And where there are game by the dozen, predators will not be far behind. It’s a paradise for lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyena and wild dogs – and one of the most sought-after game viewing destinations in Africa.

 

Most exciting holiday we have ever experienced

The lodges, travel arrangements and even the weather turned out to be just… absolutely top-notch… Serian Serengeti was in the middle of the Migration with millions of animals and all the predators… It was a complex, tailored journey but everything just worked as planned – no delays – no problems at all. All the guides and drivers were always on time and very pleasant. Even the weather was perfect with just a few hours of rain during the whole trip. So, thank you Maureen – not even a tiny detail might be improved – it was all perfect.

- Jorgen

 

Quick Serengeti Facts

  • Serengeti means ‘The Land that Moves on Forever’.
  • Home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.
  • The bulk of the Wildebeest Migration takes place in the Serengeti – the second largest land mammal migration on Earth.
  • One of the best places to observe lions in the wild.
  • The Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem is one of the world’s biggest and most protected ecosystems.
  • High season: about July to October.
  • Rainy seasons: about November to December and April to May.
  • Wildebeest Migration season: the herds move around the Serengeti from about October to July.

 

A photograph of a small section of a larger herd of wildebeest all facing the camera spotted while tracking the Great Migration | Go2Africa
Getting up-close and personal while tracking the herds | Olakira Migration Camp

Location

Location: Where is the Serengeti?

Tanzania’s flagship park lies in the north-western corner of the country and borders with Kenya to the north. The conservation area continues across the Kenyan border into the Masai Mara National Reserve, together forming the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem – one of the biggest and most protected ecosystems on Earth. It spans approximately 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 square miles) – about the size of South Carolina.

Other Safari Areas Around the Serengeti

  • Southeast: The Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Northwest and west: Grumeti Game Reserves

Flights and How to Get There

The typical, and most straightforward, way to begin your Serengeti safari is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha Airport. Several smaller airstrips then make short charter flights to your chosen lodge a seamless exercise. Alternatively, for closer lodges and camps, transfer via game vehicle and enjoy an introductory safari along the way. For any further travel, the airstrips are also ideal connection points to the Masai Mara, kilimanjaro, and Lake Manyara.

TIP: International flights often arrive at Kilimanjaro late at night, so we recommend an overnight in Arusha before catching a charter flight into the Serengeti.

Top Things to Do in the Serengeti

A group of four people walking from left to right traverse through the African bush on a guided walking safari | Go2Africa
Venturing out on a walking safari | Wilderness Usawa

With one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife, and the primary Great Migration destination, it’s no surprise that the top things to do in the Serengeti are game focused. That being said, not all game viewing has to be done from vehicles! Here are a few of our top recommendations for Serengeti safari activities:

1. Game Drives

Make your way around the park with the help of expert guides and discover the diverse wildlife who call it home, including the iconic Big 5.

2. Walking Safaris

Venture out on foot with your guides and take note of nature’s intricacies while enjoying up-close and personal sightings of wildlife.

3. Hot Air Balloon Safari

Take to the skies and get the best bird’s eye view of the diverse landscapes below. During the Great Migration, the sheer volume of wildebeest is simply staggering from above!

4. The Great Migration

Each year, around two million wildebeest begin their migration – a perilous journey of river crossings, stampedes, and predators all to follow the annual grazing shift. It’s difficult to put into words, but watching them navigate this natural gauntlet is captivating.

5. Birdlife

While the land-based wildlife may be impressive, the birdwatching is equally fascinating. Around 500 known species flit through the Serengeti’s plains at any one time, ideal for an armchair safari back at your camp or lodge.

Consult our packing list to ensure you have everything you may need for the above activities and your Serengeti travel as a whole.

How Long to Spend in the Serengeti?

African Safari Expert Monique Lange standing by the Serengeti National Park sign | Go2Africa
Taking time to admire the scenery | Monique Lange, African Safari Expert

Based on the park’s size and the amount there is to see and do, a minimum of 4 full days is advised, but it is highly suggested that you stay longer if you can. Three days or less is not enough time to get a comprehensive, well-rounded experience in the Serengeti. So, the longer, the better. If your trip is combined with other nearby destinations, this should give you time to experience the key areas before moving on.

