Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park boasts the Great Migration annually, when over 2 million animals move through the park during the months of November through June, and so during that time is the best time to go to Tanzania. These 2 million migrating wildlife are in addition to the usual residents of the park. This stunning array is a spectacular bucket list item and sure to impress. 1.4 million wildebeests accompany hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles to graze on the Serengeti before crossing Kenya’s famous Mara River and continuing up to Masai Mara National Reserve.
You will want to pay attention to the location of the migrating wildlife in order to take advantage, so be aware of the weather patterns when planning your safari. Altitudes in the Serengeti range from 920 to 1,850 metres (3,020 to 6,070 ft) with mean temperatures varying from 15 to 25 degrees C. Although the climate is usually warm and dry, rainfall occurs in two rainy seasons: March to May, and a shorter season in November and December. Seasonal rainfall drives southwards through Tanzania in October to December, reaching the south of the country in January and February, and returning northwards in March, April, and May. This causes the north and east of Tanzania to experience two distinct wet periods – the short rains in October to December and the long rains from March to May – while the southern, western, and central parts of the country experience one wet season that continues October through to April or May.
Serengeti National Park
The name ‘Serengeti’ comes from the Maasai language and appropriately means an ‘endless plains’. The National Park is as big as Northern Ireland, but its ecosystem, which includes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maswa Game Reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve (in Kenya). It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, Lake Eyasi in the south, and the Great Rift Valley to the east. As such, it offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth. A unique combination of diverse habitats enables it to support more than 30 species of large herbivores and nearly 500 species of birds. Its landscape, originally formed by volcanic activity, has been sculpted by the concerted action of wind, rain and sun. It now varies from open grass plains in the south, savanna with scattered acacia trees in the center, hilly, wooded grassland in the north, to extensive woodland and black clay plains to the west.
Small rivers, lakes and swamps are scattered throughout. Rising in the southeast are the great volcanic massifs and craters of the Ngorongoro Highlands. The Serengeti plains are host to a dramatic annual migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and numerous other species of animals indigenous to the area.
Cross the great plains as you spy on wildebeest, zebra, warthog, topi, hartebeest, impala, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles, Kori bustard, secretary bird, ostrich, hyenas, jackals, lions, leopard, serval, caracal, elephant, baboon, giraffe, large cobras, monkey, eland, bushbuck, dik-dik, waterbuck, reedbuck, hippos, crocodiles, Patas monkey, turaco, antelope, oribi, grey bush duiker, black-and-white colobus, and flamingos.
Add on a hot air balloon safari for the ultimate wildlife viewing. Tanzania safaris.