Serengeti Safari Planning Guide

The Serengeti is one of the most prominent parks in Africa and is synonymous with classic African scenery and wildlife. This is arguably the finest national park in the whole of Africa with a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities. You will be able to regularly see virtually every large animal in East Africa. It is also the place to be if you want to see the spectacular wildebeest migration, making the Serengeti one of the best African safari destinations.

Best Time to go on a Safari in the Serengeti

The best time to visit the Serengeti is between June to October. This is usually the dry season. The roads are easy to navigate and it is the perfect time to view wildlife in general. The animals are much easier to spot because they are concentrated around rivers and waterholes. The vegetation is also less so seeing the animals is easier. The dry season further means there are fewer mosquitoes hence lower chances of contracting malaria. You will need warm clothing for mornings and nights which are usually cold

The Great Migration at the Serengeti

While you will be able to spot the grazers and predators at any time of the year, the highlight of the Serengeti is the great migration. This is an annual circular movement of millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras northwards into the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and then back into the Serengeti plains. The great movement is accompanied by predators picking off their kills while the herd crosses the Mara River. The scene is dramatic and a must-see.

The best months to see the Wildebeest migration in the western corridor are June and July. In the north of the park, you will get the best views of the wildebeest migration from August to September.

If you are interested in seeing predators in action, January to February is the best month. April and May are low seasons meaning you have a better chance of getting the best rates.

All things considered, the Serengeti offers great wildlife viewing all year round. The worst time to take a safari is, however, in the months of March, April and May. The rains make everything chaotic.

How Much Does It Cost to Go on a Safari in the Serengeti?

The main cost of a Serengeti safari is in the airfare and accommodations. Accommodation in the various facilities ranges from $200 to $1,000 per person per night.

There is a huge range in prices, but in general, you can expect a three-star Serengeti safari to be around $350 per night. For a luxury experience, expect to spend around $800-$1500 per night including full board.

Not included in your lodging cost are the park fees for non-citizens are $60 per adult over the age of 16. Children aged 5 to 16 pay $30. It is free for kids below the age of 5.

Popular Serengeti Safari Itineraries

Highlights of Tanzania – 9 Day Safari

This safari captures the very best of East Africa including three nights in the Serengeti. Prices from $6,095 per person.

You will explore the rugged landscape of Tarangire National Park, a unique safari backdrop with rolling grasslands, vibrant swamps, and forests of enigmatic baobab trees, which according to legend were planted “upside down” for growing too tall and proud. Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater and roam the great plains of the Serengeti in search of the migratory herds of zebra and wildebeest and their territorial predators: lion, leopard, and cheetah. 

World’s Greatest Show & Safari – Serengeti

This safari captures the very best of Kenya and Tanzania and the most likely route for observing the Great Migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra across the great plains of East Africa.

Marvel at the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest free-standing extinct volcano in the world, originally in Kenya but given to the Kaiser by Queen Victoria as she already had Mt. Kenya! Explore the lush pastures of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, the world’s largest caldera, with its full kaleidoscope of African wildlife happily living in the bowl of the crater.

Serengeti Safari Lodges & Tents

The massive Serengeti National Park is filled with accommodation options and among them are several great options. We tried to narrow it down to a few we and some local experts recommend.

Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp is an amazing tented camp located in south-central Serengeti, situated to provide excellent access to the great migration and the ‘Big 5’. The far-reaching views overlook Lake Magadi, Moru Kopjes, and endless plains.

Every Elewana Collection’s camps and lodges offer their own individual feel and style. The camp continues a tradition that pays homage to the 1930s mobile camps. There are a total of 12 tented accommodations, all with en-suite facilities including a vanity basin, showers, and flushing toilet.

A separate dining tent is available to host guests for breakfast and dinner. Luncheons are taken in the camp or out in the bush.

Serengeti Bushtops

The Serengeti Bushtops is an oasis of 5-star luxury. It is the perfect accommodation if what you are looking for is a luxurious African wildlife adventure. The camp is conveniently situated to offer the best views of the annual wildebeest migration. The camps offer an all-year-round blend of superb facilities, stunning game viewing as well as fantastic cuisines.

Whether you came to the Serengeti for the wildebeest migration or honeymoon, the Serengeti Bushtops will not disappoint. The camp offers the perfect blend of adventure and luxury.

Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp

This is an exclusive seasonal camp located in the heart of the Serengeti. It is made up of 7 tents that are set along the game-rich Seronera Valley; a remarkable location on the western slopes of Makoma Hill. From the Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp, you enjoy astounding views of the Great Migration when in season, staggering sunsets and grasslands. The beautiful tents are spacious and fitted with large safari showers and running water.

The mess tent is designed to function as the guest area, central bar and dining area. It is decorated with chandeliers, leather sofas, wooden chests and cozy rugs. The camp is also conveniently located to the launch site of balloon safaris.

Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

The Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is situated in a location that boasts panoramic landscape views and a wide variety of wildlife. The luxurious lodge offers an outdoor Maji Bar that overlooks the infinity swimming pool and the savanna. A spa is also available. The lodge is set apart by its air-conditioned rooms that feature African décor, flat-screen TV, sofa, safe, and a minibar. All the 77 secluded guest rooms are en-suite.

