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Serengeti National Park


14,763 km² (5,700 mi²)


1951 (National Park) | 1981 (UNESCO WHS)

Best time to visit


World-class game viewing all year round

From elephants and lions, hyenas and warthogs, crocodiles, and zebras – the Serengeti National Park will enchant you with its diverse wildlife roaming its seemingly endless plains. It is not only one of the oldest parks in Tanzania, but a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. As stage for the Greatest Show on Earth – the Great Wildebeest Migration – it has gained worldwide fame. Come to the Serengeti all year-round to observe the resident wildlife, to stay at camps and lodges in beautiful locations and to experience a classic safari adventure.

Game drive in Serengeti National Park

Serengeti: One of Tanzania’s oldest national parks

When you think of a classic safari, you probably think of the Serengeti National Park. You are right to do so, as it is one of the most spectacular national parks on the planet.

The Serengeti National Park is located in northwest Tanzania. The park and bordering reserves allow for one of the last remaining wildlife migrations on the planet. This wildlife spectacle, the park’s vast numbers of wildlife and its diverse yet beautiful landscapes are a few of the reasons why the park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

The Serengeti National Park offers exceptional wildlife viewing all year round, where it is possible to witness the great wildebeest migration and see the Big Five.


The Four Areas of the Serengeti National Park

A glimpse of what to expect.


Central Serengeti

The Seronera Valley is the heart of the park and home to large numbers of wildlife. Spot lions and cheetahs snoozing on the plains in the shade of acacia trees. The Seronera River is lined with Palm, Sausage and Yellow Fever trees. The river attracts numerous birds and animals, including a high population of leopards. At the Retima Hippo Pool, you can see vegetarian giants in their natural habitat.


Southern Serengeti

On the southern plains, you will be amazed by the never-ending grasslands and the huge granite formations called kopjes, home to the whole food chain. Kopjes offer the perfect shady resting places, look-outs and nurseries for lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas to name but a few. Other interesting species to look out for, include the rock hyraxes and colourful Agama lizards. All of the kopjes are named. The most commonly known are Simba, Gol, Research and Moru. From January to February the wildebeest calving occurs around Lake Ndutu. Large numbers of predators can be seen during this time.


Western Serengeti

The Western Serengeti stretches almost as far as Lake Victoria. The vegetation changes to wooded savannah and black cotton soils that are impassible in the rainy season. The Grumeti Game Reserve and the Ikorongo Game Reserve border the park and within it run two large rivers: The Grumeti and the Mbalageti River, which both flow into Lake Victoria. The Grumeti River is famous for its river-crossings, huge crocodiles and the rare Patas Monkeys. From mid-May the wildebeest arrive in this area and the Grumeti river-crossing begins.


Northern Serengeti

Northern Serengeti is made up of open woodlands, riverine forests and ranges of hills. The majestic Mara River is located here and is famous for five-metre-long crocodiles and the iconic wildebeest river-crossing, which is at its most spectacular from mid-July. This area is a lot less frequented by visitors, making it a great place for an intimate safari experience.


Animals and birds of the Serengeti National Park

The park is home to the Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. However, the Black Rhino can be difficult to spot. The Serengeti has a high population of lions, leopards and cheetahs. Buffalo and a growing number of elephants graze on the savannah.

~530 bird species including Secretary Birds, Egyptian Geese, Black Headed Herons, Grey Crowned Cranes, Kori Bustards and Tanzania’s largest populations of Ostrich can be found in the Serengeti National Park.


The Great Wildebeest Migration

To see ~1.5 million wildebeest in one place is breathtaking. A large number of herbivores attract numerous predators. The drama played out through the plains, and particularly the river-crossings is enthralling.

The wildebeest migration in a snapshot: Visit from June to October to experience the migration in the park. July is the best time to see the river-crossing at the Mara River. But be aware that it will get very busy in the park as well as at the crossing points. For a more intimate safari experience we recommend visiting during the low season or going to more remote areas of the park. The calving season takes place from January to February, whereas the wildebeest rut (mating season) occurs from May to June. Mid-May is the best time to see the river crossing at the Grumeti River. Discover more about our Migration Safaris.

Serengeti National Park map

A year-round destination

Thanks to its high number of resident wildlife, the Serengeti offers a spectacular safari experience all year round. Travel during the low season for a more exclusive experience.


The Great Migration

This huge protected area allows ~1.5 million wildebeest to continue their internal drive of travelling over 1000km towards fresh grass and breeding grounds.

lion paw

Predator & Prey

This huge ecosystem is home to incredibly high populations of animals, which leads to an intense interaction between predator and prey. Witnessing this offers an unforgettable experience.

Zebra at sunset in the Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti – where safari dreams come true.

Male lion walking on kopje in the Serengeti National Park

It is one of the best places in Tanzania to see the Big Five.

Kati Kati Camp seen from above in the Serengeti National Park

You can choose from a variety of accommodations on your safari. This is the Kati Kati tented camp.

Wildebeest at the great migration in the Serengeti

The Great Migration attracts many visitors from around the world every year.

Variety of wildlife seen on game drives

But the Serengeti is in fact a year-round destination with many animals staying in the park throughout the year.


