DISCOVER THE UNEXPECTED

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti, named by the Maasai, translates to “endless plains” or “the land that runs on forever,” reflecting its vast, unbroken landscapes

About Serengeti

Legend has it that the word Serengeti emanates from the people who have occupied this pristine land for aeons–the Maasai.  Roughly translated, it means the endless plains, or  “the place where the land runs on forever”.

Proclaimed in 1952, and covering 14,763 km2 (5,700 sq mi) – an area larger than Connecticut or Montenegro – in the eastern Mara Region of northern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is revered by nature-lovers worldwide as one of the most populous wildlife destinations.  

Stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the West, the diverse habitats within make it the perfect home for creatures great and small.  It is also cherished as a World Heritage Site, both for the wildlife it is home to and the abundant relics of prehistoric mankind.

As its name suggests, the overwhelming impression given by the Serengeti is of vast, open spaces dotted with granite kopjes (rock outcrops), flat-topped acacia trees, and undulating grasslands.  

Only two permanent rivers pass through the park, although numerous gullies rise in spate when good rains fall.  

Closing your eyes, the serenade of Nature soothes the atavistic brain, while her various scents arouse the senses even further.

The near-pristine wilderness aside, Serengeti National Park is most famous for the prolific wildlife that roams the ancient plains. Huge herds of plains game, estimated at some 2 million ungulates, roam the various habitats; grazing, browsing and fertilizing the land they traverse.

The massive herbivorous biomass in turn provides ample hunting opportunities for Africa’s legendary large predators perpetuating the unceasing circle of life and death on the African plains. Here too, visitors are blessed with myriad species of birds and plants–each adding to the awe of nature’s complexity and diversity.

By road, the Serengeti National Park is 335 km (208 mi) from Tanzania’s safari hub, Arusha. By air, seven airstrips service different regions of the park.

Highlights

The Great Migration

the annual migratory circuit of over a million wildebeest and other ungulates, draws predators and tourists alike.

River Crossings

Ungulates run the gauntlet of predators waiting at the rivers they must cross during the migration.

Predators

the abundance of prey means Serengeti boasts the greatest concentration of large predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard, and spotted hyena, on earth.

Pristine Habitats

Careful management of the environment ensures a diversity of habitats; home to innumerable species of fauna and flora.

Excellent Infrastructure

Easily accessible with a vast network of roads, several airstrips and a huge variety of accommodation options.

Retina Hippo Pool

Home to some 200-honking, jostling hippos - a cacophonic sight in central Serengeti, not to be missed.

Bologonja Springs

Seldom visited natural springs that offer both tranquillity and diverse sightings at the water and nearby salt lick.

Moru Kopjes

Your best chance of seeing Serengeti’s heavily protected black rhinos amid the dense bush around the rocky outcrops.

Regions of the Serengeti

Central Serengeti (Seronera)

Also known as the Seronera Valley, this region is the location of many of Serengeti’s permanent lodges, and the main airstrip within the park. As such, the volume of tourists (and vehicles) in the area is typically high, particularly in the peak season. This can be a drawback when game viewing. The valley usually teems with wildlife, with herds of zebra, wildebeest, various antelope species, as well as elephants in abundance. This in turn means there is a very good chance of sightings of the park’s large predators – lions, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. The Seronera region is commonly referred to as Africa’s Big Cat Capital and is said to be the best place within Serengeti to spot the elusive leopard. The landscape is a gently undulating acacia (Vachellia sp.) savanna, where the game is easily viewed. The Great Migration typically moves through this area from April to June and October to December.

Western Corridor and Grumeti

Rated as one of the best places in the Serengeti to view the drama of the Great Migration, the so-called Western Corridor lies within the Kirawira region through which the Grumeti River flows. The river is a key obstacle along the migration route that must be crossed between May and July, to get to better grazing. Not only do the occasionally swift waters carry away the weak, but the river is also home to dozens of huge crocodiles that gorge themselves at this time. Even once across the river, the danger continues as land predators await. Outside the crossing periods, this is a relatively quiet corner of the national park. Various habitats including riverine, floodplains, woodlands and savanna, make up the landscape of this vast valley that leads to Lake Victoria. It is the only place in Serengeti to view colobus monkeys and kongoni antelope, and marked by forests and thickets of dense bush.

