SERENGETI SAFARI TOURS - BUDGET & LUXURY HOLIDAYS SERENGETI
The Serengeti is regarded as one of Africa’s most beautiful safari destinations.
The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest, richest, and most prominent national park, covering 14,763 square kilometers of undulating plains and isolated koppies (rocky hills).
The Serengeti is best known for hosting an annual migration of at least two million wildebeest, plains zebra, and gazelle – Africa’s largest spectacle of its kind – but the vast plains also house extraordinarily dense populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, and other predators, as well as a liberating sense of space best encountered on an early-morning balloon safari.
A trip to the Serengeti would be a highlight of every trip to Tanzania.
Game drive in Serengeti
The Serengeti is renowned for its predators – leopard, cheetah, lion, and hyena – which are regularly spotted. The park is home to the Big Five (although rhinos are seldom seen) and is particularly renowned for its predators – leopard, cheetah, lion, and hyena – which are regularly spotted.
The Serengeti is also home to the incredible Great Migration, which sees millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle cross the park’s open plains in search of fresh grass after seasonal rains, then migrate north into Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, before heading south to the Serengeti.
The dramatic scenes of massive herds on the move, crossing rivers and vast plains while being pursued by hunters on the lookout for their next prey, are breathtaking. Seeing the Great Migration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is at the top of most safari travelers’ bucket lists.
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Highly Recommended on TripAdvisor
We had an amazing experience from A to Z.
The driver en time for the hotel pick-up. we managed to turn our way to the balloon into a safari night... read more
In all of my world travels, THIS was one of the most amazing things I have ever done! From the very first moment of arriving at the balloon take off... read more
This was such an amazing experience! Thank you to all the crew who made this possible. The flight with Captain Moses was a smooth one. He is an expert! The... read more
This was the highlight of our trip! (and now I'm reading another review that says the same thing, but it's TRUE). Nothing we experienced compared to how magical it was... read more
It was like getting into a cinematic scene. An absolute dream-come-true experience. Once you experience it, you will remember it forever.
Amazing experience for 1 st time ballooning smooth ride with great sites. It was an emotional life changing activity can’t wait to do it again
We had an absolutely amazing experience. The staff at this hot air balloon were extremely polite and professional. The ride to the sky and the landing were smooth and comfortable.... read more
SERENGETI SAFARI INFO
Aside from thrilling game drives, there are a variety of other activities to enjoy during your Serengeti safari, including sunrise hot air balloon rides over the plains, newly-introduced walking safaris in some parts of the park, visits to Olduvai Gorge – the world’s most important paleoanthropological site – Maasai cultural experiences, birdwatching, and making a filmic pilgrimage to a movie set in the Serengeti.
A closer look into Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is one of many national parks in the Serengeti region, with Serengeti translating to “Endless Plains” in Maasai.
Tanzania’s oldest and most famous national park, the Serengeti, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Serengeti Park has also been designated as one of the world’s seven wonders.
The Serengeti has a diverse range of habitats, including grassland plains, kopjes, riverine forest, swamps, and woodlands, which support a diverse range of wildlife species.
The Western Corridor, the Northern Lobo region that stretches northwards to the Maasai Mara, and the Seronera Valley and Seronera River area are the three distinct parts of the Serengeti National Park.
The Serengeti contains the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater, as well as Olduvai Gorge, which contains some of the oldest human fossils.
SERENGETI SAFARI INFORMATION
Why the visit Serengeti?
The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s most prominent national park, is known for its annual migration of about 2 million herbivores through its vast plains.
The Serengeti National Park is home to the world’s largest concentration of wildlife, spanning 14 763 square kilometers (5,700 square miles) in northern Tanzania and south-western Kenya.
The Serengeti National Park is more than just a game reserve; it also contains some of Africa’s most beautiful scenery. The Great Migration is the most spectacular wildlife spectacle on the planet, and it takes place only in two locations on the planet: Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.
Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate northwards from the Ndutu area in the Serengeti, crossing perilous river crossings and vast swaths of grassy plains in search of fresh green grass brought on by seasonal rains.
The large herds can be seen in various parts of the Serengeti for several months of the year: calving at the beginning of the year, river crossings in the middle of the year, and the return journey from the Masai Mara at the end of the year.
Aside from the drama of the Great Migration, the Serengeti’s sheer size distinguishes it from other wilderness areas.
The Serengeti, one of Africa’s Seven Wonders, is one of the world’s most significant habitats, hosting an abundance and diversity of animals and birds that is difficult to match anywhere else.
The world’s highest concentration of large predators can be found in the national park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The great Serengeti Wildebeest Migration
The Serengeti migration, also known as the “Great Migration,” is the world’s largest and longest overland migration, with 1.5 million wildebeest, 200 000 zebras, and 350 000 gazelles stampeding through the African bushveld in search of fresh pasture and water.
Predators such as tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas are drawn to the high concentration of migrating large mammals. The stampeding herbivores, known as the Circular Migration, travel over 450 kilometers (500 miles) north and south each year, making it one of the most spectacular natural events on the planet.
Although the timing of this spectacular migration varies depending on the rains, the movements are consistent. the movements generally start in about May when the large mammals migrate north. The massive herds migrate again in October or November moving back to the southern plains and again crossing the Mara River with its crocodiles.
A safari destination to visit time and time again
The Serengeti is so large that seeing it all in one trip will be impossible. Each area has its own unique landscapes and wildlife, as well as a variety of accommodation and activity options.
Return visits would undoubtedly maximize the park’s diversity. The park and its animals are also very seasonal, with various activities taking place in different parts of the park at different times of the year. It would be well worth visiting during the Great Migration’s peak months to see this amazing wildlife spectacle – huge herds, lion kills, and river crossings – and then returning to the park at a quieter (but no less exciting) time of year, such as during the winter months of january anda February.
Return visits will allow you to sample the scope of what’s on offer, from permanent lodges to mobile tented camps, as well as multi-day walking safaris that include overnight stays in small camps.
Going on safari in Serengeti National Park
A fruitful Serengeti safari, like every other adventure, begins with preparation. As soon as you start planning a Serengeti safari, you’ll have a lot of questions: what should I carry on the safari?
Do I need some special equipment or clothing? How about raincoats? Or maybe a torch?
We are happy to provide you with some general details, but it will still depend on how and where you are traveling.
You won’t need to bring anything if you’re just staying for a few days.
What does a typical safari in the Serengeti look like?
If this is your first safari (we understand your enthusiasm! ), you might be wondering what your safari days would entail.
Although it varies slightly from camp to camp, most lodges adhere to a day-plan because the rhythm of wildlife and weather conditions are unpredictable. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t worry; there will be plenty of time for naps later in the day.
We can also guarantee that the moment you wake up to the sound of birds and the distant call of a scavenging hyena, you will become an early bird yourself.
Drive-in, fly-in or combo safari?
Serengeti National Park is accessible by a number of highways.
So, which one do you think you should go with? This is entirely dependent on your preferences, requirements, and future travel plans. A fly-in safari is the best choice if you want to travel quickly and easily, or if you only have a few days to spend in the region.
A drive-in safari is the way to go if you’re planning on visiting other places or want to save money on transportation. Combining the two is a common choice, which begins with a drive-in safari from Arusha and ends with an overnight stay at the Ngorongoro Crater.
The Serengeti National Park is just a three-hour drive from the crater.
You can fly out of Serengeti after your safari – saving you at least eight hours of driving to Arusha.
Fly-in Serengeti safari
A guide or tracker from the lodge will meet you at one of the Serengeti’s airstrips and transport you to their house. Some of the more prestigious lodges also have their own airstrip, allowing you to make the most of your time in the savannah and at the lodge.
You’ll be visiting the Serengeti with one of the lodge’s guides in the coming days.
