Serengeti landscape

Best time to visit Serengeti National Park

This post aims to help you choose the best time to visit Serengeti National Park based on what you most want to see. We also want to help you to plan when and where in the park to go if you want to see the Great Wildlife Migration, which of course you do!

One of the superb things about Serengeti National Park (and there are many!) is that it offers excellent safari experiences all year round. So no matter when you go, you're pretty much guaranteed to have an awesome, awesome adventure. 😄 That said, each month has something special to offer (February is calving season, for instance). And each section of the park also has its own unique attractions (remember, this is one enormous park!).

So with this in mind, let's tuck into a discussion of the different months and what you can expect to see in Serengeti National Park at that time. We also, of course, make sure to point where exactly within the park the Great Migration herds should be during each month.

African elephant at water's edge

Did you know that wild elephants sleep mostly standing up?

Overview of the Serengeti's seasons

Serengeti National Park has a subtropical climate. This means it has warm, wet seasons, as well as drier, cooler seasons. And as Tanzania is so close to the Equator, you have around eight hours of sunlight every day no matter what the season.

This means you can enjoy a fantastic Tanzania safari at any time of the year. That said, some months are definitely better for certain things, so let's tuck into some specifics to help you plan your ideal Serengeti safari ...

Serengeti National Park map Tanzania

Map of Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania

Each month in the Serengeti has something special to offer. Often it's just about knowing what, where and when! The map above shows the location of Serengeti National Park within northern Tanzania. The park is 14,750 km² – that's the same size as the state of Connecticut!

January

January is a good month for a Serengeti safari, as it's the start of the calving season. Also, migratory birds from around the world start to visit.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Medium
  • Max temp: 29° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Medium

What's the weather like in Serengeti in January?

  • It's the start of the short dry season.
  • The mornings tend to be warm and dry, and the afternoons sometimes see short showers.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in January?

  • The animals of the Great Migration head into southeast Serengeti, so you can find them grazing there.
  • Late January is the start of the calving season. In the southeast of the park, you'll see wildebeest, zebra and antelope calves being born, a fantastic sight! The southeast of the park is also known for its cheetah population.
  • Lions and other predators follow the Great Migration, so by following the movements of the herds, your chances of seeing predator action is also high. During calving season, they're looking for little ones to take out.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in January?

  • It can get pretty humid at this time of year.
  • Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, so wear long sleeves and pack insect repellent.
  • There's some rain, but if you go for morning safari drives you should be fine.
warthog-in-tanzania-national-park.jpg

Warthogs are hefty beasts that can weigh up to 113 kg!

February

February is a great month for going on a Serengeti safari, especially if you're keen to see baby animals. The birdlife is also super on point!

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: High
  • Max temp: 29° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Medium

What's the weather like in Serengeti in February?

  • This is the short dry season, so while rain can still happen in the afternoons, you'll mostly have hot, dry weather.
  • February is one of the hottest months in the Serengeti, so you'll want to pack light clothing.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in February?

  • February is calving season among herbivores likes zebras, antelopes and wildebeests, so you'll see be able to see baby animals among the Great Migration herds, which are usually in southeast Serengeti at this time of year.
  • Predator action is high because of all the newborn animals.
  • Southeast Serengeti is a hotspot for cheetah sightings.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in February?

  • Some might find the heat a bit much, especially if unused to it. Be sure to wear sunscreen (and reapply it) and drink plenty of fluids. We also advise going on early morning and evening game drives (it's not only cooler, but the animals are also more active then).
zebra calf Serengeti

In February you see you many baby herbivores in Serengeti, like this zebra calf

March

March sees the end of the short dry season and the start of the long rains. There are plenty of animals to spot, including many young hoofed animals, which is a special sight. Migratory birds are a big drawcard at this time of year too.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Heavy
  • Max temp: 29° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Very few

What's the weather like in Serengeti in March?

  • Afternoon showers are very common, but the mornings offer great game drive conditions.
  • Expect high humidity.
  • Temperatures can easily reach 30° C and above during the day.