Best time to go to the Serengeti National Park

You can visit the Serengeti National Park throughout the year. The period from June to October is the dry season, and it’s also when the wildebeest migration occurs. You’ll find it easier to spot wildlife during this time, and the weather is pleasant. However, it’s a popular time, so parts of the park can get busy. The short rains from November to December bring about a burst of green growth, followed by a brief dry spell in January and February. From March to May, long rains occur, and this is the ideal time if you prefer a lush green park with fewer visitors.

dry season

Dry Season

June to October

Ideal for seeing the wildebeest migration and large numbers of animals. But it can be busy.

rainy season

Green Season

March to May

The best time to see a green park with fewer visitors.

Why to go

A classic safari experience all year round

Go to the Serengeti for a classic safari experience: mesmerizing sunsets, abundant wildlife, exciting game drives and different types of lodges and camps. This park is outstandingly beautiful. The vast grassland plains with islands of rocky Kopjes will make you feel tiny amidst nature’s generous vastness. Whilst the riparian zones, the beautiful tree-lined interface between the rivers and the plains, create a hotspot for diversity. Extraordinary numbers of wildlife, including ~530 bird species, offers first-grade wildlife viewing all year round. The Serengeti is most famous for the Great Migration.

If you visit during the low or shoulder season, you may not see a river crossing, but you will not see the large numbers of vehicles and tourists either. For a classic and intimate experience, we recommend travelling off peak season. Since the Serengeti is arguably the most popular park in Tanzania, there is a large number of camps and lodges you can choose from.

Sunset in the Serengeti National Park
Witson Safari Guide feedback
I’ve been trying to do this trip for over 10+ years, so it was a realization of a long standing dream. This will rank up there as one of the best family trip we done, and I’m sure the kids will never forget the glory of riding in an open-top safari vehicle through the Serengeti and seeing the veritable plethora of animals roaming around and being almost within arms length from the car.
Jonathan | USA

Experience the Serengeti National Park

Classic game drive in the Serengeti National Park
Guided Safaris

Guided safaris in the park to see the diversity of wildlife.

Two hot air balloons in the sky
Hot air balloon rides

Take a hot air balloon safari to float gently over the trees and wildlife.

Wildebeest herd crossing a river
The Great Migration

Wait at the Grumeti or Mara rivers to witness hundreds of wildebeest crossing.

Cori bustard bird in the Serengeti National Park
Bird Life

Spot some of the park’s ~530 bird species.

Things to do

Connect to nature

Vast and wide and space as far as the eye can see, the Serengeti asks for extensive game drives. Here, you have time to observe big and small animals and witness the intricate interplay between species. Feel the wind in your hair, the sun in your face and the safari adventure in your heart.

  • Guided safaris
  • Hot air balloon rides
  • The Great Migration
  • Bird Life
Young lion on kopje in the Serengeti Tanzania

The Serengeti is known for its big lion population.


Hyenas roam the park looking for their next opportunity to get a meal.

Zebra in sunlight in grassland

One of the iconic safari animals you will see on most of your game drives here.

Elephants Serengeti plains

Elephants wander across the endless Serengeti plains.

Crocodile in grass near water

Keep an eye out for large Nile crocodiles along the rivers.


A diverse savannah grassland bursting with fertility

UNESCO regards the diverse and numerous plant species and wildlife as one of the main reasons that the park was declared a World Heritage Site. The migration has a unique effect on the landscape. Along with rich volcanic soils, this movement of vast numbers of animals creates an annual burst of fertility, making this ecosystem incredibly productive and rich in wildlife.

Where to stay in the Serengeti National Park

Dunia Camp Serengeti

Dunia Camp

Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge

Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge

Lahia Tented Lodge

Lahia Tented Lodge

Lemala Kuria Hills Camp

Kuria Hills Lodge

Ewanjan Camp

Ewanjan Camp

Lemala Ndutu Camp

Mara & Ndutu Tented Camp

Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Mara under Canvas Serengeti

Mara under Canvas

Soroi Serengeti

Mbali Mbali Soroi Serengeti Lodge

Serengeti Kati Kati Camp

Serengeti Kati Kati Camp

Melia Serengeti

Melia Serengeti Lodge

Namiri Plains Camp

Namiri Plains Camp

Nyikani Camp Central Serengeti

Nyikani Central Serengeti Camp

Nyumbani Collection Serengeti

Nyumbani Collections

Olakira Camp

Olakira Camp

Nyaruswiga Camp

One Nature Nyaruswiga

Pioneer Camp

Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Sayari Camp

Sayari Camp

Serengeti Acacia Bliss

Serengeti Acacia Bliss

Siringit Serengeti Camp

Siringit Serengeti Camp

Taasa Lodge

Taasa Lodge

Zawadi Camp Serengeti

Zawadi Camp


The seven-hour drive from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park is part of the northern circuit and offers multiple stops on the way, including Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. The drive between the parks is simply beautiful and allows you to see the Rift Valley and experience northern Tanzania. As regular flights are available from Arusha, many people choose to drive one way and then fly back. The park’s headquarters is located at Seronera Valley together with the Serengeti Research Centre – renowned for its long history of research. Amazing accommodation is dotted throughout the park.

Lion paws closeup
Arno Snellenberg Tanzania Travel Expert
Tanzania-Experience safari vehicle

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