Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a spectacular safari destination famous for the Big Five and big cat sightings. It’s also one of the best places to view the annual great migration that sees millions of wildebeest and zebra cross the endless plains in columns of dust. Watch predator–prey interactions, including crocodile that lie in wait at river crossings. Although you can see animals year-round, the best time for a migration safari is June/July to October, when most of the river crossings happen. With a wealth of wildlife acting as a drawcard, there are many accommodations in the area.
Why Visit Serengeti National Park
“There’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done.” When musicians Elton John and Tim Rice wrote the opening tune to Disney’s “The Lion King,” they were describing the “Circle of Life.” But this lyric serves as a fitting description for world-renowned Serengeti National Park. This magnificent game park sprawls across 5,700 square miles of northern Tanzania in East Africa.
Within the boundaries of the Serengeti, you’ll hear thousands of animals: Hyenas cackle as elephants trample well-worn safari roads and hippos splash in watering holes. And at any given time, more than 2,000 lions are poised to pounce on unsuspecting prey, preparing to chase their unlucky target through the seemingly endless waves of golden grass.
The scenery rustles with the swift steps of loping giraffes, and tree branches shake with every monkey’s movement. But the most magical site you’ll behold is The Great Migration, during which White’s paradise is drowned by a sea of animals as more than one million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles traverse the Serengeti in search of greener pastures.
Serengeti National Park
Best things to do in Serengeti:
The main attraction here is the wildlife. Serengeti National Park houses the highest concentration of large mammals in the world, so you’re bound to spot giraffes, elephants, hippos and, of course, lions. You’ll also come across more than 500 species of birds, including ostriches and flamingos.
But while seeing one or two animals at a time may be exciting, nothing beats seeing them in a pack. The Great Migration is the Serengeti’s main draw: This voyage of more than one million wildebeest, zebras and other hoofed animals is one of the world’s largest wildlife spectacles. When you tire of gazing at grazers, head to Moru Kopjes to mingle with rhinos or to the Retina Hippo Pool to watch these massive mammals splash about.
The primary reason to visit Serengeti National Park is to witness The Great Migration. Considered one of the world’s largest animal migrations, The Great Migration involves more than one million wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and a variety of other animals traversing the Serengeti annually in search of food and breeding grounds.
10 Best Serengeti Luxury Safari Lodges and Camps
1. Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp
Makoma Hills is home to Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp, which has a panoramic view of the throngs of wildlife across the Serengeti plains. This exclusive camp is a marriage of excitement, serenity and luxury. Explore on a safari vehicle to find the Big Five, big cats and the herds of the great migration. Relax on your deck at camp and listen to the call of the wild, enjoy a romantic bush picnic or take a bath with a view. Do a Maasai culture tour to learn about their traditions, song and dance. Drift over the herds and landscapes at dawn in a hot-air balloon.
2. Ang'ata Serengeti Camp
Ang’ata Serengeti Camp is one of the top Serengeti safari camps. Ang’ata is the Maasai word for wilderness, appropriate for a camp with a natural setting and view of plains and wildlife. It lies at the hub of the park. The camp offers game drives in all directions, including to Moru Kopjes, Maasai Kopjes with their rock art, N’gong Rocks, and the Grumeti River and western corridor. Expect to see big cats and the Big Five year-round, with the thrill of massive herds crossing the plains during the annual migration.
3. Four Seasons Safari Lodge
Four Seasons Safari Lodge is one of the most sophisticated of the Serengeti safari lodges. It lies in one of the best areas to see the Big Five, plains wildlife and predator–prey action during the migration. Elevated platforms give superb views of the surrounding landscape. Sit on your balcony to watch elephant and other animals come to drink at the waterhole below.Return to camp to relax in the spa or at the infinity pool. Go hot-air ballooning to watch the sunrise over the plains and get a different perspective of the wildlife.
4. andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Camp
On the banks of a river in remote western Serengeti lies andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp. The river, a tributary of the Grumeti River, lures a wealth of animals to drink. You may spot rafts of hippo in the river pools in front of your tent. The camp is rustic but elegant, with a rim-flow pool and open-fronted communal areas with views of the river. Go on a game drive to enjoy the Serengeti magic with its huge lion prides, big cat sightings and elephant year-round. For the adventure of a lifetime soar in a hot-air balloon above the wildebeest and zebra hordes.