If you like turbulent skies and dramatic landscapes, then you'll love the Serengeti in March!

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in March?

  • The Great Migration herds start to head westwards towards the Serengeti's Grumeti region, and you can see many young animals on the move.
  • The park is very empty in March, so there's less chance of other vehicles scaring off the wildlife.
  • The rains bring revival to the park, and flowers bloom everywhere.
  • Migratory birds are in residence, and many birds are in their breeding plumage, making birdspotting very exciting.
  • Storm clouds and angry skies often create very dramatic scenes that are a treat to photograph.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in March?

  • It is uncomfortably hot and humid at times.
  • Afternoon downpours can be a daily occurrence.
Serengeti National Park moody cloudy stormy sky over outcrop

The sun tries to break through storm clouds (March often has dramatic clouds)

April

In April the Serengeti is well into its long rainy season. The animals of the Great Migration tend to cluster in the southwest of the park. The landscape is lush and attractive, but this makes the animals harder to spot. Very few tourists visit the park, so there's plenty of competitive accommodation available.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Heavy
  • Max temp: 27° C
  • Min temp: 16° C
  • Visitors: Very few

What's the weather like in Serengeti in April?

  • April is the wettest month of the year, so you need waterproof garments if you visit at this time.
  • The average daytime temperature is around 25° C.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in April?

  • The migratory herds are accompanied by their young, which is a lovely sight and one that makes some great photo ops.
  • The park is very empty of visitors, so you feel you have it all to yourself. You also don't have to contend with other vehicles being in your viewfinder!
  • The park is exceptionally beautiful.

There are about 80 large mammal species in the Serengeti, so wildlife spotting never, ever gets boring!

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in April?

  • Most notably, there's a lot of rain, so you have to time your game drives between the downpours.
  • The humidity prevents the clear shots one is able to capture of animals during the dry season.
  • You can expect mosquitoes, so dress in long-sleeves and long pants, and wear insect repellent.
Hippo Serengeti

Hippos, while enormous, are incredibly swift swimmers

May

May is another wet month, though there's not as much rainfall as the previous month. And conditions start to dry up towards the end of the month. The herds of the Great Migration tend to be in the west of the park at this time.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Medium
  • Max temp: 26° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Very few

What's the weather like in Serengeti in May?

  • There's still plenty of rain and overcast skies in May.
  • Daytime temperatures hover around the mid 20s, with nights getting a bit cooler.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in May?

  • Temperatures are pretty pleasant, with the days no longer growing too hot.
  • The wildlife viewing is excellent.
  • There are still many migratory birds in the region.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in May?

  • Smaller animals can be hard to spot given the thick vegetation.
  • You have to time your game drives to avoid the rain.
Balloon-Serengeti-green-1024x685.jpg

When the rains have come, everything turns lush and beautiful

June

June is the start of the long dry season. You still have lush landscapes to enjoy, but the days are cooling and the skies clearing up – these things make for great safari conditions!

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Low
  • Max temp: 26° C
  • Min temp: 13° C
  • Visitors: Medium

What's the weather like in Serengeti in June?

  • The days are warm and dry, and the skies are clear and blue. Excellent safari weather!!

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in June?

  • The game viewing in Serengeti is phenomenal in June. Animals are easier to spot, and the conditions are clear and pleasant.
  • This is one of the best months for seeing the famous Great Migration herds. They start to congregate on the south side of the Grumeti River, readying for mass crossings so they can continue the journey northwards.

June is one of the best months for seeing the herds of the Great Migration.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in June?

  • The park starts to fill up with tourists, so key locations can become a bit crowded.
  • You need to book early to secure the best accommodation, as properties fill up quickly.
Map of Great Wildlife Migration Serengeti National Park Tanzania

Map showing the general annual movement of the Great Wildlife Migration

July

July is well into the long dry season and as such offers fantastic wildlife viewing. This is because the skies are clear and the days not too hot. Visitors who head to the western section of the park should see the Great Migration herds start to cross the Grumeti River.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Very low
  • Max temp: 25° C
  • Min temp: 13° C
  • Visitors: Many

What's the weather like in Serengeti in July?