Where to Go

Where to Go: Best Safari Areas in the Serengeti

Northern Serengeti

A guide walks along a sand walkway lit by lanterns at twilight towards a large tree with two lantern-lit tented structures in the Serengeti | Go2Africa
Twilight magic in the Serengeti | andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas

The park’s northern region consists of small rivers, green rolling hills and lush granite outcrops (kopjes). It is far less crowded than the rest of the park and offers good wildlife viewing year-round. It’s the most remote corner of the Serengeti and sets the stage for the Wildebeest Migration’s dramatic Mara River crossings around July/August. This is a great place to go on a hot-air balloon safari for a bird’s eye view over thousands upon thousands of wildebeest, and a good area to see elephant and giraffe.

TIP: Although the national park is home to all the members of the Big 5 – elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard – rhino sightings are rare. Your best bet to see these endangered animals is in the Northern Serengeti.

One of our favourite areas in the northern Serengeti is the Lamai Wedge: a game-rich, uncrowded location where walking safaris and off-road game drives are allowed – activities not permitted in the public park.

Where to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
SayariCamp-Exterior-Elephant SayariCamp-Activity-Spa Sayari---Camp-annual-migration Sayari---Camp-hot-air-ballooning Sayari---Pool-lunch-private-dining Sayari---Scenic-morning-breakfast

Sayari Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits (additional cost) Dinner under the stars
Serengeti, Tanzania
Lamai_serengeti_-exterior Lamai_serengeti_stairs Lamai_serengeti_Bedroom-exterior Lamai_serengeti_bedroom Lamai_serengeti_balcont-with-a-view Lamai_serengeti_balcony Lamai_serengeti_dining

Lamai Serengeti Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Game drives Guided walks Picnics
Serengeti, Tanzania
Kichakani has sleek and stylish accommodation. Warm up at the campfire. Prime position for the annual Wildebeest Migration. Traditional safari mess tent. Enjoy coffee and the view on your private deck. Kichakani Serengeti Camp is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The lounge offers expansive views of the Serengeti.

Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives Sundowners

Southern Serengeti

An elephant leans back on its hind legs in order to reach up to some of the tallest branches in a tree near Mwiba Tented Camp | Go2Africa
Searching for the highest branches | Mwiba Lodge

This is the most accessible part of the park, which means it can get a little busy during peak safari season (about June to October). During the rainy season from about January to March, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle graze here on fresh grass. It’s also the time that the main calving season takes place and predators – especially the big cats (lion, leopard and cheetah) – are taking every opportunity to hunt easy prey.

The southern part of the park is within driving distance of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which makes it easy to combine with a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater. The Crater delivers some of the easiest and most rewarding Big 5 viewing in East Africa.

Where to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
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Mwiba Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives
Serengeti, Tanzania
Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp Mila Tented Camp

Mila Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Cultural visits Day tours Guided walking safaris

Central Serengeti

A leopard perched on rocks near Dunia Camp with grass and trees in the background | Go2Africa
A spotty spectator on the nearby rocks | Dunia Camp

A very good game viewing all-rounder, the heart of the Serengeti houses a number of camps and lodges, which makes it a busy part of the park – especially during peak safari season from about June to October. It offers very good access to all the Migration hot spots and is home to a high density of plains game, leopard, cheetah and lion.

The region’s Seronera River Valley creates a natural boundary between the grassy plains of the south and the wooded hills of the north. As a result, this area is a haven for wildlife from both habitats, making the central Serengeti one of the richest ecosystems in the park with good year-round game viewing. Lions and cheetahs are common here, and leopards are often seen in the valley.

