Grazing Wildebeest in Serengeti National Park

Safari Guide: Serengeti National Park

written by
N black orange
Niarra Travel

The quintessential African safari experience, Serengeti National Park embodies all that makes the continent a truly breathtaking experience. Home to endless golden savannah plains, the Maasai tribe and the iconic Great Migration, a trip to the Serengeti is an experience that will never be forgotten.

Located on Tanzania’s border with Kenya, the Serengeti’s UNESCO World Heritage status is a testament to its beauty. Among the region’s teeming landscape, you will witness Africa’s most iconic wildlife roaming in front of a backdrop of amber soils, golden grasses and striking acacia trees. It is the African wilderness at its most breathtaking.

Buffalos spotted on safari in Serengeti National Park

History of Serengeti National Park

During the 1930s, Serengeti National Park progressed from a smaller designated game reserve of just over 2,000 sqkm to a fully-fledged national park in 1940. Having been commissioned in 1951, the park’s boundaries changed again when the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was split off in 1959. This was undertaken in order to provide a region for the local Maasai people to carry out their traditional livestock grazing practices, which they had been conducting in the region for over 250 years.

In 1981, the Serengeti National Park expanded to an area of 12,950 sqkm, ultimately encompassing half of the overall Serengeti ecosystem, which reaches as far north as Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Wildebeest in Serengeti National Park

Best Time to Visit Serengeti National Park

As with most other countries in Africa, there is no one time to visit Serengeti National Park. Instead, you should base your safari holiday around exactly what you want to experience when exploring the region. Tanzania’s weather can be roughly split into three separate seasons: one dry season and two separate ‘green seasons’.

Dry Season - June to October

Average Temperature: 25°C

Average Rainfall: 19mm

The dry season in the Serengeti National Park plays host to one of the most iconic natural spectacles on earth in the form of the Great Migration. Drier conditions keep megaherds on the move and provide perfectly camouflaged hunting conditions for Africa’s most iconic predators. The copper-toned dust filling the air makes for atmospheric game drives, while sparser vegetation increases your chances of spotting the area’s most spellbinding creatures.

Lamai Serengeti Lions

Green Seasons - April to May & November to December

Average Temperature: 28°C

Average Rainfall: 103mm

Either side of the Serengeti’s more popular dry season, sit two shorter green seasons. As the name suggests, preceding rainfall during these two-month periods sees the park imbued with emerald hues as the local flora springs back into life. The rainfall clears the air and often creates a dramatic skyscape, making these periods perfect for photographers looking to capture Africa at its most spectacular.

The former green season marks the start of the herds’ movement northwards, while during the latter green season they begin heading south, allowing you to witness the start of a miraculous journey.

Flock of flamingos in Serengeti National Park

Wildlife in Serengeti National Park

As the primary host to the Great Migration, it should come as no surprise that Serengeti National Park is one of the most abundant wildlife sanctuaries on the continent. However, the wildlife doesn’t stop with the roaming sea of wildebeest and zebra.

The national park is also home to Africa’s famous Big 5 - lion, rhino, leopard, elephant and Cape buffalo - an iconic medley of mammals renowned for their power and prowess. As you venture across the open landscape you might hear the king of the savannah’s deep roar, witness the silhouette of an elephant herd in front of the rising sun or catch the playful flick of a leopard’s tail as it stalks its prey from the treetops.

The variety of habitats found within the park’s boundaries means that it plays host to a wide range of habitants. Scores of hippos and crocodiles can be found lurking in the waters of the Serengeti’s riverine forests. Meanwhile, cheetahs are often seen chasing down prey at breakneck speed across the wide-open plains.

Serengeti National Park is also home to over 500 bird species, from the unique plumage of the grey-crested helmet shrike to the ominous black visage of vultures looming over a predator’s prey. For anyone looking to experience birdwatching in Africa, this should be near the top of their list.

Lions in the grass seen on safari in Serengeti National Park

Best Lodges in Serengeti National Park

When it comes to visiting Serengeti National Park, accommodation options are as awe-inspiring as they are abundant. From opulent private pools to camps nestled among the park’s wild inhabitants, the park has accommodation options that cater to every traveller’s tastes.

By staying within the park’s boundaries, you will feel truly immersed in the fascinating nature here. Wake up to a herd of wildebeest wandering past your window or dine in the evening to the sound of gently trumpeting elephants on the horizon.

Here is a selection of our favourite lodges in Serengeti National Park.

Namiri Plains

There are few better places on the planet to catch a glimpse of wild cheetah stalking across the savannah. Namiri Plains is situated in the heart of what was once an area closed off to the public in order to protect the local cheetah population. This spirit has carried on through the camp, which prioritises conservation efforts and protecting the big cats that call this region home.

If you are looking for peaceful seclusion, this is the camp for you. The nearest accommodation is over an hour away, making you feel as though you have the wilderness to yourself. Relax after an unforgettable game drive by dipping in the pool, having a spa treatment or unwinding on your private deck with a glass of wine in hand.

Dunia Camp

Found in the very heart of the park, Dunia is an all-female run camp offering guests unparalleled game viewing without having to even leave the property. Eight private tents make up this incredible accommodation option, which sits in the middle of the Great Migration path, meaning thousands of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles can be seen on the move just a stone’s throw from your doorstep.

The tranquil, eco-conscious camp setting enables you to truly absorb what is happening around you without leaving a footprint behind. You will also have the option of a private safari or taking to the skies in a hot air balloon, making for breathtaking views of the Serengeti from above.

Nyasi Migrational Camp

A luxurious safari camp experience that puts you right in the middle of the action. Literally. Nyasi Migrational Camp changes location between the northern and southern regions of the Serengeti, placing guests among the park’s most thrilling spectacles before leaving again without a trace to be found.

Complete with a relaxing lounge and dining facility, guests also have the option of sitting under the stars after the sun sets. Nothing quite matches relaxing in the comfort of your tent with the chorus of the Serengeti’s wild residents all around you.

If you are looking to book a luxury Tanzania safari experience in the vast expanse of Serengeti National Park, get in touch with our expert travel team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US) or explore@niarratravel.com.

Mountain cutout 2
footer clouds

The world is at your feet

Receive inspiration in your inbox

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Contact a Travel Researcher

We always aim to reply within 24 hours.