5. Kiota Camp
Kiota Camp stretches out on Banagi Hill with a bird’s-eye view of the Seronera River Valley. Surrounded by woodland and grassland, it’s a quiet place to relax before and after your game drives to see the amazing density of wildlife. Take a moment to admire Serengeti’s swathes of plains, umbrella trees and giant rock outcrops. Relax on your shaded porch with a pair of binoculars to watch passing animals or have a picnic lunch on the plains. Enjoy a hot bucket shower before dinner and sit around the campfire to listen to the calls of the night.
6. Lamai Serengeti
On a jumble of giant rocks at Kogakuria Kopje stands Lamai Serengeti, commanding views of the herds crossing the plains below. This area bustles with topi, buffalo, giraffe and wildebeest year-round and you’re almost sure to see lion. The camp is near the Mara River where you can see thousands of wildebeest and zebra hurl themselves into a river swarming with crocodile during the great migration. After an action-packed game drive, relax and watch passing animals from your private veranda or the open-fronted communal lounge.
7. Mapito Tented Camp
Mapito Tented Camp is one of the Serengeti safari camps that lies just outside the park boundaries. The luxury tents evoke the ambience of a colonial hunters’ camp. See lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe and antelope on your game drives. The camp is on the route of the annual migration so expect to see big herds between June and August. Go on a night drive to see predators hunting, and nocturnal species such as bush baby and serval. Enjoy a guided walk to learn about plants, birds and insects.
8. Mbugani Seronera Camp
Imagine being close to the thrilling sights and sounds of the Serengeti, but with the comforts of home. That’s what you get at Mbugani Seronera Camp. Each large tent has its own sitting area or you can mingle with other guests in the lounge tent. The camp overlooks a natural water source where you may see lion, leopard or buffalo. Enjoy action-packed game drives to appreciate how the Serengeti teems with wildlife. Watch the sunset and relax in the circle of safari chairs around the campfire to enjoy stories/
9. Melia Serengeti Lodge
Overlooking the Mbalageti River valley, Melia Serengeti Lodge blends African and colonial style. The lodge is surrounded by nature but doesn’t compromise on the services of a luxury hotel. Experience the thrill of wildlife action that you’ve seen on nature documentaries. See lion, hear hyena call and smell the dust as wildebeest gallop across the plains. Explore on foot with your Maasai guide for a closer connection to nature. Enjoy a bush picnic while nature thrums around you. Drink in the view of the valley from your terrace and relax at the pool.
10. Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Serengeti Pioneer Camp is ideally placed among Serengeti safari lodges for access to the annual migration and the Big Five. With wide views overlooking Moru Kopjes, Lake Magadi and the vast plains, it’s reminiscent of the classic mobile camps of the 1930s. Enjoy a fruitful day of wildlife viewing. Have a bush picnic at a private site on a hill that has a jaw-dropping view of the plains below. Enjoy cocktails on the sunset deck, dine by lamplight under the stars, or float in a hot-air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of the Serengeti.
What is the best way to visit Serengeti?
Choosing a reliable tour operator is the number one factor for a successful safari experience. However, if you are going on a private safari to public campsites, make sure to get all the necessary permits beforehand.
We recommend spending as many days in the Serengeti as possible. While there are many different accommodation options, the extra cost of staying for longer will be well worth it.
Additionally, make sure to come during the dry season to spot more animals, and be mindful of your travel dates.
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When it comes to a lifetime experience in the Serengeti National park, Easy travel can make it happen for you. We can help craft your itinerary or make a customizable trip for you!
How to reach Serengeti National Park?
Most safaris to the Serengeti start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which is situated about 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), just outside of Dar es Salaam, and fly on to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
There are regular flights from Arusha to several airstrips inside the park.
It’s also possible to drive; the trip is about 325km/202mi and will take about eight hours. It is a bumpy ride but it’s scenic and you’ll see some wildlife on the way.
As the trip takes you through the Ngorongoro Conservation area, a popular option is to fly one way, and drive the other way taking in an overnight stop to visit the Ngorongoro Crater. Coming from the crater, the distance to the Seronera area in the Serengeti is about 140km/90mi, and the driving time is about three hours.
Serengeti national park distance from Arusha is around 419.2 Km if passing through B144 Tanzania. The drive takes 6 to 7 hours drive depending on the traffic flow on the highway, the driving is much controlled by the traffic police with more speed limits especially in certain points.
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