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When to go to Serengeti

When to go to Serengeti

When to go to Serengeti

The best times to visit Serengeti National Park are from January to February or from June through September, although you should plan your trip around the movement of The Great Migration. For example, winter is the best time to see the herd in Southern Serengeti, while the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti are the best places to spend the summer and autumn months. 

Most safari operators will have a good idea of where the animals are headed and when, and most will adjust their itineraries based on the herd’s movement. Temperatures remain relatively constant with daytime highs resting in the 80s. You’ll find cooler weather in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area due to its higher elevation. April and May see the most rainfall, and many lodges and camps close for this slower season.

"Top Serengeti Safaris and tours"

Katavi National Park
Accomodation in Central Serengeti #2 November and october
Accomodation in Grumeti - western corridor - Serengeti

Best time to Observe great migration

The Great Migration is the largest migration of animals in the world. 

  • #1. The best time to visit the Serengeti for the Great Migration is from December to March: Visitors will witness about 1.7 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles in southern Serengeti in search of new places to graze. The wildebeest give birth in February, then cross the Grumeti and Mara rivers in July. 
  • #2. By late July or August, many of these animals will be in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, so if you want to see wildebeest or zebra, consider a Kenya and Tanzania safari.
Serengeti Migration map

When is the climate and weather best in Serengeti

The weather in Serengeti is fairly consistent throughout the year, with average lows of about 15 degrees Celsius and highs of about 27 degrees Celsius. 

  • #1. During the dry season (June-October) visitors will experience perfect weather conditions with bright, blue skies. Dry season is usually the best time to visit Serengeti and Zanzibar for a beach safari or a Big Five safari.
  • #2. The rainy seasons are from March to May (the “long rains”) and from November to December (the “short rains”). Travellers might experience cloudy skies and some rain during the day (sometimes even a thunderstorm) but the wet seasons don’t mean all-day rain.

Pro tip: Travellers visiting Serengeti during the wet season might have a very pleasant time due to the fact that the park has fewer visitors and accommodations usually have lower prices.  

Month by Month Guide for Travelling to the Serengeti:

Visiting the Serengeti from January to March

January is when the rolling plains of the Serengeti are a lush shade of emerald, there is hardly any dust, and the game viewing is excellent. The Ndutu Plains area is very popular during this period as the landscape is greener than other parts, with year-round resident wildlife such as elephant, giraffe, and various antelope species.

It’s the wildebeest calving season during February which makes this the best time to go to on a Serengeti safari to witness the many herds giving birth to their young. The wildebeest, zebra and gazelles making their annual migration through the Serengeti National Park can be viewed in their thousands.

March marks the end of the green season as the ‘long rains’ begin. The Serengeti enters a low season period when there are less safari crowds, and the migratory herds begin to leave the Ndutu region in the south and head west. The humidity rises during March, but this is the best time to go to the Serengeti for great rates on accommodation.

Where to stay?

The best of the mobile camps in our most economical bracketare: Nasikia Migration Mobile, Chaka Camp,  and Lemala Ndutu.  Permanent lodgesNdutu Safari Lodge is our entrance-level lodge in the area. As it’s somewhat uninspiring in design, albeit with great views over Lake Ndutu itself

Things to consider before rent a car in Tanzania

Where to stay?

1st June – 30th June: focus on the Western Corridor and central plains. Perment camps like: Chaka Camp, lodge: Mbalageti lodge, and others.

Travelling to the Serengeti from April to June

The Serengeti starts to see fewer visitors around April, which is mostly due to the humidity and wet weather during the month. It’s not generally considered the best time to visit the Serengeti, but it can be an ideal time to get off the beaten track and explore the remote corners of the park.

There is very heavy rainfall throughout May and the camps and lodges in the Serengeti are relatively quiet. This is not the best time to visit the Serengeti for a safari unless you make your way to the central and western regions of the park to follow the Great Migration.

June is the start of the popular dry season and is the best time to go to the Serengeti just before the peak safari season. This is when the Great Migration starts moving north, the dry conditions prevail across the land, and there is a slim chance of occasional afternoon thundershowers.

Visiting the Serengeti from July to September

Many visitors flock to the Serengeti from July to September to witness the Great Migration. River crossings are a spectacle during these months – quite often panic ensues within the herds as crocodiles waiting to pounce attempt to snatch them as they make their way across. There are more safari vehicles in the Serengeti National Park during this period than any time of the year.

August is peak season and generally considered the best time to witness the dramatic river crossings from the northern Serengeti into the Masai Mara. This is the best time to visit the Serengeti for prolific wildlife encounters as the herds are easier to spot and there are many predators around – you’ll see some of Africa’s big cats on the hunt!

September is still very busy with visitors in the Serengeti National Park, especially on the Kenyan and Tanzania borders as the herds of animals travel over the Mara River in smaller batches. The southern parts of the park are quieter during September.

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Where to stay?

1st July to 30th July: The Western Corridor and Lobo in the northern heart of the park, August: Lemala Mara and Kaskazi is without doubt worth a look. and September: The Serengeti Migration’s best camps and safari lodges in September:  Nasikia Migration in Lobo and Chaka in Kogatende

Things to consider before rent a car in Tanzania

Where to stay in Dececmber?

1-15 December – Kusini and the Moru Kopje, just south of the central Seronera river valley. Permanent lodges – Kiota camp is a camp we tend to use rarely but it remains a good property with very competitive rates in early December – some of the best value in the entire park at any time of year! 

Travelling to the Serengeti from October to December

By October the plains of the Serengeti are mostly parched, but the dry season is now coming to an end. Although the Wildebeest Migration’s herds have made their way into Kenya, game viewing in the Serengeti National Park is still nothing short of spectacular.

November is the beginning of the ‘short rains’ in the Serengeti National Park and is a quieter, low season. The rains bring fresh grasslands for grazing in the southern areas and it’s a good time to take advantage of lower rates.

The rains continue and the scenery changes from dry dusty plains to rolling grasslands. The cycle of the Great Migration in the Serengeti continues in December. The migrating herds make their way to the southern plains of the Ndutu region where they prepare for the breeding season. The temperatures and the humidity begin to rise for the wet summer months. The festive season can be very busy, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance.

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