Serengeti Migration Area Safari - 5 Days

cheatah at serengeti

The Serengeti is vast and beautiful; it’s one of Africa’s most captivating safari areas. The sheer amount of game here is amazing: estimates suggest up to about two million wildebeest, plus perhaps half a million zebra, hundreds of thousands of Thompson’s gazelle, and tens of thousands of impala, Grant’s gazelle, topi (tsessebe), hartebeest, eland and other antelope – all hunted by the predators for which these plains are famous.

Some of this game resides permanently in ‘home’ areas, which are great for safaris all year round. But many of the wildebeest and zebra take part in the migration – an amazing spectacle that’s one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. If you plan carefully, it’s still possible to witness this in wild and remote areas.

o get the best out of a visit to the Serengeti, your trip needs to be planed carefully. On this site we’ve made some notes about the various areas and camps.

The Greater Serengeti ecosystem

The Serengeti National Park itself covers about 15,000km² of mostly flat or gently rolling grasslands, interspersed with the occasional rock outcrops, or kopjes. But this is just the centre of a whole ecosystem which covers more than double that area, and includes Grumeti Reserve, Ikorongo Game Reserve, Loliondo Controlled Area, Maswa Game Reserve, part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and also Kenya’s relatively small Maasai Mara Game Reserve. This combined area is often referred to as the Greater Serengeti area, or the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

Southern plains

Vast short-grass plains cover the south of Serengeti National Park, stretching into the north of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the south-west Loliondo and Maswa Game Reserve. Occasionally there are small kopjes which, like the forests around Lake Ndutu, harbour good populations of resident game. However, around these oases of permanent wildlife, the majority of this area is flat and open. It’s alive with grazing wildebeest from around late-November to April, but can be very empty for the rest of the year. Places to stay here include:

Ndutu Safari Lodge

Set on the boundary of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park, the owner-run Ndutu Safrai Lodge has 34 comfortable stone cottages, built in a down-to-earth style.

Olduvai Camp

On the southern edge of the Serengeti, Olduvai Camp stands at the base of a kopje, and has 16 very simple walk-in tents. Run by Maasai, it’s an ideal place to experience their culture.

Kusini Camp

Standing atop a kopje, Kusini is a high-quality permanent camp, with 12 luxurious en-suite tents on polished wooden decks, lots of comfort and excellent food.

Olakira Camp

The smart Olakira Camp has six large, light-coloured walk-in tents, and typically moves between two different areas: Ndutu (December-March) and Kogatende in northern Serengeti (June-November).

The Seronera area

In the heart of the national park, just to the north of the short-grass plains, Seronera has all the best features of the Serengeti and also, sadly, its worst. Scenically, it’s a lovely area – with open plains, occasional kopjes and lines of hills to add interest. The resident game here is phenomenal, with high densities of relaxed leopards, cheetah and lion. These live off the resident herbivores, as well as the migrating game. The migration passes through here in April/May, but Seronera is within reach of both the Southern Plains and the Western Corridor – so from about November to June, it can be used as a base to see the migration. Seronera’s big drawback is that it is always busy; places to stay include:

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Northeast of Seronera, at the end of a winding road into the Kyabatero Hills, the Serengeti Serena enjoys panoramic vistas from many of its 66 en-suite rooms.

Seronera Wildlife Lodge

If you’re looking for a budget option in this area, then the simple Seronera Wildlife Lodge is probably your best value. It is built around an enormous rock outcrop, and has 75 spacious and comfortable bedrooms.

Dunia Camp

Dunia Camp is a lovely luxury tented camp located in the Moru Kopjes area of the southern Serengeti, and has five large, airy tents, each with an en-suite bathroom.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Is a large international-style hotel, which is good value for money and very friendly. The decor is a bit dated but the atmosphere is relaxed and the rooms are really spacious, with modern ensuite bathrooms.

Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti

Set in the heart of Serengeti National Park, Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti has 74 spacious rooms, decorated with east African artworks, and equipped with a private telescope for game viewing.

Western Corridor

Stretching to the west, almost to Lake Victoria, the Serengeti narrows into what’s known as the Western Corridor. The key feature of this area is the two rivers, the Grumeti and the Mbalageti, which run almost parallel, each supporting a band of most, evergreen riparian forest. This area sustains a very good permanent game population, including plenty of zebra and wildebeest, all the predators and forest ‘specialists’ like colobus monkeys. The birdife is particularly varied. The migration passes through between about May and July – pausing to gather momentum before crossing the crocodile-rich waters of the Grumeti River, into the Grumeti Reserve. Camps in the Serengeti’s Western Corridor include:

Grumeti River Camp

Grumeti River Camp is funky rather than cutting edge, with playful interiors using psychedelic colours. It has 10 large tents with open-air showers and an outdoor swimming pool.