Northern Serengeti

Wedged between Seronera and Kenya’s Masai Mara, this area is seldom visited by tourists and is low on infrastructure and service. For those therefore that wish to avoid crowds, this is a region worth the effort to visit. The landscape comprises the rolling grasslands synonymous with Serengeti, and the wildlife is just as abundant, with the migration passing through around June/July, and again from September to November. Dramatic scenes play out on the banks of the Mara River, as the herds make their perilous crossing. The Lobo valley is home to a healthy population of predators, while giraffes, elephants, topi antelope and more criss-cross the landscape. The area is best visited in the dry season, as wildlife tends to disperse with the rains. Bologonja Springs and the nearby salt lick both attract a variety of species at this time.

Southern Serengeti

Between December and May, the vast mixed herd of wildebeest, zebra and antelope pauses in its relentless quest for grazing, and the calving season commences on the plains south of Seronera, to the border with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Normally in February, the plains resonate with the bleating of thousands of newly born calves, who can walk within minutes and run with the herd within hours. They must strengthen quickly, as when the dry season descends, the mega herd will once again set off in search of grazing to the north. Naturally, the abundance of young means that the predators are on hand, looking for an easy snack–and competition among them is fierce.

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Activities

Game Drives

Setting out in the cooler hours of the day when the wildlife is most active, you will travel in a customized safari vehicle with an experienced guide in search of Africa’s big game. Full-day options are also available.

Hot Air Balloon Trips

In the early morning, when conditions are most favourable, you can drift in near silence above the wildlife dotting the expansive plains.

Night Game Drives

These are not permitted within the national park, but can be arranged in neighbouring wildlife areas.

Holistic Practices

Some lodges offer wellness treatments and yoga classes.

Maasai Cultural Experiences

Visit a traditional Maasai manyatta to learn more about this fascinating and ancient culture.

Bird Watching

There are 542 recorded species, of which 11 are endemic. Migrant species are present from November to April.

Wild Life

Great Migration: World’s Greatest Wildlife Event

The Great Migration is often called “The Greatest Show on Earth” with good reason. The second largest migration of large mammals on the planet comprises a mixed herd of over a million wildebeest, 400 000 zebras, and a variety of antelope such as eland and Thomson’s gazelle. Outside of the migratory periods, the wildlife disperses to mix with other species of herbivores–such as kudu, impala, giraffe, topi, Cape buffalo, and warthogs, to name a few. In the rivers and water holes, hippos and crocodiles are abundant.

Abundant Wildlife

Primate species include olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and colobus monkeys. Other smaller mammals include aardvarks and porcupines – although these are seldom seen by day. Large predators are especially abundant in the Serengeti. Lions and spotted hyenas vie with all other species as the apex predators of the plains. Being highly social predators gives them a distinct advantage over solitary predators such as cheetahs and leopards. Cheetahs attempt to avoid competing with the social predators by hunting during the day, while leopards hoist their kills up into the high branches of trees to avoid confrontation. African hunting dogs were reintroduced to the reserve, but they are seldom seen within the Serengeti due to high lion and hyena numbers. Smaller predators such as African wildcat, serval, caracal, various mongoose and jackal species are all present in good numbers

For the Bird Enthusiasts

Well over 500 species of birds have been recorded in the Serengeti, ranging from waterfowl that frequent the rivers, waterholes and marshes, to seed-eaters, and an amazing diversity of birds of prey. The skies are often filled with circling vultures, constantly on the lookout for carcasses from which to scavenge.

Landscape

The iconic impression of the Serengeti National Park entails vast, nutritious grassland plains, commonly referred to as the savanna. Here and there, sparse woodlands occur, where the ubiquitous umbrella thorn tree–with its flat canopy–stands out among the larger tree species. This is true of the Seronera, eastern and southern plains. To the north, the terrain is made up of many rocky hills, especially concentrations of granite outcrops, known as kopjes. The Western Corridor and Grumeti area are marked by numerous valleys with seasonal water courses supporting thickets and forest habitat, in addition to patches of savanna grassland.

Weather and Climate

The overall climate is generally moderate, seldom getting excessively hot, although the evenings and early mornings can be cold (Remember to pack warm clothing). The ‘short rains’ fall from November to December and generally don’t interfere with game viewing activities. The ‘long rains’ from March to May are substantial and may impact game viewing.

Best Time To Go​

Discover optimal safari timing with our seasonal guide for prime wildlife sightings and unforgettable experiences

The Dry Season in the Serengeti runs from June to October. The sparse vegetation at this time assists with game viewing, and it is considered the best time to visit. Rain is not expected, but may amount to brief afternoon showers.

