Serengeti National Park
There is a good reason that the Serengeti National Park is the home of countless documentaries and is known as Africa's best place for a wildlife safari. During the great wildebeest migration, an estimated 1.5 million large mammals will march across the endless plains searching for lush green grass. You will spot many hungry and sometimes full lions as they roam freely through the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will be amazed how your eagle-eyed safari guide will spot majestic leopards hidden in acacia trees, elusive cheetahs stealthy walking in the tall grasses and roguish lions searching for their next meal.
Maybe it will be photographing a leopard jumping from an acacia tree, watching a dung beetle push a ball of rhino droppings down a red dirt road, listening to the moans of a male lion as you comfortably rest in your tented camp, or spotting a mother cheetah teaching her cubs how to hunt for the first time. These will be only a few of life changing sights and sounds of a proper African safari. Africa will forever be engraved in your memory.
A Serengeti safari with Chacha Tours will make even the most experienced adventurer envious. We know all the secret spots in the Norther Rivers for watching bathing hippos and massive crocodiles. You will marvel at the magnitude of the great migration in August and September, and you will be on the edge of your seat as the massive herds of wildebeest try to dodge the giant Nile crocodiles during their daring crossings of the Mara River.
There is a reason that Chacha Tours Africa is the best safari company in Tanzania. Please join us on an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.
What is the Best Time of Year to go on Safari in the Serengeti?
January is a wonderful month to Safari in Tanzania. The Serengeti is exceptional throughout January, February and March. The first of the Great Migration herds have reached the Ndutu plains area which is just south of the Serengeti. The wildebeest and zebra and are starting to get ready for the calving season which usually begins in late January through February. Expect to see lots of babies and when there are babies it is easy to see lots of action from predators!
The temperatures in January are quite comfortable. The skies are often filled with beautiful clouds. Rain storms are possible, but are usually localized and short. The grasses of the Serengeti tend to be green making for beautiful photos and the roads are less dusty making for a more enjoyable safari. The crowds tend to be smaller in January compared to December, which makes for better viewing of animals. Overall January is an excellent month for visiting the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti area and late January can be quite exceptional.
February is an exceptional month to visit Tanzania. The Serengeti is outrageously good throughout February, with February being the peak month for wildebeest calving. February is the time of year when approximately 500,000 wildebeest are born in less than a month! Safari aficionados flock to the Serengeti because there will be thousands of babies roaming the plains which make for wonderful photography and the chance of viewing predators in action is extremely high.
Cheetah sightings are frequent during this time of year and many of the predators also are having babies. The sheer concentration of predators on the huge open plains is astonishing. The grasses are green and the roads tend to be less dusty than the dry season. The crowds tend to be a little busier in February but the wildlife viewing will more than make up for this slight inconvenience. A safari designed around Serengeti, Ndutu, and Ngorongoro Crater is a must do in February.
March is a good time to visit the Serengeti. Heavy rains are on the horizon, but the migration is still in full swing and the newborn wildebeest have increased the total number of the great migration to the highest levels of the year. The grazing animals are abundant and this means there are abundant amounts of predators.
A secret that only the best safari companies know is that when it rains a lot in the Serengeti, the viewing of cats - lions, cheetah, serval cats, caracals, and leopards - can be much easier and more frequent than in the dry season. The cats truly dislike walking in the wet grasses and they tend to stay close to the roads.
Even if it is raining, a safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater can be a superb trip for March. The crowds tend to be much smaller, which makes for a very intimate viewing experience. It is common to spend up to an hour with a group of cheetahs, without seeing another vehicle. March can also be a very good value, as many of the camps have dropped their rates to ‘low’ season prices.
April is wet in the Serengeti, but you will still love it. Bring your sense of humor and a raincoat. We aren’t afraid of the rains in April and you shouldn’t be either! Most of the people are scared off by the April rains and you might feel like you are in your own private game reserve. The rains tend to occur in the evening and the days are usually clear. The moisture turns the grasses green and some of the best photography occurs during this time of year. If you can deal with the cool nights and slippery roads, you’ll be rewarded with excellent sightings.
April as one of the most consistent times to see a lot of activity. This is when the herds of wildebeest slowly get going as their young calves and are becoming more mobile. The wildebeest tend to be around the Simba kopjes, Moru and Kunish areas. These areas are known for their healthy lion and big cat populations. Expect a fair amount of interaction between predator and prey. Lions are not particularly fond of wet grasses so they tend to travel along the roads. This makes for a very intimate viewing of lion activity.
May is not an ideal time to visit the Serengeti and is only recommended for those that are adventurous and tolerant of wet roads. May is the wettest month in the Serengeti and the roads are usually very slippery and tricky to navigate. May is the most difficult time for safari drivers as they have to be very careful about choosing only the best roads. Our expert guides know the best roads and can navigate them, but be prepared for some exciting driving!
The wildebeest herds start to move quickly in May as the calves’ legs are becoming stronger, so bigger distances can be covered each day. The migratory herds tend to move towards Lake Magadi, which is just north of Moru and south of Mokoma.
Even though May is a slow month for tourism it is important to book early because lodging usually fills up quickly. Due to the difficult road conditions, the mobile camps do not operate in May. May offers limited accommodation options at permanent lodges.
June is a very good month to visit the Serengeti. Wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The dry season occurs from late June through October and it usually offers the best wildlife viewing in general. June is an excellent time to visit Tanzania, but expect larger crowds and dusty roads.
During the month of June, Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is a huge attraction. The reason for this is because the Great Migration is pushing into the western corridor of the park. It is certainly a noisy time of year as it is rutting season. Animals are easy to spot, especially around waterholes and rivers. It is usually sunny and dry. The roads can be very dusty and wildlife viewing around the Seronera area is excellent. The migration is usually around this area of the park and where there are lots of wildebeest there are lots of lions.
July is one of the best months to visit the Serengeti. Tanzania is a huge attraction at this time of year because the Great Migration is pushing up to the northern Serengeti. Towards the end of July is when the first crossings of the Mara river might take place. Get your camera ready as everyone wants to get a glimpse of the frantic action between the crocodiles and wildebeests. If you are lucky enough to see the first animals crossing, you will be witness to something truly unforgettable.
The Serengeti is the big attraction in July, but many of Tanzania’s quieter parks area also coming to life. Selous, Ruaha and Katavi are worth a visit and the elephant migration is also starting to build in nearby Tarangire National Park.
August is usually your best month to see the wildebeest crossing the crocodile infest waters of the Mara river. August is the most consistent month to view the famous river crossings. The wildebeest herds will be searching for green grasses and are forced to cross the Mara river which separates Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara.
August is very popular with tourists and tends to be very hot and humid and it seems like the dry season kicks into overdrive. Book early as this is the most popular time of year to visit the northern Serengeti. Accommodations fill up quickly and expect to be surrounded by other safari vehicles near the Mara river. Don’t be discouraged by the hot weather, dusty roads, and large crowds; there is good reason this is the most popular time to visit the Serengeti.
September is a wonderful month to visit the Serengeti. Many of our expert guides say that September is the best month to visit. Early September is an excellent time to see the final remaining wildebeests crossing the Mara river. The busy crowds from August have left and there is still plenty to see after the migration has moved into the Masai Mara. The resident animals of the Serengeti don't go on vacation, and though a majority of the wildebeests, zebra, antelope have move into Kenya, many resident animals remain behind.
Those animals that do remain behind can often be found in large concentrations at the very north of the Serengeti. September offers more hot and dry weather, as the dry season continues in the Serengeti which makes for easy viewing of animals around watering holes and rivers. It is common to see hungry predators like lions, hunting near the watering holes during the daylight hours. September is less crowded and is considered one of the best months to visit the Serengeti.
October is a great time to go on Safari in the Serengeti. The crowds will be much smaller compared to August and if the rains start early the wildebeest herds will start moving back into the Serengeti. Depending on what is happening with the rains, the wildebeests tend to start crossing back into Tanzania through the crocodile infested waters of the Mara river towards the end of October.
Even if the roughly 500,000 wildebeests and zebra stay in Kenya, 1.5 million animals still remain in Tanzania. The northern Serengeti is usually very active this time of year, especially if the dry season holds on for a few weeks. Many animals can easily be spotted nervously drinking from the sparse watering holes; make sure to keep a leery eye out for a lion ambush.
While the Serengeti sees an increase in river crossings as the herds start their journey south, Tarangire’s elephant herds are at their peak. The Ngorongoro crater is as consistent as ever and always a must see.
November is a good time to visit the Serengeti. November brings cooler weather and light rains, but there is still a good chance to see the wildebeest crossing back into the Serengeti. As the crowds dwindle the majority of the camps and lodges drop their rates and the park feels tranquil and peaceful. When you see cheetahs, lions or leopards, you might be the only vehicle there.
One must remember that light rain is to be expected during this period, but that really is no reason not to visit the Serengeti. By late November, the wildebeest herds will be in the Serengeti, stationed in the Lobo, Mbuze Mawe and Seronera Valley. These are great areas for seeing many resident animals like hippos, leopards, and cheetah.
November is a wonderful time to visit Tanzania and the Serengeti. The crowds are much smaller compared to December and the temperatures are quite pleasant. Wildlife viewing is usually exceptional in November.
December marks the beginning of the green-grass season in Tanzania and is a wonderful month to track the herds of wildebeest and zebra migration in the Serengeti. Winter holidays make for a busy month in the Serengeti. Visitor numbers will be low in early December and very high in late December with the New Year's crowd. Temperatures are usually very pleasant with an average high of 83 degrees F (28 degrees C).
Occasional showers can be common in December. These sporadic showers do not usually pose much of an inconvenience while game driving. With the rains, the Serengeti plains turn from a dull brown to a beautiful shade of green, dust levels along the roads are minimal and most wildlife species are easy to spot. The weather is much cooler which makes for more interesting wildlife viewing.
The wildebeest migration will be moving quickly now towards the southern plains. If there’s been lots of rain in the northern part of the Serengeti, then Lobo or farther south is the ideal place to see the wildebeest herds.
If you can tolerate busy crowds around Christmas and New Year’s, December is a wonderful time to visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro area.
“The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.”