Where to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
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Dunia Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Dinner under the stars
Serengeti, Tanzania
Serengeti Pioneer Camp exterior Serengeti Pioneer Camp views Serengeti Pioneer Camp decor Serengeti Pioneer Camp sunset Serengeti Pioneer Camp fire Serengeti Pioneer Camp private tents Serengeti Pioneer Camp verandah

Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Full-day safaris Game drives
Serengeti, Tanzania
OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Exterior-ArealView OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Entrance-LuxuryRoom OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Dining-BomaCampFire OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Interior-CommunalArea OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Interior-LuxuryRoom OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Bathroom-StandardRoom OneNatureNyaruswigaLuxuryCamp-Interior-Twinbed

One Nature Nyaruswiga Luxury Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Day tours Game drives

Eastern Serengeti

A cheetah walking diagonally away from the camera with small raindrops looking like little highlighted dots | Go2Africa
A cheetah caught in the rain | Namiri Plains Camp

The eastern Serengeti offers diverse habitats, a wide range of wildlife, and good grazing for the migrating wildebeest between December and March. It’s a popular pit stop during the Migration’s calving season (between February and March), which attracts many large predators.

This area is much quieter than the rest of the Serengeti and a great location to avoid the tourist crowds. It’s also an excellent area to see big cats – one of the best for cheetah – and delivers those iconic lions-lazing-on-kopjes scenes.

Where to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_tent_exterior_at_dawn_3 wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_pool_private_dining wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_main_area_dining wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_namiri_plains_-_family_tent_rooms__deck1 wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_bar_interior naboisho-photographic-vehicle-gear-and-open-sides wetu_-_namiri_plains_-_family_tent_exterior1

Namiri Plains

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Bush walks
Serengeti, Tanzania
lemala-nanyuckie-main-area-2 lemala-nanyuckie-main-lounge-with-outside-fire-place lemala-nanyuckie-lounge lemala-nanyuckie-main-swimming-pool lemala-nanyuckie-spa lemala-nanyukie_12-3 lemala-nanyuckie-sundowner_11

Lemala Nanyukie

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Children's activities Day tours Game drives Guided walks
Serengeti, Tanzania
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Klein's Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives

Western Serengeti

A day bed with an umbrella and small side table setup under a tree watching zebra walk along the grass and through a few trees at Singita Sabora Tented Camp | Go2Africa
A tranquil setup to watch wildlife | Singita Sabora Tented Camp

The savannah of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor stretches all the way to Lake Victoria. The Grumeti River and its gallery forests run through this aisle of the Serengeti, a sanctuary for enormous Nile crocodiles and hippo.

Every year between about May and July, convoys of wildebeest (around 40km or 25mi long) arrive on the banks of the Grumeti to kick off the main event: the treacherous river crossings. This is one of nature’s most thrilling spectacles to witness, yet a bittersweet experience as many of the gallant gnus are killed by hungry crocs.

If you’re looking for a classic big game safari combined with away-from-the-crowds luxury accommodation, then we recommend the privately owned Singita Grumeti Reserve. It borders the Serengeti’s Western Corridor and lies directly on the Migration’s route, giving you front-row seats to all the action. It’s a quiet area with few camps and lodges and delivers excellent year-round sightings of general plains game and predators like lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and crocodile.

Where to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
Serena-seregenti-exterior Serena-Serengeti_exterior-of-the-lodge Serena-Serengeti_pool Serena-Serengeti_Romantic-dining Serena-Serengeti_dining-with-a-view Serena-Serengeti_bush-dinner Serena-Serengeti_dining

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Cooking lessons Game drives Guided walking safaris
Serengeti, Tanzania
Singita-Sabora-Tented-Camp-Aerial-View Singita Sabora Tented Camp-19-scaled Singita-Sabora-Tented-Camp-Dining-Area Singita-Sabora-Tented-Camp-Bedroom-in-Suite Singita-Sabora-Tented-Camp-Main-Lodge Singita Sabora Tented Camp_edit-scaled Singita-Sabora-Tented-Camp-Landscape

Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Biking Bird watching Game drives Hot air ballooning
Serengeti, Tanzania
GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Dining-BomaCampFire GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Interior-Lounge GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-SwimmingPool-ArialView GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Dining-Evening GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Exterior-DeckPatio GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Bathroom-LuxuryRoom GrumetiSerengetiTentedCamp-Interior-LuxuryRoom

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Game drives Hot air ballooning

What About Mobile Camping?

A luxe interior of a tented camp in the Serengeti complete with draping material from the roof, a bar, chandelier, and views across the surrounding bush | Go2Africa
A luxury mobile tented experience | Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp

Mobile safari camps are lavish tented affairs with all the creature comforts of a lodge and the added advantage of moving with the seasonal Wildebeest Migration. If your dream Migration Safari is a contemporary take on the expeditions of early explorers and to stay as close to the herds as possible, then consider a mobile safari – an authentic experience in exclusive wilderness areas.

Follow in the tracks of massive wildebeest herds as they cross the vast plains of the Serengeti with some of our favourite mobile camps:

Serengeti, Tanzania
OlakiraMigrationCamp-Entrance-StandardRoom OlakiraMigrationCamp-Exterior-StandardRoom OlakiraMigrationCamp-Activity-BalloonSafari OlakiraMigrationCamp-Interior-SkyBed OlakiraMigrationCamp-UpperLevelBedroom-StandardRoom OlakiraMigrationCamp-Interior-StandardRoom OlakiraMigrationCamp-Activity-BushDinner

Olakira Migration Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits (additional cost)
Serengeti, Tanzania
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Ubuntu Migration Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits (additional cost)
Serengeti, Tanzania
Main-areas-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas-1 Around-the-fire-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas Sundowners-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas Tent-veranda-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas Lounge-tent-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas Migration-river-crossing-kogatende-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas Safari-game-drive-andBeyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas

Serengeti Under Canvas

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Full-day safaris Game drives
When to Go

When to Go: Best Time of the Year for a Serengeti Safari

A game vehicle heading away from the camera encounters elephants crossing the road in front of it | Go2Africa
An encounter with elephants while on a game drive | Serengeti Pioneer Camp

The Serengeti’s density of wildlife offers a spectacular safari experience no matter what time of the year you visit. Although some of the wildebeest migrate to fresh grazing, not all of them do – and none of the predators move with the herds either. The park’s wide-open plains and mild climate mean that vegetation is never too thick to see wildlife, and the region’s two rainy seasons (November to December and April to May) are seldom too inclement. Short thunderstorms mostly occur in the late afternoons, but the animals won’t relocate when it’s raining.

High or Peak Season Low or Green Season
About July to October About November to December & April to May
Highest rates Lowest rates
Need to book up to a year in advance No need to book so far in advance
Cool and dry weather Hot and occasionally wet weather
Not many baby animals or migrant birds Lots of baby animals and birds around
Most crowded Least crowded
Great photography conditions The best light of the year for photography

Guidelines for Seeing the Wildebeest Migration

For many visitors, the question of exactly when to go on a safari in the Serengeti really depends on whether or not you want to see the Wildebeest Migration. This natural event is, however, a free-flowing phenomenon and its exact timing cannot be foreseen – it’s subject to annual rainfall patterns and essentially, the wildebeest themselves.

Approximate Time Region
Calving (Birthing) Season February to March Southern Serengeti
Intense Predator Action February to March Southern Serengeti
Rutting (Mating) Season April to May Western & Central Serengeti
Grumeti River Crossings May to June Central Serengeti
Mara River Crossings July to August Northern Serengeti
On the Move October to January Northern to Southern Serengeti

NOTE: The above are approximate dates and places. The Wildebeest Migration is a year-round, circular journey and the river crossings cannot be predicted – they generally occur from about May to September. Your best chance of seeing a river crossing may involve spending several days at a site where the wildebeest have congregated.

More Travel Advice:

Our Africa Safari Experts Say…

The secret is to visit between January and March. You can still see the Migration but there are fewer crowds, prices are lower, and the environment is lush and green – great scenery and perfect conditions for photography.

– Liesel van Zyl

What Does it Cost?