The Boma Grill offers the cultural Maasai experience with authentic African feasts combined with Maasai dancing. The dishes have local flavors. A wine cellar is available to help guests experience wine and food pairings.

The Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is the perfect place to connect with the wild, the local people and their culture.

Lamai Serengeti

Located in northern Serengeti, the Lamai Serengeti is tacked in the iconic Kogakuria Kopje. The camp provides never-ending views of the Mara River valley. There are 12 designed tents split into two camps: the smaller Private Camp and the Main Camp. The spacious tents are built using a clever blend of canvas, natural poles, and Ferro.

Image Credit: Nomad Tanzania

The Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania has two natural rock swimming pools and a library and map room that allows you to get lost in fascinating content. You can also enjoy a few cocktails in the bar area. Guests further get to indulge in guided bush picnics, walks as well as sundowner stops. If you are traveling in a group of 4 to 12, you can book the smaller Private Camp.

Ubuntu Camp, Asilia Africa

If the wildebeest migration was top on your list, the Ubuntu Camp, Asilia Africa is the camp you should choose. This is a camp that follows the colossal wildebeest herds as they move around the Serengeti. The camp moves between 3 key sites. The camp is in the North from July to October, in the south from December to March and in the west from May to July. The traditional tented camp leaves no trace. It is disassembled easily and moved to new pastures.

Guest experience a typical but unique bush experience when dining in the canvas. There are 8 tented suits, en-suite bathrooms, hot water safari bucket showers, flushing toilets, solar and generator power, complimentary laundry service and battery-charging facilities.

Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Located on the Sasakwa Hill, the lodge is built in the style of a stately Edwardian manor house. It is in a privately-owned Grumeti Reserve (350,00 acres) in northern Tanzania; which is part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. From this position you get sweeping views of the plains. The rooms are of generous proportions with wide wraparound verandas and rolling lawns.

The lodge has 7 cottage suites with one to four bedrooms. Each room is air-conditioned and features a bedroom, fireplace, lounge, en-suite bathroom, and a private deck. There is also a heated infinity pool for the guests. At the Singita Sasakwa Lodge, you can be guaranteed of the most exclusive experience in the Serengeti. The area further forms part of the famous migration route.

One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti

This is an ultra-luxurious safari camp located at the heart of the Serengeti. The camp is surrounded by amazing views of the endless plains and the majestic Nyaruswiga Hills. The One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti is a unique destination that offers an incredibly rich diversity of wildlife and a surreal backdrop for the millions of migrating animals that pass across the plains every year.

The One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti offers 14 lavish safari tents which include 12 stunning, one-bedroom luxury tents as well as two exquisite two-bedroom family tents. Each tent is en-suite with indoor and outdoor showers, a sitting area, and a private sundeck. The views of the open savanna are unobstructed from each tent. There is electricity that is powered by a smart hybrid solar power system, complimentary Wi-Fi, and water supply that is purified by reverse osmosis.

Dunia Camp

Dunai Camp is perfectly placed for wildlife spotting. It offers guests the best views during the Great Migration. You also get easy access to the scenic Moru Kopjes and sightings of the big cats that roam the forest.

The peaceful semi-permanent camp has a total of 8 spacious tents that overlook the plains of the Serengeti National Park. The tents have en-suite bathrooms, hot water showers, flushing toilets, in-room safe, complimentary laundry service, solar power and battery charging facilities.

As a guest you get the option of starting your day soaring over the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and ending the day dining under the stars out in the bush. The structure and attention to detail enable the camp to offer a classic safari experience. You also get to enjoy the thrills of guided half-day and full-day game drives exploring the spectacular wildlife of the Serengeti.

Where is the Serengeti?

The Serengeti National Park is an ecosystem that covers approximately 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) located in Northern Tanzania. Most people arrive in the Serengeti from flights starting in Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK), flying into one of the 5 airstrips within the Serengeti National Park.

As one of the largest national parks in Africa, there is no shortage of things to do at the Serengeti. The park stretches from the lakes, woodlands, and the grassy plains of Ndutu in southern Serengeti to the northern verdant river expanse all the way to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

Serengeti Wildlife To See On Safari

Besides being known for the great migration and for being home to hundreds of vulnerable inhabitants like the rare black rhinoceros, the Serengeti is famous for its wealth of large predators. The ecosystem is home to more than 3,000 lions, 1,000 leopards, and approximately 8,500 spotted hyenas.

The Serengeti is furthermore home to a diversity of grazers which include the African buffalo, waterbuck, topi, warthogs, eland, Grant’s gazelle and more. The park is able to support the huge range of grazers because each of the species, although they are closely related, have a unique diet.

The wildebeests, for example, prefer the shorter grasses whereas the zebras go for the taller grass. Likewise, dik-diks eat the lowest leaves on trees and the impalas eat leaves that are higher up. Giraffes, on the other hand, favor leaves that are much higher.

There are several natural parks, conservation areas as well as game reserves that have been set aside by the Kenya and Tanzania governments to give legal protection of more than 80% of the Serengeti.

Whether your goal is to see wild animals in their natural habitats or to take professional photos of the animals and scenery, Going on a Serengeti safari will without a doubt be one of the greatest wilderness areas in the world for just that.

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