Best Time To visit Serengeti and Ngorongoro Best Time To visit Serengeti National Park and
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Best Times To Visit Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Planning a visit to the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania is a dream for many wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. These iconic destinations offer unparalleled opportunities to witness Africa’s stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife up close. However, choosing the best time to visit is crucial to maximise your safari experience and make the most of your journey.

Both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro boast distinct seasons, each with its own unique attractions and considerations. Whether you’re interested in witnessing the Great Migration, observing predators in action, or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of the African wilderness, understanding the seasonal variations will help you plan an unforgettable safari adventure.

In this guide, we will  explore the best times to visit the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, highlighting the key highlights and experiences available throughout the year. From the drama of the Great Migration to the tranquillity of the green season, there’s something for every traveller seeking an authentic African safari experience. So, let’s embark on a journey through the seasons of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, discovering the optimal times to witness nature’s wonders in East Africa’s most renowned wildlife sanctuaries.

Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit and what to expect in terms of weather and wildlife:

January to February

This period marks the calving season in the Southern Serengeti. It’s an excellent time to witness the circle of life as thousands of wildebeests give birth to their young. Predators are also abundant during this time, drawn by the vulnerable prey. The weather is generally warm with occasional showers.

Visiting Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area during the winter months can indeed offer unique and rewarding safari experiences. Here’s why:

Prime Wildlife Viewing.

While Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area may not attract as many tourists during other times of the year, the winter months bring about a resurgence of wildlife activity. The short rains in November stimulate new growth, attracting herbivores back to these areas for grazing. This, in turn, draws predators seeking easy prey, resulting in exciting wildlife encounters.

The Great Migration.

The Great Migration, one of nature’s most spectacular events, can be experienced in Southern Serengeti during the winter months. Wildebeests and zebras migrate in search of greener pastures and fresh water, creating dramatic scenes as they traverse the plains. Witnessing this phenomenon amidst the vast grasslands of Southern Serengeti is truly unforgettable.

Fewer Tourists.

While other regions of the Serengeti may experience high tourist traffic during peak seasons, Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offer a more exclusive safari experience during the winter months. With fewer visitors, you can enjoy a more intimate connection with nature and wildlife without the crowds.

Breeding Season.

The winter months coincide with the breeding season for many species in the Serengeti, including wildebeests. Observing the behavior of animals during this time, such as courtship displays and territorial disputes, can provide fascinating insights into their natural history.

Scenic Landscapes.

The winter months often bring clear skies and pleasant weather to the region, allowing for stunning landscape photography. The golden savannahs dotted with acacia trees, against the backdrop of distant mountains, create picturesque scenes that are perfect for capturing memorable moments.

Overall, visiting Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area during the winter months offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of East Africa’s wildlife in a less crowded setting. Whether you’re a seasoned safari enthusiast or a first-time visitor, this region promises an unforgettable adventure amidst the wonders of the African wilderness.


Visiting the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in March to May offers a unique safari experience, characterized by the green season. Here’s what you can expect during this time:

Green Season of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

March to May marks the rainy season in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, resulting in lush green landscapes and vibrant vegetation. The plains come alive with new growth, creating stunning scenery and providing a refreshing change from the dry season.

Serengeti and Ngorongro Crater are always Less Crowded: 

The rainy season is considered the low tourist season in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, meaning fewer crowds and a more tranquil safari experience. You’ll have a better chance of enjoying sightings without the presence of many other vehicles.

Birdwatching in Serengeti and Ngorongoro

March to May is an excellent time for birdwatching enthusiasts. The rains attract migratory birds, and many resident bird species are breeding during this time. You can expect to see a wide variety of colorful birds displaying their vibrant plumage.

Calving Season in the Ndutu Plains.

In the southern Serengeti, March to April is the calving season, where thousands of wildebeests give birth to their young. This attracts predators, offering excellent opportunities to witness predator-prey interactions and the circle of life in action.

Photographic Opportunities: 

The green season provides unique photographic opportunities with the lush landscapes and vibrant colors. The soft light filtering through the clouds can enhance your photographs, creating stunning images of wildlife against the backdrop of the verdant scenery.

Some lodges and safari operators may offer discounted rates or special deals during the rainy season to attract visitors. This can make March to May a more affordable time to visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

It’s essential to be flexible with your itinerary during the rainy season due to the unpredictable weather. While you may experience some rain, it often comes in short bursts, leaving plenty of opportunities for safari activities between showers.

Migration Movements.

Depending on the rainfall patterns, you may still encounter parts of the Great Migration during March to May. While the herds may not be as concentrated as during the dry season, you can still witness migratory movements and wildlife gatherings.

Overall, visiting the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in March to May offers a different perspective on these iconic destinations, with the chance to experience the beauty of Africa in its green season. Whether you’re captivated by the lush landscapes or the abundance of bird life, this period promises an authentic and rewarding safari adventure amidst the wonders of the African wilderness.

June to September.

These months are considered the dry season and are ideal for wildlife viewing in the Serengeti. The Great Migration typically moves through the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti during this time, offering incredible opportunities to see vast herds of wildebeests, zebras, and other animals crossing the plains. The weather is generally dry and sunny, with cool mornings and evenings.

During the summer and fall months, the Great Migration embarks on its journey northward, offering spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities in the Serengeti National Park. Here’s what to expect during this time:

Flora in Full Bloom.

As the Great Migration progresses northward, the plains come alive with colorful flora during the summer and fall months. The landscape is transformed into a vibrant tapestry of greenery, providing a stunning backdrop for wildlife sightings.

Western Corridor.

In the early summer months, particularly from June to July, the herd can be found near the Grumeti River in the park’s Western Corridor. This is a prime location to witness the dramatic river crossings as wildebeests and zebras brave the crocodile-infested waters. The sight of thousands of animals navigating the river is truly awe-inspiring.

Lobo Valley in Northern Serengeti.

While the main migration may be concentrated near the Grumeti River, you may also encounter smaller groups of wildebeests and zebras in the Lobo Valley during the early summer months. This provides an opportunity for more intimate wildlife encounters away from the crowds.

Northern Area in Serengeti National Park

From July to September, the migration reaches the northern area of the Serengeti National Park, where the Lobo and Bologonja Springs attract a plethora of wildlife. Here, you can witness the iconic sight of wildebeests and zebras mingling with elephants and giraffes against the backdrop of lush landscapes.

    Diverse Wildlife Interactions

The convergence of different species during the Great Migration offers unique opportunities to observe diverse wildlife interactions. From predator-prey dynamics to social behaviours among herbivores, each day on safari brings new discoveries and memorable moments.

Overall, the summer and fall months in the Serengeti National Park provide an enchanting setting to witness the wonders of the Great Migration. Whether you’re captivated by the thrill of river crossings or the tranquillity of wildlife gatherings at watering holes, this period offers an unparalleled safari experience amidst the beauty of the African wilderness.

 Summer and Autumn Months (September to November): 

This period is great for experiencing the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti. While the crowds may thin out compared to the peak migration months, you can still witness impressive wildlife sightings. The weather remains pleasant with warm days and cool nights.

Visiting the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in September to November offers an exceptional safari experience, characterised by prime wildlife viewing and favourable weather conditions. Here’s what you can expect during this time.

 Peak of the Dry Season.

September to November marks the end of the dry season in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, resulting in sparse vegetation and excellent visibility for wildlife viewing. Animals congregate around water sources, making it easier to spot them.

  Great Migration in Northern Serengeti:

September is a particularly exciting time to visit as the Great Migration reaches its climax in the northern Serengeti. Witness massive herds of wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara River, braving crocodiles and other predators in their quest for greener pastures.

With the abundance of prey during the Great Migration, predator activity is at its peak during September to November. You’re likely to see lions, cheetahs, leopards, and other predators hunting and interacting with the migrating herds.

  Calving Season in Southern Serengeti:

Towards the end of the dry season, typically in November, the southern Serengeti experiences its calving season. Thousands of wildebeests give birth to their young, attracting predators and offering incredible opportunities to witness the circle of life in action.

The Ngorongoro Crater remains a wildlife haven throughout the year, but September to November is an excellent time to visit. The crater’s unique ecosystem supports a high density of wildlife, including elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos, and more.

While the days can be warm, the nights and early mornings are pleasantly cool during September to November. This makes for comfortable safari conditions, allowing you to enjoy game drives without the discomfort of extreme heat.

Photographic Opportunities: 

The dry season provides optimal lighting conditions for photography, with clear skies and soft, golden light illuminating the savannah landscapes. You’ll have ample opportunities to capture stunning images of wildlife against the backdrop of the Serengeti’s iconic scenery.

While September can still see a significant number of visitors due to the Great Migration, November typically experiences fewer crowds. You can enjoy a more tranquil safari experience with fewer vehicles around, enhancing the sense of wilderness and exclusivity.

Overall, September to November offers one of the best times to visit the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with unparalleled wildlife sightings, comfortable weather, and incredible photographic opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned safari enthusiast or a first-time visitor, this period promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of East Africa’s wilderness.

If you are planning to visit this area, expect cooler temperatures due to its higher elevation. The Ngorongoro Crater offers unique wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the year, but it’s advisable to pack layers as it can get chilly, especially in the evenings.

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