Drive-in Serengeti safari
When you book a drive-in safari, a driver/guide from Arusha will transport you in a 4×4 safari vehicle to your Serengeti lodge (and other places to visit -depending on your itinerary- along the way).
In general, the driver/guide will be your Serengeti guide and will accompany you on game drives throughout the park. However, game drives with one of the lodge’s guides are needed at some of the more exclusive Serengeti lodges, as they want to ensure that their high expectations are met and that you have the best possible (safari) experience at their lodge.
A four-course dinner of delicate dishes with views over the vast plains, served under a lantern-lit oak, or a high-tea with freshly made macarons before an afternoon game drive.
And how about a buffet of appetizers and a bottle of full-bodied African wine to unwind after a long day?
While wildlife viewing is undoubtedly the highlight of your safari, what is a safari day without delicious meals in between?
Even though the Serengeti lodges are all located in remote locations, you will be pleasantly surprised by the high standards they maintain when it comes to drinks and dining.
This will undoubtedly be something to talk about when you get back home. Fresh produce, regional specialties, and foreign dishes abound, often with the chef’s own unique twist.
And knowing that all meals, as well as coffee, tea, and (often) local brand beverages, are included in the price is comforting.
We don’t want you to miss a thing about the surprises your team has in store for you, but dinner is often served at various locations during your stay.
And how many times have you sat down to eat your dinner while watching giraffes munch on tree branches?
To top it off, traditional singing and dance shows, as well as spectacular sunsets or a sky full of stars, are often included in the banquet.Always be mindful of the unforgettable moment that can creep up on you without warning: maybe it’s when you’re sipping a freshly brewed morning coffee and see the light of the sunrise gradually becoming brighter and brighter.
Maybe it’s one of those nights when you’re staring up at the stars with a nightcap in your lap, remembering how insignificant we are and how valuable our world is.
Arrival and dietary requirements
If you have any special dietary needs, please let the lodge know; the chefs will do their best to accommodate you. Are you running late? Please notify the lodge ahead of time so that they can arrange a late-night dinner for you and you don’t have to go to bed with an empty stomach.
The Serengeti has some of Africa’s best wildlife viewing. Many of the big safari animals can be found in large numbers. Cheetahs and four of the Big Five are common sightings, but rhino sightings are uncommon, with only black rhino present.
Aside from the big cats, several other predators can be seen, including spotted hyenas, jackals, and bat-eared foxes (especially in the morning).
Even outside of migration season, when large herds of buffalo, eland, topi, waterbuck, impala, kongoni, and Grant’s gazelle can be seen roaming in the thousands, Tanzania’s Serengeti offers excellent game watching.
The Serengeti is known for its migratory wildebeest and herbivores, as well as its high concentration of big cats and other predators. Smaller cats like the caracal and serval, as well as jackal, mouse, mongoose, and genet, live in the Serengeti.
Crocodiles, hedgehogs, shrews, agama lizards, frogs, and dung beetles are among the other animals found in this wilderness area. The Serengeti is home to Africa’s Big Five, including giraffe, warthog, baboons, and African Wild Dogs.
Around 500 bird species have been recorded on the Serengeti, including the black eagle, secretary bird, Kori bustard, shrikes, ostrich, crowned crane, and marabou stork.
The Serengeti’s grassland plains in the southeast are famous for their beauty. The terrain is more hilly and rugged in the north. Valleys, ponds, and forests can be found to the west.
‘Koppies,’ granite outcrops emerging from the plains, can be found in many parts of the Serengeti.
It’s a massive, breathtaking landscape – big sky country that feels like untamed wilderness.
Weather & Climate in Serengeti
During the Dry season (June to October), when the temperature stays pleasant and warm, the weather and climate conditions in the Serengeti are rarely taxing.
It’s a different story at night, when the temperature will plummet to dangerously low levels. During the rainy season (November to May), the temperature rises a few degrees, with the occasional cold snap.
