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WELCOME TO THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT WILDLIFE VIEWING TREASURE! THE SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK.
ABOUT SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The Serengeti National Park is where safari goers come to truly experience an African safari on their Serengeti Safari tour. The park is rich with wildlife populations, endless plains, sunrises and sunsets that make the heart go wild.
The Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best kept and known wildlife sanctuary in the world, famous for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of wildlife in the world. It’s also known for having accommodated the early man himself at Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago.
Serengeti National Park was established in 1952 and is home to the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. The park is also known for its resident population of lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, and birds.
Covering the size of 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km), Serengeti national park with its unique ecosystem has inspired writers from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Mattheissen, filmakers like Hugo von Lawick and Alan Root as well as numerous photographers and scientists.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK REGIONS
Serengeti is most famous for the wildebeest migration. Every October and November, thousands of Zebras and over a million wildebeest move south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains and then head west and north after the long rains in April, May and June.
The park is so huge and to make it easier for tourists to move around it is divided into three areas each with a large variety of animals and plant life.
The Western Corridor which is home to the Grumeti River which is famous for its Crocodiles which hunt down animals as they try to cross. Here you will find various other animals such as lions, leopard, cheetahs, patas monkeys, hippopotamus and the majestic martial eagles.
The Northern Corridor known for its Elephants and giraffes. It is one of the best areas to find the dik-dik, which is one of the smallest antelope in Africa, standing at around 30-40 centimeters (12-15 inches).
The Central corridor which is almost completely treeless and provides great views of animals roaming in the park. This area is where the Wildebeest calve from December until May. The large number of the calves brings about a great deal predator sightings as they regularly target the easy prey. During the wet season, other large herds of buffalo, zebra, hartebeest and various other animals occur and with the vast open plains, it is easy to see why the Serengeti Plains is such a popular area for tourism.
HOW TO GET TO SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Serengeti National Park can be reached by road or by flight. By road the distance from Arusha to Serengeti is not a long one depending on which region of Serengeti you are staying and it takes approximately Eight hours.
The distance from Arusha to Serengeti central is 350 Kilometers and will take approximately 6 hours
From Arusha to northern Serengeti (lobo area) is approximately 7 hours
From Arusha to Kogatende area by road is Approximately 8 hours.
Contact us to book for you all the road transportation means.
Tourists can also reach Serengeti national park by flying from Arusha to different airstrips in the park such as Seronera airstrip in central Serengeti, Lobo orKogatende airstrips in Northern Serengeti and Lamai airstrip or Sasakwa airstrip in Western serengeti.
Different airlines operate flights from Arusha to different airstrips in Serengeti national park and these include but are not limited to Coastal air, Regional air, Precision air and Auric Air. These flights depart from different airstrips and airports such as Kilimanjaro international airport, Moshi airstrip, Dar es salaam airport, Ruaha airstrip, Arusha airport and siwandu airstrip among others
Before reaching Serengeti national park you may decide to spend a night in Arusha town, Visit Lake Manyara national park, Ngorongoro conservation area and Tarangire national park depending on your schedule and after Serengeti national park safari you may make an extension of a gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda or a beach safari in Zanzibar or Mauritius.
VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR A SERENGETI MIGRATION SAFARI
Most travelers will need to apply for a visa if they wish to enter Tanzania and visit Serengeti. The visa is valid for 6 months and the great thing about this visa is that you can apply for it online if you wish to save time by not having to visit your closest Tanzanian embassy or consulate. It’s best that you read up on all of the visa options available as in some cases you will be able to apply for your visa upon entry.
Again we have to mention that the Serengeti spans two nations and as such it can have an effect on the paperwork you’ll need. If you want to see the second half of the Great Migration or if you have always wanted to see the Masai Mara, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork to visit Kenya. You might well end up with 2 visas, so doing your research before booking an African safari is a must and you must be in possession of a valid passport.
If you are unsure about anything and you can’t find your answers online, you can always contact us for a quick solution
Popular Wildebeest Migration Safari Packages
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS
Serengeti Park is a natural habitat that is protected by the Tanzania Parks Act. Travelers visiting Serengeti National Park should take careful note of the rules and regulations listed below to ensure that they are not fined or prosecuted.
Tourist vehicles are allowed inside the park from 6 AM and 6 PM.
Tourists are advised to always adhere to the 50km/h speed limit as over speeding may result into a fine.
Unauthorized firearms are strictly prohibited.
Always give way to the Animals since this is their home and they have right of way.