Budget: What Does a Serengeti Safari Cost

A tented camp with side sleepout platform and large tree in the background backlit by a setting sun | Go2Africa
Preparing for another sensational sunset in Africa | Ehlane Plains Camp

Before we look at the approximate costs of a Serengeti safari, it’s important to consider these budget-influencing factors:

  • Your preferred level of comfort.
  • The time of year you want to travel.
  • Flying or driving between camps and lodges. Flying is more expensive for two travellers but gives you more time on safari. Driving allows you to establish a good rapport with one driver-guide throughout your trip.
  • Extra activities you want to add to your itinerary, e.g. guided walks, spa treatments, hot-air balloon safaris and cultural tours.

Guidelines for Serengeti Safari Budgets

4-Star Comfort 4-Star Luxury 5-Star Luxury
Low High Low High Low High
$550 – $700 $600 – $800 $900 – $1,300 $1,050 – $1,500 $1,400 $2,000

We take pride in tailor-making safari itineraries that make sense for your budget and personal travel wishes. We do not offer one-size-fits-all tour packages and prefer to create a bespoke journey that satisfies your individual needs.

Connect with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you plan a Serengeti safari itinerary:

Combines Best With

A Serengeti Safari Combines Best With…

The Rest of Tanzania

Destination Why Go
Ngorongoro Crater
  • Best place in Tanzania to see the Big 5
  • Incredible cliff-top lodges
Tarangire National Park
  • See huge numbers of elephant, buffalo and giraffe (June to October)
  • Fantastic bird watching – over 550 species
Lake Manyara
  • Boat safaris
  • Excellent bird watching, especially flamingos
  • Spot tree-climbing lions
Ruaha National Park
  • Undiscovered and off the beaten path
  • See the biggest elephant herds in East Africa
  • Superb predator sightings, especially wild dog
Nyerere National Park (previously Selous Game Reserve)
  • Remote, raw and phenomenally wild
  • See animals in very large numbers – elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe
  • Home to rare wild dog
Mahale Mountains National Park
  • Trek for chimpanzee in remote mountains
  • Sunset boat cruises on Lake Tanganyika
Zanzibar
  • Perfect for a bush-to-beach finale
  • Luxury resorts on gorgeous beaches

 

A group of locals teach a traveller to start a fire using traditional methods | Go2Africa
Learning valuable skills on a cultural visit | Mwiba Tented Camp

The Rest of East Africa

Destination Why Go
Kenya
  • See the Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara
  • Encounter massive elephant herds in Amboseli
  • Discover hidden gems like Lewa and Laikipia
Rwanda
  • Africa’s easiest and most accessible gorilla trekking destination
  • Big 5 safari in Akagera National Park
Best Serengeti Itineraries

Our Favourite Serengeti Safari Itineraries

The Serengeti is a bucket-list destination for many visitors to East Africa and the Great Wildebeest Migration is a must-witness event for any wildlife enthusiast. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned safari-goer, the Serengeti’s offering is so diverse that you’ll always discover something new – no matter how many times you’ve been there. If you’ve already seen the Migration during peak season, then perhaps try out a Green Season Safari – the savannah will be lusher and quieter, with far less other visitors.

Because it is such a bucket-list destination, many travellers choose a Serengeti safari to celebrate special occasions like honeymoons, engagements and birthdays. In addition, the Serengeti offers easy travel logistics, short transfers between camps, and English is widely spoken.

For Families:

For Couples and Honeymooners:

Positive Impact Itineraries:

Immerse yourself in the local Maasai culture when in Tanzania or Kenya | Tassa Lodge

Our Positive Impact, or Trips With A Purpose, itineraries are a unique collection that involve support of, a visit to, or an immersion in wildlife conservation, environmental work, or local community initiatives.

Each and every safari booked with Go2Africa contributes to raising funds for various spheres largely focused on conservation and community. Not only do these tours promise to go a little further to protect the places we visit, and the people who call them home, but provide a unique experience for our travellers. Have a look at our top Serengeti recommendations: