What you need to know
A Serengeti safari is without doubt one of the most extraordinary wildlife experiences. Regarded as one of the finest game areas in Tanzania and home to the spectacle that is the Great Migration, it features prominently on many travel bucket lists.
The Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. The national park lies on a high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands and the border with Kenya. Aptly named “endless plains” by the Maasai people, visitors experience the vastness while observing the incredible movement of wildebeest and zebra.
And that is what a Serengeti safari is all about – to marvel at a wildlife wonder like no other. Nowhere on earth is there a sight rivalling the spectacle of more than a million wildebeest and zebra on the march, from the plains of the Serengeti to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara in Kenya and back again, in search of food.
Spotting wildlife in the Serengeti
The instinct to migrate is strong, and no crocodile-infested river will stop the hordes. Not even countless other predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas, always in hot pursuit of the abundance of prey. More than 500 bird species will delight avid twitchers. A variety of raptors and vultures hover in anticipation while a myriad of more common species can also be spotted.
Safari activities in the Serengeti
When it comes to the activities available on a Serengeti safari, there are more than enough to choose from in one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Guided game drives will give an up-close and personal experience, a hot air balloon excursion a bird’s eye view and nature walk a different perspective
Best time to go
The best time for a Serengeti safari is between July and September. This is when the herds of wildebeest make their way from the Serengeti in Tanzania over the Grumeti River, on towards the Mara River and into Kenya and the plains of the Maasai Mara. From October to December the millions of animals start to move back again towards the south of the Serengeti where the first rains of the season will fall in January.
Accommodation in the Serengeti
There are a whole host of accommodation options for travellers. For those who are after luxury, various lodges are scattered throughout the region, often in prime locations. Mobile camping safaris are a favourite while there are also options for those on a budget.
What to bring on a Serengeti safari
Apart from the customary neutral coloured clothing, the following items are must-haves for a Serengeti safari—a pair of binoculars to scan the vast landscape and a camera (with extra memory cards) to snap away on the experience of a lifetime.
How to get to the Serengeti
Most travellers fly into Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport and then take a flight from Arusha, which is less than 50 kilometres away, to several airstrips inside the Serengeti National Park. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport, just outside of Dar es Salaam, and then fly on to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).