Best time to visit Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

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The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is one of the most famous national parks in the entire world.

Never ceasing to amaze visitors with its never-ending plains, stark vegetation and magnificent wildlife, it’s no wonder that year after year the Serengeti remains one of the best places in the world to visit.

But what you may actually see on your safari in the Serengeti depends largely on when you choose to visit.  Pick the wrong month and you could be stuck huddled in a car waiting out storm after storm.

Pick the right month, and you won’t be able to click your camera fast enough for all the stunning wildlife that will surround you everywhere you turn.

Serengeti National Park weather

The Dry season

The Serengeti National Park is so popular to visit not only for the stunning wildlife, but because you get great weather almost year round.

The best weather in the Serengeti is from June to October—the dry season.  This is when the animals are active and the sun shines down every day.  The daily temperature at this time of year can reach highs of 30 Celsius and go as low as 15 Celsius with little rain—so bring sunscreen!

Dry weather means sparse vegetation and easier viewing on your safari, and there are also fewer bugs in the air.  But beware, this also means higher prices and larger crowds on your visit.

The Rainy season

The rainy season in Tanzania is the least popular time to visit.  The Serengeti’s rainy season is from November to May.  The worst months of March, April and May can mean week-long rainstorms and low visibility for wildlife—not a great time to take a safari.

However, the months leading up to the wettest can mean lush greenery and short, beautiful rain or thunderstorms along the grassy plains.

It is hot and muggy, though, with average rainfalls of 90 millimetres and temperatures at 20-25 Celsius each day. If you’re willing to brave a bit of bad weather, you get rewarded with less crowds in the park.

Tips for Visiting

The wettest months of the year are the thriving home to many bugs, too.  Malaria season in Tanzania is when the mosquitoes have a chance to grow, so it is best to either avoid the wet months altogether or be mindful of this fact and plan accordingly for your visit.

Plan ahead!  Safaris in Tanzania and the Serengeti can sell out quick during the most desirable months of the year.  Shop around and ask lots of questions of your potential tour operators and find one that fits your style.

Best Time to See Wildlife

The gorgeous Serengeti is known for the “Big Five”, which were once the most prized animals for trophy hunters.

Now, they are the most highly desired animals to see on a safari in the Serengeti.  The animals now hunted down with camera lenses are lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos.

If you want a photograph and a look at these animals, then any time of the year other than the rainy season is a great time to visit.  You can catch them near watering holes, playing as families, or on the prowl for their next meal.

If wildebeests are the reason for your trip, the calving season is a true sight to behold.  This is the real beginning of the cycle of their yearly migration, where the calves are born from January to March.

It’s a chance to see a new beginning for the herd before they beef up during the rainy season and make their long journey to Maasai Mara.

Elephant numbers are rising in recent years thanks to stricter poaching control and you are sure to see these enormous creatures any time of year.

Best Time to See the Annual Wildebeest Migration

The best time to see the stunning, ferocious wildebeest migration is in June to October.  Almost two million of these enormous animals rattle the grounds of the Serengeti during this time, traveling from the Serengeti National Park to the Maasai Mara National Reserve located in Kenya.

Catching a peek into the daily, dangerous lives of wildebeest can mean a chance at seeing crocodiles, hyenas, and lions as well.

Depending on where you are going in the region makes a big difference on where the wildebeests will be.  Any good tour operator knows the herds movements and can adjust their tour accordingly so that you can catch a glimpse of these stunning creatures in action.

This is certainly the busiest time of year, as it’s a popular sight to see and is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors.  Make sure you book early, and expect costs to be higher as you plan your safari trip.

Overall, the Serengeti is beautiful the whole year round.  Short of a few rainy months, you are guaranteed to have sunny, beautiful weather perfect for viewing the exotic wildlife.  A chance to see nature’s most majestic animals in their natural habitat awaits you in the Serengeti National Park.