Mbalageti Camp

Standing on Mwanyeni Hill, Mbalageti Lodge is a large, high-quality and quite quirky camp, with a total of 40 rooms, and commanding views from its outdoor terrace.

Kirawira Camp

Kirawira Camp has an imposing hilltop position – on a clear day you can see for miles across the plains of the Western Corridor. Its 25 tents are raised on wooden platforms, each with a private veranda.

Northern Serengeti

Stretching from Seronera for about 100km north, to the Kenyan border, the northern Serengeti is gently rolling country, broken by small rivers and occasional hills and kopjes. There are good permanent populations of wildlife in several areas here, including the very beautiful Lobo Kopje. It’s interesting, varied country that’s far from the park’s main entry point in the south – and hence it receives delightfully few visitors.

The further you go north, the fewer vehicles you see. Even when the migration is here, between about August and October, you can still enjoy spectacular crossings of the Mara River. A particularly stunning are is the wild Lamai Wedge – the area of land between the Mara River and the Kenya Border – which includes the picturesque Wogakuria Kopjie, and a beautiful series of game-rich valleys and plains. This is the only area of the national park where off-road driving is acceptable. Here, we suggest you stay at:

Migration Camp

In the centre of the northern part of the Serengeti, Migration Camp makes the most of its high position on a kopje. It has 20 high-quality canvas, standing on individual polished-wooden decks.

Lobo Wildlife Lodge

Perched on a superb position between the huge boulders of the lovely Lobo Kopje, the formerly government-run Lobo Wildlife Lodge has 75 good value rooms.

Sayari Mara Camp

Close to the Mara River, Sayari Mara is the only permanent camp this far north. Its 15 spacious tents have been built with quality, without losing the air of a remote bushcamp.

Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp

Set amidst the rocky outcrops of central Serengeti, Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp makes a comfortable stop between Seronera and the far north.

Grumeti Reserves

Singita Grumeti Reserves covers almost 1,500km² of private reserves which run along the north side of the Western Corridor. Within this are three, very different luxury lodges. All offer unrivalled exclusivity for watching the migration as it journeys north, and recycle all of their profits into local conservation and community development initiatives.

Sasakwa Lodge

Set atop Sasakwa Hill, with stupendous panoramic views of the plains below, Sasakwa Lodge is the grandest of the reserves’ three properties. It has seven stylish cottages, each with a private plunge pool and decorated with objects d’art.

Faru Faru River Lodge

Faru Faru is the newest place to stay in Grumeti. Its six river-stone, canvas and glass suites overlook a permantent waterhole, whilst Grumeti River passes very close by.

Sabora Plains Tented Camp

Sabora Plains is a beautiful tented camp, with six air-conditioned tents. When the migration passes through, it’s surrounded by wildebeest and zebra – both a marvellous wildlife sight and phenomenally noisy affair!

Loliondo Reserve

West of the Serengeti National Park, between the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Kenyan border, lies Loliondo game Controlled Area – an area belonging to the Maasai tribes that live there. The western side of this, beside the park, is very much part of the Serengeti’s ecosystem; it has much resident game and the migration passes through here as well.

There are a few camps here which have the flexibility to offer night drives and walks, often using Maasai guides – and visits to local Maasai villages. Around about October and November, there’s a good chance to see part of the migration here, as it returns south.

Klein’s Camp

Overlooking the national park from a perch on the rocky Kuka Hills, Klein’s Camp is a permanent luxury lodge, with 10 high-quality rock and thatch cottages, each with a private veranda.

Nduara Loliondo Camp

Nduara Loliondo Camp moves within the Loliondo Game Controlled Area. Its six tents were redesigned in 2007 to incorporate elements of a traditional Maasai boma and Mongolian ‘yurt’.

Mobile Tented Camps

There are several semi-permanent mobile tented camps in the Serengeti. Most move seasonally, trying to anticipate the great migration’s movements; they spend several months in one place before moving on with the game. Their creature comforts vary from basic tents with adequate food, to very comfortable camps that feel almost permanent. Such tented camps can be included as part of private guided safaris.

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Following the wildebeest migration, Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp changes its position every 10-14 days. As a result, it’s quite simple, but good quality, with six spacious and comfortable tents.

Serengeti under Canvas

Serengeti under Canvas, an operation run by CC Africa, consists of several semi-permanent safari camps, aiming to provide a traditional safari experience – a night under canvas, without waiving luxuries.

Olakira Camp

As mentioned earlier, Olakira Camp is a smart and contemporary tented camp with six large, light-coloured walk-in tents. It moves between two different areas: Ndutu (December-March) and Kogatende in northern Serengeti (June-November).