While the timing of the migration varies depending on rainfall, June/July are the best months to see it. The Grumeti river crossings occur at this time, while the Mara crossing takes place in September. The calving season on the southern plains peaks from late January through February–and your chances of witnessing predation are highest, if not for the faint-hearted.

The high tourist season runs from July until March, and you can expect the Seronera area to be crowded and accommodation at a premium.

The low season over April and May means fewer tourists and some camps may offer discounted rates. This coincides with the rains that fall from March to May. These “long rains” may affect access to some areas of the reserve.

See What Our Guests Have to Say

LoveTravel259094
LoveTravel259094
August 8, 2023
Asante Gosheni and espacially Hassan Nous tenons à recommander Hassan car nous venons de passer un séjour mémorable avec lui. Grâce à son expérience, sa connaissance parfaite du monde animal et des parcs, Hassan nous a permis de voir de nombreux animaux en étant extrêmement bien placé.
Bien évidemment les big five (même le rhinocéros!), la traversée de la rivière par les gnous et bien d'autres animaux.
En faisant un safari avec Hassan vous trouverez tout ce que vous êtes venus chercher.
A l'avenir si nous décidons de refaire un safari, nous voudrions repartir avec Hassan.
Myriam D
Myriam D
August 8, 2023
Hassan is the best guide !!!! Nous avons eu la chance de faire un safari de 8 jours dans les parcs nationaux du nord de la Tanzanie avec Hassan comme guide. Hassan est un guide très expérimenté.
Grâce à lui et sa grande expérience nous avons découvert et appris énormément de choses sur la Tanzanie, les animaux, les végétaux etc. Hassan est un véritable passionné qui aime transmettre son savoir.
En plus de ses connaissances, Hassan a un véritable œil de lynx et sais débusquer le moindre animal caché.
Grâce à Hassan nous avons eu la chance de voir beaucoup d’animaux et tous ceux du « Big Five ».
Parmi tous les véhicules présents lors des safaris, Hassan sait se frayer un chemin pour nous permettre d’avoir toujours le meilleur point de vue.
Hassan sait où se placer pour nous permettre d’avoir une vue sans égal sur les animaux, en les observant de très près.
Hassan est également un excellent conducteur. La route n’a aucun secret pour lui.
C’est également un guide très attentionné, toujours aux petits soins pour nous et d’une extrême gentillesse.
Nous recommandons Hassan les yeux fermés et si nous devions refaire un safari, nous demanderons d’être guidés par Hassan sans hésitation.
Merci encore à Hassan pour ces merveilleux moments qui resterons gravés dans notre mémoire !!
bonny l
bonny l
August 6, 2023
amazing Safari experience wiz gosheni nice trip wiz our amazing guide Samir We saw all the wild animals during Safari
thx a lot for the thoughtful and excellent service
highly recommend
FENG Y
FENG Y
August 6, 2023
愉快的非洲之旅 幸运的选择了gosheni Safari,我们的向导samir服务非常好,小朋友们都很喜欢他,非洲五霸除了犀牛没有看到外,其他都替我们找到了,寻找动物经验丰富,在超远的地方就能看到目标。可以在众多的车子中抢到一个很好的观赏位,办事灵活。
Vladimir T
Vladimir T
August 6, 2023
Great experience! Great experience! Starting from the trip planning the communications were very clear and smooth to organize the tour and select itinerary. In the end we opted for 5 days/4 nights route including the Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara nations parks as well as a visit to the Ngorongoro crater. The tour itself was excellent and very punctual, here kudos to our guide Wilson who is very experienced and knowledgeable about his job and also went well beyond his duty and gave us a nice summary of country’s history. It was really a pleasure to spend time with him and we managed to see the big 5:) Accommodations were superb: great camps, an amazing farmhouse close to Ngorongoro, meals were also good and picnic lunches well organized.
In summary the experience was highly satisfying, I sincerely recommend Gosheni Safaris and to ask for Wilson as a guide.
Allison B
Allison B
August 5, 2023
Great Taste of Tanzania Had a great 5-day tour. Our guide James was very dedicated to making sure we saw amazing sights. He asked us our favorite animals to see and made it his mission to help us spot them. The food was good, the lodging was very pleasant, and enjoying a glass of wine on lunches was a nice touch. Favorite lodging was definitely the Farmhouse by Ngorongoro. Beautiful landscapes along the entire tour, covered a lot of ground and got a great introduction to Tanzania.
Sukhraj S
Sukhraj S
August 5, 2023
Gosheni number 1 What an unforgettable 6 days, courtesy of Gosheni Safari and our guide/driver Zadock!!!
I booked this holiday back in 2020 but then had to cancel due to Covid. That was after a lot of research of tour companies and finally picking Ghosheni. The time was right to get this once in a lifetime trip set up again, so working via email with William at Gosheni we compiled the agenda…he was so helpful and we settled on one day in Tarangire, one day in Lake Manyara, three days in Serengeti and one day in Ngorongoro Crater…I’m now on the way to Zanzibar after an amazing experience, Gosheni took care of the whole package for my wife, three teenage sons and I.

