The Serengeti is the best safari destination on earth, a truly extraordinary location best known for the massive wildebeest and zebra migration, but home to an abundance of wildlife all year long. A fantastic selection of about 100 camps and lodges provide guest accommodations and offer a variety of safari and cultural activities.
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The Serengeti is a sizable national park, unquestionably the best place to go on safari in Northern Tanzania, and unquestionably the best wildlife reserve in all of East Africa.
Contrary to popular belief, the Serengeti is not a vast, endless grassy plain but rather is home to a diverse range of landscapes and ecosystems.
The region’s massive wildebeest migration, which is a year-round spectacle, is what makes it most well-known. Additionally, for lions and cheetahs, it is the most productive region in Africa.
Any time of year is a good time to visit the Serengeti; typically, visitors spend 4 to 7 nights in two or three different sub-areas as part of a longer overland safari through the area.
A superb variety of lodging options are available in the area, with a welcomely high percentage being authentic mobile tented camps that are unusually small in size.
The Wildebeests Migration
Without a doubt, the Serengeti is best known for its massive wildebeest and zebra migration, during which nearly 2.5 million herbivores graze their way along an 800 km route around the larger area, motivated by the constant search for drinking water and the quality of grazing.
Approximately 1.7 million wildebeest, who are rather stupid animals, make up the migration’s main body. The 500,000 zebras appear to be the ones making the majority of decisions regarding timing and routes.
The migration is visible for the majority of the year, but planning your safari will help you be in the right places at the right times (refer to the detailed seasonality section below).
The calving season, which runs from December to March, the rut, and Mar-May and river crossings from Jun-Oct.
Even though it is simple to become engrossed in the hunt for the migration herds and the predators that accompany them, it is important to keep in mind that many areas of the Serengeti are great for beautiful landscapes, a much wider variety of wildlife, and a really lovely safari atmosphere. It really is a place worthy of a prolonged stay.
The incredible density of predators in the Serengeti is another important factor in safari travel; strong sightings are common throughout the year.
There is a hotspot of a species that is seeking to migrate in.
During the months of December through March, the vast open plains to the south provide hundreds of thousands of helpless baby wildebeest and zebras, which constitute the largest banquet on Earth for animals like lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs. Predators naturally take advantage of this situation and are visible in these wide-open spaces.
However, during the opposite dry season, from June to October, when the migration herds have left, there is little left on these plains for predators to eat. Even the non-migratory Thompson’s, Grant’s, and topi wander off to the center in search of water. The predators must follow suit, so during these months, the riverine areas near Seronera offer the best opportunities for viewing predators in all of Africa. In a single day, it’s not unusual to see more than 100 lions, 20 cheetahs, two or three leopards, and countless spotted hyenas.
Despite the fact that these predators are typically territorial, it appears that there is some sort of right of way system, as animals can move through territories without being harassed as long as they continue to do so. Spotted hyenas, who use the same den site for months while traveling to and from the migration herds to hunt, should pay particular attention to this.
Even vultures and eagles travel during migration; many of them use the impressive roost in the isolated Olkarien Gorge to the southeast and also travel far distances to the migration herds, wherever they may be at the time.
Large populations of predators that spend the majority of the year mostly on their own territories also underlie these unusual movements, so lions, leopards, and spotted hyenas should always be present somewhere and at any time of the year.
The balloon safari has its roots in the Serengeti, where operations were first established in the 1980s.
You can see how popular it still is today by counting how many balloons rise from the plains each day at first light.
A very early wake-up call and a chilly drive to the destination are a necessary part of the experience in order to be ready for takeoff at sunrise. The actual flight lasts between 30 and 60 minutes and includes views of both low- and high-altitude wildlife, with a traditional champagne breakfast served in the middle of the bush.
Although the prices are high and the balloon operations are largely commercial (with baskets typically carrying 16 or 24 guests), the overall experience is undeniably good, the scenery is gorgeous, and the photo opportunities can be absolutely stunning.
One of the most seasonal places in Africa must be the Serengeti region.
The annual cycle of weather, wildlife movements, and visitor traffic flows combine to have an incredibly dramatic impact on trip planning throughout every single month of the year, despite the fact that there is literally never a bad time to visit this region of the world.
The dry season, which runs from June to October, is generally thought to be the best time to travel in terms of weather and wildlife.
Although the weather can be unpredictable, the migration calving season that occurs during the green season of December to March is another significant highlight.
Although the two low season months of November through December and March through May may have less consistent weather, they continue to be excellent times to see wildlife and enjoy the benefits of significantly fewer tourists.
The Serengeti will satisfy your needs, regardless of when you want to travel there. When executed correctly, it is epic.
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