Best Time to Visit Serengeti
In general, wildlife enthusiasts should plan their trips to coincide with the drier months (June to October). If you can, go in June or July, when the epic wildebeest migration normally tramples the plains. Visit in late January or February if you want to see predators in motion. When the wildebeests calve, the annual rains come to a halt.
What is the best time to visit the Great Migration?
The Serengeti migration follows a fairly consistent annual cycle, although there is some variation from year to year, owing primarily to rainfall. If you want to see a horizonless column of braying wildebeest on the run, go to the Western Corridor in late May or early June, when the movement heads towards the Grumeti River’s south bank before crossing it in early July.
The far north of the park, from August to October, is more reliable for river crossings, when herds of several hundred to a few thousand make the perilous crossing from one side of the Mara River to the other with logic-defying regularity.
The wildebeest scatter into the southeast Serengeti, which is the most open part of the park from Arusha, from December to April, but herds can still be seen stretching from one horizon to the other.The major wildebeest calving grounds are in the southeastern plains, with peak calving season normally occurring in February, a phenomenon that attracts high predator concentrations.
What opportunities are there to meet local Maasai people?
There will be no chances to meet Maasai people if your Serengeti vacation is limited to the park itself.
Since the Serengeti is a national park, permanent human settlement is prohibited. However, almost all drive-in Serengeti safaris pass through Maasai country en route from Arusha, while most fly-in Serengeti safari packages include a stop at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
In both cases, safari-goers will include a visit to a Masaai manyatta (home) in their itinerary.
How can I avoid the crowds?
Since the Serengeti is such a large reserve, it seldom sees the kind of crowding that the much smaller Masai Mara park across the Kenyan border does.
It’s also worth noting that May is the Serengeti’s driest month due to high rainfall, but it can be an excellent time to visit because it’s not only uncrowded, but it’s also a really pretty time of year, with large herds of wildebeest in the far south.
It’s also worth noting that the busiest times to see wildlife in Seronera are from 7.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. So, rather than eating breakfast in camp, get out as early as possible – game drives are allowed from 6 a.m. onwards – with your camera.
What animals can I expect to see in the Serengeti?
When it comes to wildlife diversity and abundance, the Serengeti is unrivaled. On a typical Serengeti safari, you can expect to see lion every day, and with luck, you’ll also see leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, golden jackal, and bat-eared fox.
You may also get a chance to see nocturnal animals like the civet, serval, genet, and African wildcat. Elephant, lion, giraffe, hippo, plains zebra, wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, Coke’s hartebeest, and warthog are all likely to be seen on Serengeti tours.
The black-and-white colobus and the localized patas monkey are also endangered species. The black rhino is a rare species that is more likely to be found in the Ngorongoro Crater. The endemic grey-throated spurfowl, Fischer’s lovebird, rufous-tailed weaver, Usambiro barbet, and grey-crested helmet-shrike are among the 550 bird species reported.
Terrestrial giants like the ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, and southern field hornbill thrive in the open plains.
How long is the drive to the Serengeti?
The park headquarters at Seronera is approximately 300 kilometers from Arusha.
The first half of this drive follows the same surfaced road that runs past Lake Manyara to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s main eastern entrance (NCA).
The second travels around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and the NCA’s western plains on a rough and dusty corrugated path.
Allow at least six hours, and hopefully a full day, for the entire journey. Most Serengeti tours, however, include overnight stops at Lake Manyara and/or the Ngorongoro Crater to help break up the journey.
Serengeti accommodation options
On Serengeti safari tours, a variety of lodging options are open. A simple camping safari with a budget operator, which will typically include tents, sleeping bags, and other gear, as well as no-frills meals, is the cheapest choice if you want to keep costs down.
The Serengeti is also served by a variety of ‘hotel in the bush’ lodges run by companies including Serena and Sopa; these are usually upper mid-range in price and provide high levels of comfort.
They are also built to keep the bush out at night, making them ideal for first-time safari-goers who are afraid of wildlife encounters.