Never feed the animals as this may cause serious disruptions to their natural ability to survive. As a result of tourists feeding, animals may become dangerous to humans as they become so used to them.
Smoking is prohibited while in the national park.
Avoid irresponsible disposal of cigarette buds since they can cause wild fires.
During camping always ensure that your fire is monitored at all times and extinguish it carefully.
Always leave your vehicles in a designated area and at least 200 meters for small animals and much further from larger animals.
Always avoid approaching animals too closely as this may inconvenience their natural life. We recommend you get close by at least 25 meters away.
Pets are forbidden in the Serengeti national park.
Drones are strictly forbidden from Serengeti National Park.
Always ensure to move only along the authorized tracks.
Always avoid picking anything natural from the park such as flowers and bones among others. Leave the park as is!
Camping is only allowed in the designated camping areas.
Picnicking is only allowed in the designated picnic areas.
Always avoid making loud noises, throwing objects, loud music and imitating animal sounds.
Littering is strictly prohibited as it can cause various sicknesses, poison or choke the animals.
Serengeti National Park is home to a large number animal species. These include the Big Five, herds of impala , Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, klipspringer, giraffe, warthog, roan antelope, bushbuck, hartebeest, eland, wild wildebeest, carnivores like the rare African golden wolf, African lion, leopard, striped hyena, spotted hyena, African wild dogs, honey badger, cheetah among others
Serengeti is also home to variety of bird species. These include the Ashy starling, the Black crake, Ficher’s lovebird, the turaco, the red and yellow barbet large ostrich and very small finches. .
DO I NEED CASH OR MONEY WHILE ON A GREAT SERENGETI SAFARI TOUR
It’s good to have some knowledge about the currency you will need and it’s recommendable that you always have some cash on you to buy artifacts, cool drinks and give tips or donations. However much tourists may find it easy to pay using US Dollars, it’s also good to change your local currency for the Tanzanian Shilling. Credit cards are accepted at most major hotels and restaurants but if you are looking to save money then you need cash.
HOW TO KEEP SAFE ON YOUR SERENGETI SAFARI TOUR
Serengeti is a wild place and therefore a guided tour is recommended and is a safe way to go about the great migration and it will give you plenty of time to simply sit back and relax. Self-drives are also an option but you might find that they are a bit more challenging when you don’t know the roads or if you feel a little hesitant when you come up close to animals.
Healthy wise before you will be granted permission to enter Tanzania; you will need to have a vaccination for Yellow Fever. This is mandatory for every tourist but you may take personal precaution vaccines like malaria, Ebola, Cholera and other United Nations registered diseases.
Additionally other malaria prevention practices include paying a visit to your doctor and getting the appropriate preventative medication. You also need to make sure that you pack mosquito repellent before you head off on safari.
The last health related concern to be aware of is the Tsetse Fly. This pesky little creature has a painful bite that you would rather not have. It cannot make you ill but when enough of them have taken a bite, you will feel the repercussions of not packing an insect repellent.
All in al repellents should be applied before and after safaris and you should find out ahead of time if your accommodation will include a mosquito net.
WHATS THE CLIMATE OF SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The climate of a destination is something that lingers in a very travelers mind during the planning phase of their trip. Just like any other destination, knowing the Serengeti climate is a crucial thing for any tourist if they want to get the best out of their trip. Tanzania and Kenya are some of the countries close to the center of the continent and therefore experience amazingly hot summers and mild winters. These nations are also close to the equator which means that they are also humid during the rainy season.
From May to August, Serengeti national park is dry since it’s in a sub-tropical region and can be quite cool for tourists. These are the winter months but there are also many warm days during this time. The warmer but still dry weather is generally experienced from about September to October and finally the hot, rainy season is from November to April.
SUMMARY OF AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES FOR THE SERENGETI SAFARI TOUR
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min (°C) 16 16 16 16 16 15 14 15 15 16 16 16
Max (°C) 29 29 29 28 27 27 26 27 28 29 28 29
Min (°F) 61 61 61 61 61 59 57 59 59 61 61 61
Max (°F) 84 84 84 82 81 81 79 81 82 84 82 82
The Great Wildebeest Migration
Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Africa, the Serengeti migration is the biggest migration of terrestrial animals on the planet. This natural event attracts more tourists who embark on a Serengeti safari during the peak of the annual Great Migration than any other time of the year. Around the same time, the mass wildebeest migration starts in Ngorongoro conservation area moving in clockwise direction.
Through the Serengeti they move in a group towards the Masai village. The Migration cuts across borders of Tanzania and Kenya. Thousands of zebras precede the massive million wildebeest migration and shortly thousands of antelopes will follow the wildebeest procession.
