Planning A Safari Adventure In The Serengeti
Tanzania is one of the most popular countries in Africa for safaris, and the Serengeti is one of the most popular locations for visitors who want to see native wildlife! But where is the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania? And how do you plan a Tanzania Serengeti safari tour to remember?
Tanzania’s Serengeti is a geographical region in Africa, spanning the Mara and Arusha regions of the country. The Serengeti National Park lies within this ecosystem, along with several game reserves where visitors can take guided tours. The protected area within the park and the reserves encompasses nearly 12,000 square miles of land and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Serengeti?
Serengeti National Park experiences a generally cool and dry season from May to August; a dry and warmer season in September and October; and an even hotter (and wetter!) season from November to April. Most visitors plan their Tanzania Serengeti safari tours during the dry season when native wildlife gather at rivers and waterholes to quench their thirst. This is the best time to see Tanzania's wildlife during game drives.
Lodges and other accommodations stay open during the dry season, too. May game lodges close during the wet months because they are inaccessible to vehicles. It is also worth noting that the most dramatic moments of the Serengeti’s Great Migration coincide with the dry season. Witnessing thousands of wildebeests and zebras crossing the Serengeti plains in search of greener pastures is truly a remarkable spectacle for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.
On The Trail Of The Great Migration
Tanzania’s Great Migration is an annual event that involves the migration of almost 2 million wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and elands through the Northern part of the country and into Kenya, before returning to the starting point. The animals take on this cyclical trek to find fresh water and new grazing lands each year, navigating through treacherous terrains and enduring long distances in search of better resources for their survival.
One of the most unique things about this incredible event is that it can’t be witnessed anywhere else in the country. Unlike other famous wildlife parks that are fenced, the Serengeti is protected – but unfenced This means the animals are free to make their journey, just as they have been doing for millions of years, and are not fenced in. It also means that visitors can marvel at this timeless phenomenon on a Tanzania Serengeti safari tour.
Exploring The Serengeti’s Game Reserves
For many tourists, the Great Migration is the main reason to visit Serengeti National Park on a Tanzania Serengeti safari tour. However, to truly explore the region, you need to look beyond this annual event. The Serengeti is home to many other game reserves, which allow visitors the chance to witness more than the Great Migration. From lions to elephants to hyenas – the Serengeti is home to an incredible community of wildlife, and is worth exploring in depth!
- Seronera - Seronera is the site of the oldest tourist lodge in Serengeti National Park. It is also the site for the visitor information center, which includes a small museum, coffee shop, picnic area, and staff village. The area is known as the “predator capital of the world,” and sightings of leopards, cheetahs, and lions are (almost) guaranteed. If you plan your visit between March and May, you’ll be in the Seronera region for the peak of wildlife viewing season. One of the most unique things about Seronera is that it is known for balloon safaris. For a truly unique wildlife viewing experience, this camp is not to be missed!
- The Southeastern Plains – when you think of the Serengeti, the image of the Southeastern Plains often comes to mind. These short-grass plains stretch from the western side of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the southeast Serengeti National Park. The plains are vast and open and are home to lions, elands, wildebeest, and even skittish bat-eared foxes and ostrich. For a picture-perfect experience in an almost movie-like setting, the Southeastern Plains are your best bet for a Tanzania Serengeti safari tour.
- The Western Corridor – this stretch of land follows the course of the Grumeti River toward Lake Victoria. Grumeti Game Reserve, which lies next to the Serengeti National Park, is an important part of the region’s ecosystem. This reserve was created in 1994 to protect the annual wildebeest migration rights. This area is popular with tourists during the Great Migration when the great herds ford the river on their dangerous journey. However, visitors can see resident populations of giraffe, wildebeest, elephant, zebra, and lion all year long.
- Serengeti Mara – this small portion of sloping grassland lies between the Kenya border and the Mara River. The Mara River serves as a crucial natural barrier between the grassland and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The area is home to significant numbers of lions and cheetahs. You can also find elephant herds, topi, zebra, buffalo, and wildebeest in the Serengeti Mara, as well as a small population of rare black rhinos on a Tanzania Serengeti safari tour in this region.
- Northern Serengeti – this area serves as an essential corridor for the Great Migration, connecting the southern green season short-grass plains in the south with the dry season areas up north. The northern Serengeti stretches from the Lobo Hills southwards to Seronera and is characterized by green, rolling hills. The best time to visit this area is during September and October when the Great Migration passes through the area. But even at other times of the year, there is plenty to see in this part of the Serengeti including elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, and bat-eared foxes.
The Best Way To See The Serengeti
The Serengeti is the most popular area for safaris in Tanzania. This means that it is often crowded, and you will likely encounter other vehicles while out on a game drive. To avoid the crowds and experience Serengeti National Park as it should be experienced, you can split your safari itinerary in two: spend one part of your trip following the Great Migration and the other part in a more remote, out-of-season location like the game reserves mentioned above. This allows you to avoid crowds and experience the wonders of the Serengeti in peace.
Now that you know where the Serengeti National Park is in Tanzania, you can start planning your trip. Many reputable tour operators offer Tanzania Serengeti Safari tours and can help you arrange all the details of this incredible adventure. Pack your sunscreen and binoculars – you’re about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime!