The great migration, Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

58 reviews

Safari suitability: 10/10

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This park has it all and an incredible tourism infrastructure to boot.

Found in: Tanzania
Companies: 397
Tour packages: 1509
Wildlife: 37 animals listed
Total area: 14,763 km² or 5700 miles²
Year established: 1951
Anti-malarial: Not required

What YAS members think

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Most-visited month:
December
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Highlights

  • Annual migration of over two million ungulates

  • The big five are present here

  • Vast, open plains with the ability to get away from crowds and have your own ‘private’ safari.

About Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous parks in Africa and is certainly Tanzania’s most famous and visited park. Established in 1951, it is also Tanzania’s oldest national park. Measuring around 14,763 km² or 5700 miles², it is over six times the size of its contiguous park in Kenya—the ​Masai Mara.  The Serengeti and Masai Mara are very similar in terrain and in the types of wildlife sightings, but off-road driving is severely limited in the Serengeti whereas it is freely allowed in the Masai Mara. By restricting where the safari vehicles can travel, the wildlife of the Serengeti are less accessible to tourist and are able to live in a more wild environment. 

Serengeti wildlife

Serengeti is home to the big five and big seven, which are the big five plus cheetah and wild dog. Probably the biggest claim to fame for the Serengeti is its annual migration of herbivores. All year-round over three million herbivores travel throughout the Serengeti, in a clockwise fashion, in search of the most lush and nutritious grasses. While the main stars of the migration are the blue (or white-bearded) wildebeest, of which there are over two million, the annual migration also includes herbivores such as zebras and various species of antelope. 

Regions of the Serengeti

The Serengeti is generally divided into four sections:     

  •  Central Serengeti

  •  Eastern and Southern Serengeti

  •  Northern Serengeti

  •  Western Serengeti


Central Serengeti

The central region of the Serengeti is a very fertile area with year-round water supplies. At the heart of the Serengeti is the Seronera Valley, with its lush green grasses and rivers. The year-round water results in resident prides of lions and other predators that do not need to follow the migration as they’ve adequate prey around the water supplies. Almost any safari to the Serengeti will include a few days in the central region as there is always ample wildlife to be seen. 

Eastern and Southern Serengeti

The eastern and southern regions are where the short grass plains are, which makes for an excellent viewing locale for cheetahs. The area is more open here and one can see a large number of elephants and, during the migration, prides o f lions. 

Northern Serengeti

As one heads north, the land becomes more rolling and is dotted with trees. The migration passes through this area on its way up to Kenya and must cross two rivers in the north: the Grumeti River and the Mara River. Both rivers are home to the Nile crocodile and crossings are a sight to behold. This region is also home to the largest population of elephants. 


Western Serengeti

The western corridor is the least visited but has much to offer. The Grumeti River also runs through here and makes for excellent game viewing when the migration passes through. This area tends to be more open than that of the north and central and regions.

When to see the annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti
 

Month Wildebeest location in the Serengeti
January Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti
February Eastern and Southern Serengeti
March Eastern and Southern Serengeti
April Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti
May Central Serengeti. Western Serengeti
June Central Serengeti. Western Serengeti
July Western Serengeti, Northern Serengeti
August Northern Serengeti
September Northern Serengeti
October Northern Serengeti
November Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti
December Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti

The Serengeti is often considered the best wildlife reserve in Africa, and it offers an unparalleled concentration of wildlife. 

When is the best time to visit the Serengeti?

The Serengeti is a top safari destination at any time of year. January through early March is when the ungulates of the great migration give birth.
Looking to see baby wildebeest faces? Visit in January or February.
After a cheaper safari? March through May is the long rain season, which has its benefits, including lower lodging prices, less tourists and flowers.
Want that wildebeest river crossing photo? July through October sees the migration in northern Serengeti, where wildebeest must cross the perilous Mara River.

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"Serengeti NP, a legend"
By: Mirta
Safari guru
Italy Italy
3 kudus
Photos (15)
Reviews (3)
Visited: Aug. 2020 Reviewed: Nov. 04, 2020

I have been to Serengeti many times and every time it’s a new experience, a new contact with something that evolves constantly. Yes, because this is not just a park, it’s a place that goes beyond any imagination. It’s a legend. The numbers are well-known: it’s huge, it’s crowded with wildlife, it’s a world heritage site in UNESCO list. The best part of it, though, is its hidden part, its secret part. If you decide to make a visit, you must approach it with your senses. You must enter in a kind of fairy tale world. Only in this way you will be able to catch the inner qualities of it. A game drive offers you the occasion of taking a great shot or of watching a pride of lions while resting under a tree shadow, but what you need to be looking for is something else. Maybe, near that tree, there’s a group of gazelles grazing, unaware that one of them will become the meal of those lions. The rules that control the savannah can be cruel, but they are necessary to maintain the delicate balance that exists in wild environments. Everything is perfectly organized. There’s no place that better captures this wild spirit than the Serengeti. All this topped off with spectacular sunrises and breathtaking sunsets that control all life rhythms. My last visit was in August: I wanted to witness the wildebeests crossing the Mara river, in the extreme north of the park. The Great Migration has its crucial moments linked to the seasons. A real unique experience. The four parts of the Serengeti are very different and many days would be needed to visit all of them. If you have only a couple of days at disposition, it’s better you choose what you want to begin with: be sure you will never be disappointed, you will live something special, you will always be amazed by an animal, a view, a singular tree. In Serengeti surprises are just around the corner.

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By: Mirta
Safari guru
Italy Italy
Visited: Aug. 2020
Reviewed: Nov. 04, 2020

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"THIS is what I always picture when I think of Africa! "
Safari enthusiast
Brazil Brazil
17 kudus
Photos (0)
Reviews (2)
Visited: Mar. 2019 Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2019

Plains stretching as far as the eye can see under an expanse of blue sky, an incredible array of wildlife, and sleeping in tents at classic safari camps. Our guides were wonderful and so knowledgeable - they took exceptional care of us. But most impressive of all, the wildlife was just incredible! I never quite realized that you could actually look out your safari vehicle window and see giraffe, hyena, wildebeest, lion, zebra, ostrich, warthog, gazelle, jackal and many more....all together in one line of vision. It's an experience of a lifetime.

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By: Franco
Safari enthusiast
Brazil Brazil
Visited: Mar. 2019
Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2019

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"Great experience"
Safari enthusiast
Australia Australia
91 kudus
Photos (9)
Reviews (4)
Visited: Dec. 2018 Reviewed: Apr. 01, 2019

We could see all the wild animals, most of them in close quarters. Lions, giraffes, elephants, everywhere. Lots of hippos, 3 leopards, 7 cheetahs at near handshaking distance. Lake Manyara park is a waste of time if you plan to go to central Serengeti. Stay in tented accommodation to get a natural feeling. We experienced elephants passing by, lion's roar at night and were greeted by two giraffes 50 meters from our tent.

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Safari enthusiast
Australia Australia
Visited: Dec. 2018
Reviewed: Apr. 01, 2019

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"Top notch adventure"
Safari tour operator
Kenya Kenya
12 kudus
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Reviews (2)
Visited: Mar. 2019 Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2019

Hallo to all travellers I was in Serengeti this month for 4 nights safaris and stayed at Serena Serengeti safari lodge. The game was just to good and our last day the rain came down very heavy which is very nice for the wildlife. We saw all the big fives, crocodiles, birds. It's was what I call the best way to start the year and when you are safaris with your clients.

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Safari tour operator
Kenya Kenya
Visited: Mar. 2019
Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2019

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"Serengeti - A wild and vast land of beauty."
Safari enthusiast
Norway Norway
16 kudus
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Reviews (2)
Visited: Dec. 2018 Reviewed: Mar. 07, 2019

One of a kind....saw two lion hunts (zebras and warthogs) and had many close encounters with animals and birds! 16 sleeping lions around one tree, cheetahs, and leopards. Lots of hippos, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, and hyenas. Fabulous, a must-see experience, truly a must be on your bucket list place to visit.

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By: Derick
Safari enthusiast
Norway Norway
Visited: Dec. 2018
Reviewed: Mar. 07, 2019

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"Amazing nature, stunning views, wildlife"
Safari enthusiast
Tanzania Tanzania
22 kudus
Photos (0)
Reviews (2)
Visited: Oct. 2017 Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2019

Incredible experience that is just majestic and beyond satisfying. This is the natural wonder you have been looking for. The incredible wildlife and landscape is just impossible to describe while doing it any kind of justice. You must experience it yourself if you are at all able to. Don't wait any longer, cross off the safari from your bucket list today!

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Safari enthusiast
Tanzania Tanzania
Visited: Oct. 2017
Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2019

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"What a beautiful place to visit."
Safari enthusiast
Switzerland Switzerland
110 kudus
Photos (11)
Reviews (2)
Visited: Jul. 2018 Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2019

Amazing nature, stunning views, and wildlife. This is a place you must visit and see for yourself. Definitely one of the beauty of this world. A complete immersive experience into the wild life. Plenty of wild animals in their natural habitat, however animals are not the only thing to see, the surrounding nature is truly astonishing. Randomly wandering into that yellow grass sea is a memorable experience, one of the best I have ever had. We were only 2 people in the jeep with our great driver/guide Chris from Mgalaa expeditions. We really enjoyed everything there. Highly recommend

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Switzerland Switzerland
Visited: Jul. 2018
Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2019

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"The most awesome nature experience"
Safari guru
Tanzania Tanzania
82 kudus
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Reviews (1)
Visited: Jul. 2018 Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2019

The great migration and The Big 5. This is my experience together with my husband and kids when we had a tour to Serengeti National Park in July. Truly, Serengeti National Park deserves to be the number 1 of the seven natural wonders of Africa. Our safari was affordable and properly organized by Kiliedu Travel & Tours. They helped us make our safari amazing. Don’t miss the Serengeti National Park when you visit Tanzania.

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7People gave this
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Safari guru
Tanzania Tanzania
Visited: Jul. 2018
Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2019

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"A treasure we need to preserve !"
By: Sammy
Safari enthusiast
United States United States
21 kudus
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Reviews (2)
Visited: Dec. 2018 Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2018

Being on the Serengeti is a dream come true for most avid travelers. The expanse of it, was mesmerizing......animals as far as you could see. We were fortunate to see several lion prides, along with our depleting black rhinos.....only 20 left on the Serengeti......each rhino has a ranger attached to it, to make sure it's protected. It was just heaven being out in the wide open.....makes you feel very insignificant in the big picture of life! Just beauty roaming everywhere.....this trip will forever be on the top of our travels list ! Bantu Pori Journeys guide delivered all my expectations and more. Overnight we would discuss the start time the next day. Completely flexible, long day short day, early day, breakfast box or lunch box or both. Due to his flexibility and expertise we had an unbelievable trip.

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By: Sammy
Safari enthusiast
United States United States
Visited: Dec. 2018
Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2018

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"Awesome safari in Serengeti via Mgalaa Expeditions"
Safari guru
China China
33 kudus
Photos (1)
Reviews (3)
Visited: Oct. 2017 Reviewed: Dec. 11, 2018

Because the experience of a 5-day safari in Tanzania with Mgalaa Expeditions was absolutely amazing. Everything was organized by Nema in a perfect way: transport, accommodations, meals,. Our guide Chris was excellent in meeting all our needs during game drives! With his experience of more than 3 years in this job, he was able to drive us in the perfect locations and spot animals from far away; he explained us many things and curiosities about the different species we saw and he respected our requests for time while taking photos, being always very professional, serious, available but also nice and friendly. Thanks to his skills and patience we managed to see, besides many kind of animals, the “big five”, including two wonderful black rhinos! The vehicle was also comfortable and spacious for two people, the packed lunches were good and all dinners and breakfasts in the lodges and tented camps were simple but really tasty and genuine. We must say that our experience with Mgalaa Expeditions exceeded by far our expectations on a safari!

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Visited: Oct. 2017
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Driving to the Serengeti from Arusha

Most international flights will arrive at JRO, Kilimanjaro International Airport. As many of the international flights arrive in the evening, many tour operators will have guests spend their first night in Arusha, which is about 45 minutes away. Depending on where in the Serengeti you are headed, the drive will take between four and six hours. The first part of the journey will be on tarmac roads, which allow for faster speeds. The roads then turn to dirt, and become bumpier. Most people who drive to the Serengeti combine the trip with a visit to Ngorongoro Crater since the park is en route. 

Domestic flights from Arusha, Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti 

The Serengeti is easily accessible by plane, with domestic flights daily out of Arusha and Dar es Salaam. There are a few air strips in the Serengeti: one in the northern part, one in the western corridor and one in the central area, Seronera.

The following airlines travel to Serengeti National Park


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As Salaam Air has grown to be a leading air carrier between the Tanzanian Islands. Our experienced team understands that customer satisfaction is important to the creation of a successful flight operation. Thus, we go above and beyond to satisfy our clients. The airline plies eight routes to promote tourism within and outside the country. We have two fuel-efficient aircraft – Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, which are good for the environment and the safety of our clients.We would like to help you discover more about our Islands here on our website and at every step of your journey Visit website

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Auric Air Services Ltd is Tanzania's preferred corporate and safari airline with a wide network of domestic scheduled services with daily scheduled services to more than 30 destinations and handles approximately 8500 passengers every month. From its bases at Mwanza Airport—Mwanza, Julius Nyerere International Airport—Dar-es-salaam and Arusha Airport, Auric Air provides scheduled charter flights to some of the most remote and otherwise inaccessible destinations (parks & game reserves) within Tanzania. Visit website

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Coastal Aviation is an airline operating out of Dar es Salaam - charter flights. Coastal Aviation flying to some 100 strips located in some of the most isolated pockets of the East African Region. The scheduled Coastal network also connects visitors to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda with the world-famous Serengeti, links the emerging tourism destinations of Mozambique with the Southern Tanzania parks of Selous and Ruaha, and unites the tropical island paradises of Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia and Fanjove Private Iaslandwith the National Parks and towns of the mainland. Our state of the art fleet is composed of 20 aircraft and has been expertly-adapted to the African safari environment, without compromise to safety and comfort. Visit website

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Flightlink is a scheduled airline with Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Air Service License (ASL) granted by Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority & Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to conduct Private & Scheduled Flight under Public Transport category within the region. All the aircraft in our fleet are chosen for their excellent safety records and their ability to perform in even in the most hostile conditions, so landing be it in the bush or on tarmac is not at all taxing. Visit website

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Precision Air is a publicly-listed Tanzanian airline and a leader in providing scheduled flight services to over 10 destinations within and outside Tanzania from its main hub Dar es Salaam. The company operates on the principle that quick, comfortable and reliable service is the best way to serve its customers. Through its customer-focused approach, many have become part of the Precision Air family. Precision Air started with its headquarters in Arusha - the midpoint between the Cape and Cairo, which is the entry point to many of Tanzania's world-renowned landmarks and national parks. The headquarters of Precision Air are now Dar es Salaam, the business complex of the country, which is home to a vast size of traffic travelling within and outside Tanzania. Visit website

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Premium Charter Service is an air charter broker based in Tanzania. We offer our valued clients a truly exclusive flying experience, one that combines luxury with the convenience of flying privately. Our network of domestic and international operators adheres to strict standards of quality. We deliver a superior experience to our clients with a high level of professionalism. Visit website

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Regional air is a recognized leader in the aviation industry in Tanzania, the airline began in 1997 with one pilot and one aircraft. They are affiliated to the long-established Nairobi-based domestic airline, Airkenya. We are based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha. Arusha is the starting point of safaris into Northern Tanzania, as the airline also offers charters to these various parks and game reserves. Visit website

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Safari Plus is Tanzania’s first, Premium Charter operator in Tanzania positioned to offer unique flying experience while giving our customers flexibility and total control over their travel needs around the country and beyond. The Airline was established in 2009. 1 x Beechcraft King Air 350 with 8 Seats configured in executive club seating. 2 x Beechcraft 1900D with 18 Seats. Head office based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Operating base at Julius Nyerere International Airport. Approved by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority to operate both; Scheduled Air Services and Non-Schedule Air Services (Charter Services). Visit website

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Premier safari airline and charter. Safarilink is Kenya's premier safari airline with a network of connecting domestic scheduled services to all the best safari destinations within Kenya and across the border into northern Tanzania. From it's base at Wilson Airport, Nairobi SafariLink provides daily scheduled flights to Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo West, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Lamu, Kilimanjaro, Loisaba, Migori and Diani Beach. Additionally it can also provide private charter flights if a client's particular requirement as regards destination or timing cannot be met by the scheduled services. Visit website

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TANZANAIR was formed in 1969 and pioneered aviation throughout Tanzania. Today it continues to live up to its slogan as the“Complete Aviation Company”. It was founded by Dinos J Samaras who managed the Company until he passed away in April 2010. It is now headed by his son John Samaras who was his deputy since 1983. With 45 years’ experience, TANZANAIR offers tailor-made air travel to suit the needs of its customers. With a modern fleet of twin and single-engine Cessna and Beechcraft turbine aircraft, TANZANAIR’s well-established reputation leads the way in air charter services throughout the region. TANZANAIR operates out of its own purpose-built Passenger Terminal located between Terminal I and II at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. The passenger lounge is adjacent to the two hangars. It is housed within a secure wall enclosed compound with ample parking facilities. Visit website

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ZanAir Limited is a domestic airline based in Zanzibar. Since their inaugural flight in 1992, ZanAir has continued to establish a quality reputation, serving esteemed clientele. ZanAir is an acknowledged expert within Tanzania serving all destinations, including remote unpaved bush locations. Visit website

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Flown by an international team of pilots, Zantas Air has one of the youngest fleets of Cessna Grand Caravans in Tanzania. These are maintained to the highest safety standards and comply with the ICAO, CESSNA, and TCAA directives. We have an exclusive lounge at Arusha airport. Guests can relax in our comfortable lounge while they wait for their flight. Our operations are designed to suit our client's needs with a customized itinerary based on their schedule. Zantas Air works with its sister company, Mbali Mbali Lodges and Camps, to offer shared charter flights. We fly passengers from Northern Tanzania to Western Tanzania twice a week on Monday and Thursdays. Visit website

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