  • Mornings and evenings are chilly, with the days being sunny and pleasant.
  • Skies tend to be clear and blue.

The days are warm and dry in July, and the skies are clear and blue. This is excellent safari weather!!

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in July?

  • The wildlife viewing is excellent at this time of year. For starters, the vegetation becomes thinner, making animals easier to spot.
  • The clear skies and reduced humidity let you see far and capture great shots.
  • The Great Migration herds start to cross the Grumeti River, which is amazing spectacle to behold.
  • Mosquitoes aren't such a nuisance in the dry season.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in July?

  • Visitor numbers start to rise in July, so the park and its campsites will be buzzing.
Lion-on-tree-1-1024x683.jpg

The Serengeti has the largest lion population in Africa – around 3,000!

August

August is prime safari season in the Serengeti, as the skies are clear, the days aren't too hot, and the animals are easy to spot. What's more, the herds of the Great Migration are moving north and crossing the Mara River, which is a truly mesmerising sight.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Low
  • Max temp: 26° C
  • Min temp: 14° C
  • Visitors: Many

What's the weather like in Serengeti in August?

  • The days are cooler and there aren't many mosquitoes, which makes for pleasant game drives.
  • The nights can be chilly, so don't forget some long clothes.
  • There's very little rain.
  • You mostly have clear, blue African skies during the day and a star-filled heavens to gaze upon at night.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in August?

  • There's a good chance of seeing a Mara River crossing, as the herds of the Great Migration are usually moving northwards at this time of year, heading towards the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

River crossings are frenzied events, with many wildebeests drowning or being taken out by Nile crocs.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in August?

  • There are many safari vehicles in the park, but if you have a good driver and guide, he or she should know where to take you for some quieter finds should you wish.
Great Migration river crossings Serengeti National Park

The frantic Mara River crossings start in July – this is a phenomenal sight to behold!

September

September is a wonderful month for a Serengeti safari! The vast herds of the Great Migration can be seen in the north of the park. And animal spotting throughout the region is easy because of the short grass and the animals being forced to congregate around water sources.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Low
  • Max temp: 27° C
  • Min temp: 14° C
  • Visitors: Many

September is a popular month for a Serengeti safari as it offers truly excellent game-viewing conditions.

What's the weather like in Serengeti in September?

  • The weather in September is very pleasant, with warm days and fresh, clean air.
  • The skies are clear, humidity is low, and there's very little rain.
  • Mornings and evenings can be chilly, but not unpleasantly so.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in September?

  • Skies are clear and there's little humidity, which means you enjoy long views and sharp photographs.
  • The days are warm, but generally not too warm by most people's standards.
  • The short grasses and thin vegetation make animal-spotting relatively easy. This pro is enough on its own to persuade many people to come to Serengeti in September!

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in September?

  • The park can be crowded in certain sections, like central Serengeti. But given how big it is, there are always areas available for quieter game drives if you wish.
safari vehicles Serengeti

In peak seasons, popular sections of the park can become crowded, and vehicles pile up when there's an exciting game spot

October

October is the last month of the long dry season. We recommend going on safari in the first half of the month, as late October can start to see the arrival of the rains. But early October is an absolutely fantastic time for game-spotting!

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: Medium
  • Max temp: 28° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Many

What's the weather like in Serengeti in October?

  • The first part of October is the end of the long dry season. Rainfall is low and the skies are clear. The days are pretty warm.
  • Late October sees the start of the short rains.
  • Things start to hot up this month, with daytime temperatures reaching the high 20s.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in October?

  • The wildlife viewing is truly fantastic at this time of year – the animals are easy to spot because of the short grasses and also because they cluster around water.
  • There are hardly any annoying mosquitoes, yippee!
  • If you're wanting to pair a safari with a Kilimanjaro climb or a Zanzibar holiday, the weather is perfect for both this month!