In addition, the park is served by a multitude of small lodges and tented camps (some permanent, others seasonal to follow the migration) that offer a medium to high level of comfort while maintaining a genuine bush atmosphere and a high likelihood of wildlife passing through, especially at night.
In general, the prices of these smaller camps reflect the degree of comfort and exclusivity they provide. Regardless of which choice you choose, almost all Serengeti safari prices are all-inclusive and include transportation, game drives, park fees, lodging/camping, and food.
What lodges or camps would you recommend in Serengeti?
There are some fantastic small lodges and tented camps spread around the park if your budget allows it.
The Sanctuary Kusini Camp, set among massive boulders in the far south, provides excellent wildlife viewing in February and March; the semi-permanent Dunia Camp near Moru Koppies provides excellent wildlife viewing all year, with peaks in December and March; and the super-stylish & luxurious.
Serengeti Tented Camp is easily the best of the western corridor lodges, where wildlife activity peaks from May to July; and there’s not much separating Lamai Serengeti and Sayari Camp, which are the two most exclusive properties in the far north, and ideally located to capture wildebeest river migrations.
What clothes to pack for a Serengeti safari?
You don’t need an entire new wardrobe when going on a Serengeti safari (but if you need an excuse to shop, we won’t stop you of course). Just leave your brightly-coloured clothes at home, and don’t pack too much.
- Bring soft, loose-fitting clothing in soothing colors that dries quickly. Many camps have regular laundry service, so you won’t have to worry about running out of clean clothes.
- Bring a scarf and a soft sweater (or jacket). Warm clothing is required during a game drive because temperatures drop in the mornings and evenings. If you ever get cold during a game drive, camps will provide you with ‘bush babies’ (which you will soon learn what they are) and blankets.
- Shorts for men and women are ideal for a safari drive or bush walk, but in rural villages, (light) longer trousers are preferred. In safari camps, it is okay to dress casually.
- A’squashable’ hat and good-looking sunglasses. Leave all your trendy camouflage or military-themed clothes at home: in Africa this is not considered appropriate and the police might question you.
- Wear lightweight footwear with ankle support if possible. Make sure the shoes feel comfortable and that you can walk on them for a while. We recommend trying them at home for some longer walks to make sure they don’t hurt your feet.
- Bring a few pairs of thin socks that dry fast, rather than one pair of thick socks. Wearing several layers of thin socks is often more comfortable. Visit an outdoor speciality store to get more information on socks.
Serengeti Packing list: what to bring on a Serengeti safari?
A fruitful Serengeti safari usually requires the use of useful equipment. Most lodges will gladly provide whatever you need, but choosing and carrying your own equipment is also enjoyable. So, what do you need to bring? Here are a few things that we always bring with us on our journeys.
- Binoculars of your own design (to view animals from your private deck or wherever you may be).
- Of course, you’ll need your own camera to take those incredible photos.
- A low-cost (waterproof) timepiece (leave expensive jewellery at home).
- High UV security sunblock and lipsalve.
- Insect repellent of excellent quality.
- Water bottles are often provided at camps, however you may carry your own to reduce plastic waste.
Tips for amazing safari photos
A lion snoozing underneath a tree opens his mouth for a long yawn… and click!. You’ve just created an incredible safari shot. We don’t have to remind you that the Serengeti is a photographer’s dream. We’d like to assist you in becoming a better photographer so you can build these beautiful memories. As a result, we’d like to share some of our advice with you. Using a (digital) SLR camera with one or more lenses for best performance.
A lens with a minimum range of 200 mm, ideally 300 mm, is important for photographing wild animals. A wide-angle lens (18 mm or less) is recommended for landscape photography.
- Fixed-focal-length lenses (usually a 50 mm lens) can be used to create lovely portraits.
- If you don’t want to lug around heavy camera bags on your Serengeti safari, an 18-200 mm zoom lens will produce stunning images, and almost any subject is within range.