For a premium, we can arrange for a private mobile fly-camp to be set up, just for you. You’ll sleep in a simple, mosquito-gauze tent and eat around the camp fire with your own guide. These can be set up anywhere, although Loliondo is perfect if you want to use them as a base for walking safaris.

Trips to the Serengeti

Sadly, the Serengeti doesn’t always live up to its potential. It’s easy to end up with a herd of vehicles around you, destroying any sense of wilderness. It’s tempting to opt to rush around on dusty, corrugated roads with little time to stop. It’s also easy to simply miss the migration, which isn’t nearly as predictable these days as many will tell you.

Because of this, planning a safari here can be complicated; we need to guide you to choose the right camps at the right time of year, and get the best experience possible – especially when the wildebeest migration does vary every year.

Some of our trips include a private guide and vehicle, others fly in and out of the lodges, and many are a combination of the two. For ideas of possible combinations

Day 1
Arusha - Ngorongoro Crater

Our driver will pick you up from your Hotel in Arusha, with picnic lunch en route to a full day Ngorongoro Crater tour. You will be taken 2000ft down the crater by a 4wheel drive vehicle, explore the crater before ascending and drive to your Lodge set on a crater rim. The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ a visit to the crater is a main drawcard for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is home of Ngorongoro Crater. It was formed some 2.5 million years ago from a volcanic mountain sinking due to inactivity, and was initially thought to be higher than Tanzania’s famous Kilimanjaro. The crater has evolved into a unique and integral part of Tanzania’s eco-system. The crater is actually a caldera, measures 22.5 km’s across and the rim walls stand 600m high. Views from within and from the rim are breathtaking. The crater houses 30,000 animals and a large variety of birds, which rarely move from the area due to the availability of water through wet and dry seasons. In the evening, back to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

Meal: L,D

Accommodation: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Day 2
Ngorongoro - Serengeti National Park

Ngorongoro – Serengeti National Park

Pick up from your hotel after breakfast and then transfer to Arusha airstrip for your flight to Serengeti North. Upon arrival, meet your driver guide for a full day game drive in this part of the park to view the great migration.

The park is well known for its healthy stock of other resident wildlife, particularly the “big five”, named for the five most prized trophies taken by hunters: Lion: the Serengeti is believed to hold the largest population of lions in Africa due in part to the abundance of prey species. More than 3,000 lions live in this ecosystem. African Leopard: these reclusive predators are commonly seen in the Seronera region but are present throughout the national park with the population at around 1,000. African Elephant.

Meal: B,L,D

Accommodation: Serengeti Acacia Camps

Day 3
Serengeti National Park (North Mara)

Serengeti National Park (North Mara)

After breakfast at the Camp, depart with your picnic lunch for a game drive and to view the great migration.

Serengeti national Park — Resident wildlife numbers are exceptionally high in the Wagakuria area, with prides of lion up to 30 strong, however from August to October the area turns into a wildlife paradise. The key feature is the Mara River and it is not uncommon to see the herds cross the Mara River north on one day and then back south a few days later. Please take note – to actually find a crossing is very difficult and is sometimes a matter of luck.

Meal: B,L,D

Accommodation: Serengeti Acacia Camps

Day 4
Serengeti National Park (North Mara)

Serengeti National Park (North Mara)

After breakfast, enjoy a full day of game dive at the Mara River viewing the great migration river crossing. In the evening, back to the camp for the evening bonfire, dinner and overnight.

River crossings at Kogatende start to occur every day in August as the mega herd settles into the area. From August to October, game viewing up here is superb with river crossings pretty much guaranteed every day. There is no distinct movement as the herds tend to cross back and forth over the river, following the rains and subsequent fresh grasses. It is not uncommon to see different herds crossing in different directions on the same day.

Meal: B,L,D

Accommodation: Serengeti Acacia Camps

Day 5
Serengeti National Park - Departure

Depart after breakfast for a morning game drive. In the afternoon, transfer to Kogatende Airstrip or your flight to Arusha. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to Kilimanjaro airport for your home flight.

Meal: B

Accommodation: No Accommodation

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the above mentioned en suite tented camps and lodges
  • Private safari guide
  • Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing
  • Transfers in both directions between the International Airport
  • Park fees
  • Crater fees
  • All meals whist on safari
  • On safari – Vehicles equipped with ice chest with mineral water, wildlife guidebooks.
  • Government taxes, VAT and service charges relating to accommodation and included meals

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • International flights
  • Tanzanian Visa
  • All things of personal nature
  • Tips for guides and cooks
  • Alcohol
  • Items not specified in terms and conditions
  • Extended tours not specified in the main package

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Serengeti Migration Area Safari

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