When to visit Serengeti National Park : Serengeti National Park is great destination all year round with a lot to offer no matter the time of the year, for most travelers to experience the Great Migration and getting unparalleled views of animals is a reason to visit the park.

However, there are many wonders to discover in Serengeti National Park.

Follow the Great Migration

Serengeti National Park offers extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the year, to enjoy this true spectacle you need to know when to go and where. For example winter is the best time to see the herds in Southern Serengeti, while the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti are the best places to the summer and autumn months. Keep in mind that that nature is always unpredictable. Hence chance plays a big part in witnessing the iconic river crossing when two million animals cross a river with rapids jostling their bodies and crocodiles snapping at their hooves.

So, when choosing the right part of the Serengeti in the right period, large herds are usually easily spotted and there is a fair chance of seeing a spectacular migration annual movement.

Beyond the great migration

Serengeti National Park is more than just the Great Migration, the park has much more to offer. Golden – maned lions sunbathing on a rock, an elusive leopard chilling out on a branch acacia tree and a cheetah chasing a gazelle at full speed on the never-ending sunburnt plains , just to name a few of the magical beasts of Serengeti.

There are some powerful arguments in favor of avoiding the Great Migration such as

  • Areas where the Great Migration can be seen become busy with fellow travelers which can be bothersome in terms of your Serengeti safari experience.
  • Most predatory species (but also most other wildlife species except zebras and wildebeest) are territorial and do not wander too far from their territories, so there is no need to follow the crowds.
  • In the green season that is in April and May, most Serengeti safari camps and lodges offer substantially lower rates.
  • Outside peak periods, the Serengeti and other parks in Tanzania including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is far less crowded, while wildlife viewing options are still superb.

Avoid the crowds

Unique spectacles such as the Great Trek can attract quite a lot of spectators and you might experience the heart of the migration to be a bit crowded – that is with travelers. Especially travelers that only visit the Seronera Area may experience a Serengeti that feels crowded, sometimes too crowded for comfort of some travelers.

A wildlife sighting that involves a big cat, whether this a leopard, a cheetah or a lion pride, soon attracts many safari vehicles. Many visitors and as a result their guides are obsessed with big cats and the Big Five. They feel that they would miss out when not joining a sight, within minutes of a big cat sighting being called on the radio, all vehicles will congregate on that one sighting.

There is a good reason for this, Seronera is the location of many lodges and campsites and is the most reason for this. Seronera region is the location of many lodges and campsites and is the most accessible region of Serengeti National Park. The result is that within a 10 kilometer radius from Seronera, the road network is busy with safari vehicles indeed.

To avoid crowds in Serengeti National Park or to experience Serengeti National Park as it should be experience, we recommend splitting your safari itinerary in two one portion of your trip in the heart of the migration action and yes you will experience heavier vehicle traffic, and the other portion in a remote, out-of-season and location.

Options for the latter would be the Western corridor between August and October or the Mara Serengeti Area between November and June. In these areas you will encounter far lower visitor numbers in these areas whereas the quality of wildlife viewing is almost or just as good as in the Seronera area.

It is not at all impossible spending time in the Serengeti even during the peak season seeing no or all right barely other visitors.

When to visit Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park

If you rather have the Serengeti to yourself, traveling in low season is your best option.

Periods in which visitor numbers are low and camps rate are much lower include mid – March to mid- May (long rains), early November to mid- December (short rains) and the last two weeks in January.

Seasonal Serengeti

Most travelers choose to travel to Serengeti in the dry season which takes place from late June to October for a safari in the Serengeti National Park, animals gather around rivers and waterholes to quench their thirst. The Great Migration is at its absolute prime and your chances of witnessing an iconic river crossing are at their best, most lodges will remain open during the more tranquil “wet season” when the rains turn the dry landscape into a lush, green oasis and the birthing season begins.

June to October – dry season

PROS:

  • The thick bush thins out and wildlife is easier to spot.
  • Animals will gather around the rivers and waterholes.
  • Expect bright days and lots of sunshine with afternoon temperatures around 25°C / 77°F.
  • Less chance of malaria, since there are fewer mosquitoes.
  • Easier to spot the Great Migration (including these iconic river crossings, if lucky).

CONS:

  • The park gets crowded, especially around the Seronera area.
  • It gets relatively cold at night and early in the morning with minimum temperatures around 14°C / 57°F.
  • Occasional cold fronts are possible, with temperatures close to freezing.

November to May – wet season

PROS:

  • Late January to February is the time to see the calving in the Southern Serengeti – an excellent time to see predator action.
  • A lush and green landscape.
  • Fewer tourists and lower rates, especially in April and May.
  • Birdwatching is at its best.
  • From November to February, rains are mostly short afternoon storms and seldom interfere with your Tanzania Safari.

CONS:

  • March to May is the peak of the wet season; It tends to rain most days, although seldom for the whole day. It is often cloudy.
  • January to March can be crowded around the Seronera area.
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