The Great Migration takes place in phases with the first phase starting at the beginning of the year between January and March. Apart from the fact that it’s a rainy season, it is also the season in which calves are born within the herd.
Over 400,000 calves are born in the weeks before the annual migration and by February the animals can often be seen grazing and when the rains end towards the end of May they begin to move towards the areas around the Grumeti River.
They will stay here until about June before they cross the Grumeti and Mara rivers in July. The river crossings offer the most spectacular and often brutal sightseeing when the weakest and the oldest of the herds fall prey to waiting crocodiles.
By the start of August, the animals start arriving in Kenya where they will stay until the rains come again most probably in early November and migrate back to the grassy southeastern planes from which they initially migrated to start over the process of calving. In total, the animals will walk for over 800 kilometres and thousands will die from thirst, exhaustion, hunger and predators during the journey.
MONTH BY MONTH SERENGETI WILDEBEEST MIGRATION SEASONS GUIDE
Ranked as one of the most famous national parks on the planet, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania never ceases to amaze tourists with its beautiful endless plains, vegetation, and the variety of wildlife. Serengeti is arguably one of the best places to visit for a safari all year round and its location gives travelers a chance to maximize the Northern Circuit Tanzania safari route by visiting Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National parks.
Experiencing the world famous Great wildebeest Migration in Serengeti largely depends on when travelers choose to visit and therefore knowing the best time to visit Serengeti is something every Wildebeest migration enthusiasts should take note of. Basing on the travelers interest, Serengeti can be visited throughout the year but it being a vast ecosystem covering an area of 30000 square kilometres with each part of the park offering a different migration experience, when to visit and where to stay typically depends on traveler’s personal interests.
For example if traveler want to witness the famous wildebeest migration river crossings, they have stay in the northern part of the Serengeti around July and September while those who intend to arrive at a time when there are less crowds and special discounts have to visit between April or May. Here is our month by month Serengeti Seasons Guide to help you plan your Serengeti Migration trip on a Tanzania safari:
JANUARY TO FEBRUARY
Marking the beginning of the of the Tanzania safari green season, the Months of January to February see the rolling plains of the Serengeti featuring a beautiful shade of green with minimal dust levels and good wildlife viewing opportunities more especially around the Ndutu plains in the south of Serengeti. It’s during this season that the wildebeest migration is concentrated in the Serengeti plains and many animals start birthing in February(Calving Season) to coincide with the green season. This period is also fantastic for bird watching activities as the park is full of migratory birds.
MARCH TO APRIL
These Months mark the end of the green season and the beginning of the off-peak season. The weather is fairly wet with lush and green grasslands especially in March as a result the wildebeest herds move slowly in order to be able to feed the calves. In April the weather is wet with rains especially in the evenings and the wildebeest herds are starting to move a little bit faster as the calves and foals become mobile making April one of the best time to watch the wildebeest herds and get much photographic opportunities.
This Month provides a great opportunity for wildlife action photography as the herds are gathering speed and the calves are fully operational moving quickly towards the Western part of Serengeti. The Weather is so wet and the scenery is green and blooming. During the month of May, wildlife viewing is limited as a result of much rain which make the roads slippery and impassible though you are likely to get a lot discounts since most camps and lodges are not busy.
JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST
June is traditionally the Grumeti River crossing period though the fun and intensity depends on the water levels of Grumeti River. It marks the beginning of the dry season and the peak season for safari travellers to the Serengeti and the herds are spread out which provides a rewarding experience. July marks the starts of the Mara River crossing as well as the mating season. The herds are moving quicker in search of water and green grass since it’s a dry season and along the way they encounter crocodiles in the Grumeti River and Mara River during the dramatic River crossing. Finally August is the best Month to witness the dramatic Mara River Crossing in both Serengeti and Masai Mara. The dry weather is getting overdue and the herds are moving faster in search of water and greener grass leading them into the crocodiles infested Mara River.
SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
September provides one last opportunity to witness the dramatic Mara River Crossing as the famous river crossings along the Mara River are still visible during this period since the migrating herds travel in large batches. Around October the dry season is approaching its climax and the herds are moving back into the Serengeti through the Loliondo in the Eastern part of Serengeti.
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
November is characterized by short rains that refresh the air and wash away the dust from the dry season and the herds are now concentrated in the Lobo area,Seronera Valley and the Mbuzi Mawe area therefore a better time of the year to see the wildebeests. December is a busier and wet season as the wildebeest herds are moving quicker towards the south plains.