- Protecting your equipment is critical during your Serengeti safari: since you will most likely be driving on unpaved roads, dust will easily enter the vehicle and damage your camera.
- Make sure your camera is still protected by a good dust-free bag.
Must Know before your Serengeti Safari
- Going on a safari is thrilling and exciting, but it comes with possible safety concerns, just like every other journey.
- Although you probably won’t drive yourself during your Serengeti safari, you should know that in game reserves and national parks with big game it is absolutely prohibited to get out of your car, unless accompanied by armed rangers or/and guides. Unfortunately, each year travellers ignore this rule, despite the serious consequences.
- Usually, a guide in a special safari vehicle will pick you up from a small airstrip. Once you are in the lodge, pay attention to the briefing provided by your ranger or accommodation staff. The staff always knows what game is currently roaming in the vicinity of the lodge.
- While you won’t be driving during your Serengeti safari, you should be aware that getting out of your car in game reserves and national parks with big game is strictly prohibited unless accompanied by armed rangers or/and guides. Unfortunately, despite the severe implications, each year travelers disregard this law.
- Usually, you will be picked up from a small airstrip by a guide in a special safari vehicle.
- Pay attention to the briefing issued by your ranger or accommodation staff once you’ve arrived at the lodge. The team is still aware of what animals are actually roaming the area around the lodge. Many Serengeti lodges are un-fenced, which means that wildlife can and will freely enter the premises.
Which is more beautiful, the Masai Mara or the Serengeti?
Basically, neither Serengeti nor Masai Mara are better than the other when it comes to safari destinations. From a wildlife standpoint, Masai Mara is possibly marginally more concentrated (year-round), but Serengeti has mind-boggling size. In all cases, there are advantages and disadvantages of heading on safari on either destination.
How much does a Serengeti safari cost?
A one-week safari in Serengeti National Park will cost anything from $2,500 USD (budget) to $7,500 USD (luxury). When you book a safari with us, you’ll save money because most facilities and permits are included in the tour cost.
Is Serengeti Safari a secure place to visit?
Is Serengeti National Park safe? It is secure to visit Serengeti National Park as long as you obey the rules and guidelines put out by park officials and your guide. On Serengeti safaris, encounters with wildlife are exceedingly common and it’s therefore mandatory that you respect wildlife.
Is Kruger better than Serengeti?
The Serengeti is more spacious and ideal for viewing lions, while the Kruger is more dense and ideal for viewing elephants. The relevant black rhino can be seen in the Kruger, but it can also be seen from the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti.
How long does a Serengeti Safari take?
The Serengeti covers 5,700 square miles, about the same size as Connecticut. When you’re out there looking for those wild animals, the last thing you want to have is to be rushed. You’ll be able to see an impressive number of nature if you spend at least four consecutive days on game drives.
What do you see in the Serengeti National Park?
The biodiversity is the major seller here. You’re likely to see giraffes, tigers, hippos, and, of course, lions in Serengeti National Park, which has the world’s largest concentration of big mammals. You’ll also see over 500 different bird types, including ostriches and flamingos.
What is the Serengeti’s most well-known feature?
The Serengeti is famous for its annual wildebeest migration, which sees over 1,500,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle traverse the open plains in search of fresh grazing. The flight of prey attracts predators, and sightings of big cats hunting are especially thrilling.
In English, what does Serengeti mean?
The Serengeti ecosystem (/srnti/ SERR-n-GHET-ee) is a geographical area in Africa that stretches from northern Tanzania. The term “Serengeti” is also claimed to be derived from the Maasai word “seringit,” which means “endless plains.”
Is the Serengeti a grassland or a Savannah?
Tanzania’s Serengeti volcanic grasslands eco-region. The Serengeti volcanic grasslands are distinctive grasslands in northern Tanzania that thrive on volcanic ash deposits. It encompasses the eastern Serengeti National Park as well as the Ngorongoro Highlands to the south and east.