If it's all about the animals with you, then October is the perfect month for a Serengeti safari.

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in October?

  • The park is very dry, so you won't be seeing flowers and the like. But the Serengeti in the dry season has a unique beauty, and you'll still see many memorable landscapes.
  • The park is fairly busy. You might want to consider travelling to some of the quieter sections of the Serengeti if you want to avoid the crowds.
  • Many of the Great Migration herds are across the border in Kenya at this time.
  • The park can get a bit dusty in places as there hasn't been rain in months.
Leopard-cubs-1-1024x683.jpg

The shorter grass of the dry seasons makes animals easier to spot

November

November is the start of the short rainy season in Serengeti, and as such not such a popular safari month. That said, it still offers excellent game-spotting opportunities, and could be for you if you prefer to travel when there are fewer crowds.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: High
  • Max temp: 27° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Few

What's the weather like in Serengeti in November?

  • There's a fair bit of rainfall throughout the park, and temperatures are starting to rise.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in November?

  • The herds of the Great Migration are reentering the northern Serengeti, and must cross the Mara River once again.
  • The park is quieter, so there's lots of competitive accommodation available and you feel you have the park more to yourself.
  • Green shoots and new growth appear all over the park.
  • The game-viewing opportunities, as always, are still fantastic!

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in November?

  • The rains settle in, so you'll want to bring waterproof clothes.
Yawning leopard Serengeti National Park

Nothing says insouciance quite like a yawning leopard!

December

December sees the last of the short rains, which produce beautifully lush landscapes. There's also wonderful, varied birdlife in the park. This is one of the Serengeti's prettiest months.

Quick facts

  • Rainfall: High
  • Max temp: 27° C
  • Min temp: 15° C
  • Visitors: Medium

What's the weather like in Serengeti in December?

  • November and December are the short rainy season in Serengeti. So you can expect some rain. But this usually comes as showers in the afternoon or evening.
  • The days are pretty warm, especially towards the end of the month.

What are the pros of a Serengeti safari in December?

  • The Serengeti is very green at this time of year, making for beautiful photo ops. The park is at its prettiest, with flowers blooming.
  • The birdlife is epic. Migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are in the Serengeti at this time, and many birds are wearing their colourful breeding plumage.
  • The park isn't crowded in December.

Did you know that the Serengeti boasts over 500 recorded bird species??

Are there any drawbacks to visiting Serengeti in December?

  • It can be harder to spot the small animals given the thicker foliage and tall grass.
  • The rains mean you'll need to time your safari drives to avoid them.
elephant Serengeti

The African bush elephant is the heaviest land mammal in the world, with bulls growing to weigh over 5 tonnes!

Time to go on a Tanzania safari?

You might like to check out our suggested Tanzania safari itinerary, which of course includes time spent in Serengeti National Park, where you can see the Big Five! But we also take you to other world-class sites, like Ngorongoro Crater, which is a massive caldera filled to the brim with a high density of must-see animals, including dark-maned lions.

Contact us via our online contact form if you'd like to get in touch, book a safari, ask any questions – whatever!

Contact

+44 20 3289 2088

+1 (785) 859-4930

info@followalice.com

Chat to us

 

Follow Alice Ltd.

207 Regent Street

London, W1B 3HH

United Kingdom

 

Follow Alice Tours (T) LTD

P.O Box 1923, Moshi

Tanzania, East Africa

 

Follow Alice Tours (T) LTD is registered in Tanzania and holds all the necessary licences to run Kilimanjaro climbs and safaris.

 

Our Credentials

Follow Alice is rated 5/5 stars across all major platforms

We are an approved partner company with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project

 

 

International Mountain Explorers Connection – IMEC – Partner for Responsible Travel Program.

 

Copyright Follow Alice LTD. 2021, registration number 10374382 (England & Wales)