Best Time To Visit The Serengeti National Park : Top Things To Know : When should I visit the Serengeti National Park? The Serengeti is always full of surprises, regardless of the season, and we don’t say that lightly.
For the majority of tourists, the Great Wildebeest Migration’s movement represents the ideal time to visit the Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park, however, has much more to offer, with year-round opportunities for wildlife encounters and cheaper off-season rates. What you hope to get out of your Serengeti safari will determine the best time to visit.
The Focus East Africa Tours team recently visited the Serengeti National Park in April 2023, and even though it was rainy and off-season, we were surprised to see so many animals there. Why does that matter? This indicates that the Serengeti is active all year round, with animals present both in the dry and wet seasons.
With good reason, the Great Migration is the main focus of most tourists’ planning a Serengeti Safari. We do, however, encourage you to explore the Serengeti’s other wonders in addition to “just” the Great Migration. I’ll share my observations on the most cost-effective and memorable times to visit the Serengeti in this article.
FOLLOW THE GREAT MIGRATION.
Throughout the year, Serengeti National Park provides exceptional opportunities for wildlife viewing; all you need to do is know when and where to go to see one of nature’s last truly spectacular events, the Great Migration. For instance, the Southern Serengeti’s winter months are ideal for viewing the herd, whereas the summer and fall are ideal times to visit the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti. It’s important to keep in mind that nature will be unpredictable wherever you are in the world. As a result, chance plays a significant role in seeing the famous river crossing, which involves two million animals crossing a river while being jostled by rapids and crocodiles biting at their hooves. Having said that, large herds are typically visible in the Serengeti when the time is right, and there is a good chance of witnessing an impressive migration movement.
BEYOND THE GREAT MIGRATION
Even though the majority of tourists are eager to witness the wildebeest’s breathtaking migration, Serengeti National Park has a lot more to offer. A few of the Serengeti’s magical animals include golden-maned lions lazing on rocks, an elusive leopard unwinding on an acacia tree branch, and a cheetah chasing a gazelle at full speed on the endless sunbaked plains.
There are many compelling justifications for avoiding the Great Migration. First, areas where the Great Migration can be viewed get crowded with tourists, which can interfere with your Serengeti safari experience. There is no need to follow the crowds because most predatory species—as well as most other wildlife species, with the exception of zebra and wildebeest—are territorial and do not stray too far from their homes. Additionally, in April and May, the majority of Serengeti safari camps and lodges offer significantly reduced prices (often referred to as “green season” prices). Last but not least, the Serengeti (as well as the other national parks, including the Ngorongoro Crater Area) is much less crowded outside of peak times, while the opportunities for wildlife viewing are still excellent.
AVOID THE CROWDS
You might find the heart of the migration to be a little congested—with human species, that is—due to the large number of spectators attracted to unusual spectacles like the Great Trek. Particularly visitors who only stop by the Seronera region might feel that the Serengeti is congested, sometimes even uncomfortable congested. A big cat sighting in the wild, such as a leopard, cheetah, or lion pride, quickly draws a large number of safari vehicles. Many tourists, and as a result, their guides, are obsessed with big cats (and the Big Five) and believe that missing out on a sighting would be a loss. All vehicles will converge on a single sighting within minutes of a big cat sighting being reported on the radio. There is a good reason for this. Seronera is the most accessible area of Serengeti National Park and is home to numerous lodges and campsites. As a result, there are a lot of safari vehicles on the roads within a 10-kilometer radius of Seronera. Simply put, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you might think the Serengeti is too crowded. It’s not necessary to drive or wander much farther to avoid such sightings.
We advise splitting your safari itinerary in two: one part during the migration action (and yes, you will experience heavier vehicle traffic), and the other part in a remote, off-season location, in order to avoid the crowds and experience Serengeti National Park as it should be experienced. The Western Corridor between August and October or the Mara Serengeti region between November and June are possibilities for the latter. The quality of wildlife viewing is almost as good as in the Seronera area, but you will find much fewer tourists in these areas. Even in the height of tourist season, it is entirely possible to visit the Serengeti and encounter no (or hardly any) other tourists.
Low-season travel is your best bet if you prefer to have the Serengeti all to yourself. Mid-March to mid-May (long rains), early November to mid-December (short rains), and the final two weeks of January are times when visitor numbers are low and camp rates are significantly lower.
The dry season, which lasts from late June to October, is when most visitors choose to go on safari in the Serengeti National Park. For water, animals congregate near rivers and watering holes. You have the best chance of seeing an iconic river crossing now that the Great Migration is at its peak. The majority of lodges will stay open during the calmer “wet season,” when the rains transform the arid landscape into a lush, green oasis, and the beginning of the birthing season. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of the dry and wet seasons:
- June to October: dry season
- The dense bush thins out, making it simpler to see wildlife.
- Around rivers and other waterholes, animals will congregate.
- Expect bright, sunny days with afternoon temperatures of about 25 °C (77 °F).
- Because there are fewer mosquitoes, there is a lower risk of malaria.
- The Great Migration will be easier to spot, including, if you’re lucky, these famous river crossings.
- The park can get busy, particularly in the Seronera region.
- With minimum temperatures around 14 °C (57 °F) at night and early in the morning, it gets relatively chilly.
- Temperatures near freezing are possible during sporadic cold fronts.
- November to May: wet season
- The Southern Serengeti’s calving season runs from late January to early February, making it a great time to observe predator activity.
- A lush, green setting.
- Lower prices and fewer visitors, particularly in April and May.
- Observing birds is at its finest.
- Rainfall occurs mostly as brief afternoon storms from November to February, which hardly ever affect travel plans.
- The rainiest months are March to May, when it usually rains most days but not always all day. It’s frequently cloudy.
- Around Seronera, it can get crowded from January to March.
TO SUMMARIZE: WHAT TIME OF YEAR SHOULD I VISIT THE SERENGETI?
The Serengeti offers an extraordinary and unforgettable experience at any time of year. The best months to visit Serengeti National Park are, however, January to February or June to September. Ideally, you should schedule your trip to coincide with the Great Migration.
For instance, the Northern Serengeti and the park’s western corridor are the best places to spend the summer and fall months if you want to see the galloping wildebeest in the Southern Serengeti. Reputable tour companies will have a good idea of where the animals are going and when, and they’ll probably modify their Serengeti safari itineraries based on the herd’s movement.
During the dry season, which lasts from June to September, the bush thins out and wildlife congregates around rivers and waterholes, making it simpler to spot it on game drives. The weather in the Serengeti is largely predictable. In the Serengeti, temperatures are generally consistent, and there is a lot of sunshine and bright days.
Typical daytime highs range from the upper 70s to the upper 80s. Additionally, because fewer mosquitoes are present during the dry season, there is a lower risk of contracting malaria. Because of the area’s higher elevation, Ngorongoro Conservation Area may be a little bit cooler than other places you might visit. The rainy season, which lasts from April to May, brings heavy rains and many lodge closures.
I sincerely hope that this article was helpful in determining the ideal seasons to travel to the Serengeti’s enduring plains and grasslands. Planning and preparing for your most ideal and affordable Tanzanian safari are the only tasks left to complete. So Get in Touch with us right away!