Serengeti 101 – getting the best out of the Great Migration

SERENGETI 101 – GETTING THE BEST OUT OF THE GREAT MIGRATION

Experiencing the herds of the Great Migration thundering across the Serengeti plains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that any wildlife enthusiast needs to have on their bucket list! To help travellers make the most of their Great Migration trip, Safari365 has drafted a useful guide as to what you should consider when planning a Great Migration safari to the Serengeti. 

Getting the best out of a trip to this incredible region of Tanzania requires forward planning and expertise. This will help ensure that you maximise your chances of optimal game viewing, choose the right accommodation type and efficiently plan your travel to and from this remote and magical part of the world. Safari365 has years of experience and the inside which perfectly equips us to help craft your ideal itinerary.

WHEN TO VISIT: BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR TO TRAVEL TO THE SERENGETI TO SEE THE MIGRATION

There is no ‘wrong’ time to travel to the Serengeti, but there are certain times of year better than others if you want to specifically see the Migration.

As a general rule, the best time to visit the Serengeti National Park is in the dry season (from late June to October). This period offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with June and July the best months to see the wildebeest migration in the western corridor area of the Serengeti National Park, and August to September are good for the northern sectors of the park near the Kenyan border (with a chance to see the famous Mara River crossing)

Between December and February, we recommend guests visit the southern sections of the Serengeti (namely Ndutu and Maswa areas) Note that this time of year is famous for the Wildebeest calving, and is green and verdant after the short summer rains.

April and May are generally considered the least desirable times to visit the park due to the long rains (but does offer great discounts and birding opportunities)

Like anything in nature, the timing of the Great Migration does vary somewhat from year to year and cannot be guaranteed, yet if you are seeking to see the migration, we recommend speaking to our experts who understand the location of the camps and lodges in proximity to where the migration should be for at least a few of the nights on your safari.

WHERE TO STAY: TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION IN THE SERENGETI

When planning your trip to the Serengeti, knowing what type of accommodation (and the advantages of each) is important to get the most of your trip to view the Migration. 

We have broadly classified the options into permanent lodges, tented lodges and mobile luxury camps.

The permanent options tend to be typical brick and mortar establishments, normally between 8 -12 rooms in size. These are fully serviced with incredible offerings in the African bush, often including dining areas, boma areas, swimming pools, laundry rooms and a spa.

Tented lodges are similar in nature to a permanent lodge, yet are on permanent decking with canvas structures (often with aircon and all other facilities).

Mobile tented camps are non-permanent structures with the upside that they can move according to the Great Migration route, and while smaller and more pared-back, are by no means lacking in service. These camps will still have chefs and waiters to cater to your needs and offer a more immersive experience of the bush. Please see here for further details 

HOW TO TRAVEL THE SERENGETI: MODES OF TRANSPORT OPTIONS

The majority of safaris to the Serengeti start from the town of Arusha. The best way to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which is situated about 46 kilometres from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), just outside of Dar es Salaam, and use a domestic flight to get to Arusha Airport (ARK) or directly to the Serengeti. 

In Arusha, you will be met by a Safari365 representative for your onwards leg.

For the more budget-conscious travellers (and those wanting to see the country), we recommend a guided 4×4 Land Cruiser (a local Safari365 guide will be with you throughout your trip, showing you the best on offer). This is a great way to explore especially if you have a little more time, and want to include other National Parks or the Ngorongoro Crater in your trip. 

The most convenient method of travelling from Arusha to the Serengeti is by taking a small charter plane to one of the numerous airstrips in the park. Travelling from Arusha by road transfer, the trip to the Serengeti is approximately 325 kilometres often on dirt roads. If you do opt to do the trip with a guided 4×4 transfer, the views from your traverse over the Great Rift Valley are spectacular and the landscapes throughout will keep you intrigued!   

Seeing the Great Migration on a Serengeti safari is a true bucket list experience. Make sure you get the most out of your trip by following the expert advice above! 

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