Our guide and driver was Zadock, a humble, honest, genuine, proud and generous man. He did absolutely everything for us, answered every question and took us to all the places to see the big five up close, hunts and more.

The food was served every lunch time as a picnic, with plates, blanket, wtc whilst others had lunch boxes. The Jeep was cleaned daily, and was extremely comfortable along the difficult rough terrain…a credit to Zadock.

Zadock had so much knowledge not only of the animal kingdom’s hundreds of species but also the history of Tanzania, Africa, politics, and social customs, we felt as though he was part of our family.

Thankyou Zadock and Gosheni, I very rarely write reviews after holidays and I have travelled extensively around the world, but these guys are special and have made this so memorable for my family and I….I recommend to everyone if you are unsure about who, how, what, these guys will sort out the whole trip and at a very reasonable price.

Well done William, Gosheni and Zadock, and I really hope you get to be recognised as the number one tour company in Tanzania!
Eric W
Eric W
August 4, 2023
Extraordinary Safari with Gosheni I am so glad to have Gosheni as our tour operator. They provide excellent service starting from arranging the tour till the end of our safari.
As our city had quarantine arrangement due to COVID-19, we were so worry about our trip. Luckily, Gosheni is so considerate and try their best endeavors to rearrange our scedule. With their assistance, everything is set and we feel comfortable for all of their kind arrangements.

During the safari, we have a terrific tour guide, Edward! He takes care of all the stuff and administration including liaison with hotels, lunch packing, other add-on safaris so that we can fully enjoy the trip.

Not only Edward spots a lot a lot of animals and birds for us, including the top 5 in the trip, he also introduces us the habitat and features of the animals and birds. We are very impressed by his rich knowledge and do enjoy listening the "stories" of the animals.

Edwward is definitely experienced and propose the best programme during the safari, e.g. he tries to maximise our time for the game drive in different locations and tribe visit. We fully trust his expertise and professionalism.

We are very happy with Edward and Gosheni. We will absolutely consider them in our next Africam safari.
Priyank S
Priyank S
August 4, 2023
Amazing Safari with Gosheni and Ombeni Our guide, Ombeni, was the best part of our trip. He is really knowledgeable, friendly, and we trusted his expertise for the whole 9 days across Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. We were lucky to see some amazing things on our game drives. Having grown up in Kenya, I have been lucky to go on many safaris, and this is one of the best I've been on.
The food was excellent, and even on the all-day game drives we had a cooked, sit-down meal for lunch which was a big plus point. All the accommodation was excellent as well.

We had a bespoke itinerary which we planned in advance with William from Gosheni, and he was extremely helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our requests.

I would highly recommend Gosheni and especially Ombeni for future travels.
Banu
Banu
August 4, 2023
Dreams come true!!! Thanks to best guide Hassani I have been dreaming Serengeti Safari tour for a long time and Gosheni Safaris made my dreams come true. We completed our 5 days safari at the end of July and it was wonderful. We visited Central Serengeti, North Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
The company is very professional from beginning to end. Peter the owner of Gosheni Safaris helped us a lot about planning our itinary. I asked too many questions and he replied all of them everytime. Sometimes he can be in the bush and has no internet connection but be sure he always will reply your questions. Just be sure that you are in safe hands and Hakuna Matata☺️

Our guide was Hassani who is a perfect guide, safari driver, friend and everything. He always did his best to show us as much as possible. We always felt safe and witnessed lots of amazing moments by help of Hassani. Beside being a perfect safari guide, he prepared very nice lunch tables every afternoon. He is very funny person and makes lots of jokes during the safari. I higly recommend Gosheni Safaris which is best one and Hassani who is a very good guide. I want to thank Hassani in person for making our safari perfect and looking forward to meet again🙏🏻

Tips: I recommend ‘Morning Hot air Balloon safari’.

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