When to visit Serengeti: Best Month to Plan a Visit

So which is the best month to visit Serengeti ? This is a question often asked by many travelers planning that special once in a lifetime trip to the park. The best times to visit the park are from January to February or from June through September, although you should plan your trip around the movement of The Great Migration. However, we cannot emphasize this enough - Serengeti National Park is a superb year round safari destination as it offers ideal climate with an abundance of wildlife for excellent game viewing throughout the calendar year. The average daytime temperatures remain comfortable while nights are marginally cooler, needing just a cardigan or light jacket at the most. Generally speaking these conditions make for excellent game viewing any time of the year. Like any other location in Tanzania, the reserve experiences mildly distinct weather patterns, with two rainy seasons through the year that last 2 to 3 months, namely April to May and September to early November. The seasonal rainfall affects vegetation and water sources thus impacting movement and concentration of animals.
However, with many tourists come for the Wildebeest Migration, June and July are the best months for seeing the migration and a possible crossing of the Grumeti River. The more famous river crossings of the Mara River can be witnessed around September in the north of the park. As mentioned, due to varying rainfall patterns, the timing of the migration varies slightly year to year.
Therefore you may want to factor in the climate, the wildebeest migration and seasonal price changes while making your plans to visit Serengeti so as to meet your expectations.

Weather

The climate in Tanzania is pleasantly warm, with cool nights all year round. The minimum and maximum temperatures vary with the seasons, with the wet season being the warmest. The Seronera area rarely exceeds 37C on a hot afternoon in the rainy season, and hardly ever dips below 13C on a cold early morning in the dry season.The average maximum daily temperature changes with elevation: from 15C near the crater highlands to about 30C near Lake Victoria. Because of its altitude, Serengeti National Park is a cool island' in a much warmer region.

December - February March - May June - mid September Mid September - November
Generally drier & warmer with clearer skies and lower rainfall. Excellent for Photography Pleasant temperatures but with higher rainfall. Despite the rain, several hours of daily sunshine & clear skies still encountered. Cloudier & cooler but drier with little rainfall but more overcast days 'Short' rains are a possibility but sky also tends to be clearer with sunny days possible

Weather patterns in Serengeti are not as predictable as in the decades gone by and last minute climatic variations may be experienced.

Wildlife & Migration

Serengeti National Park is one of the major parks in Tanzania, known for excellent wildlife viewing through out the year.The park is dominated by an incredibe variety of mammals from large herds of herbivores which include the wildebeest, zebra and Thompson's gazelle to the famous 'big five' (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant & bufallo).It is also home to the giant Nile crocodiles and hippos that lie beneath the murky waters of the Grumeti River. The region also provides habitat for a variety of birds with over 500 species having been recorded.
However for those visiting to watch as the great wildebeest migration, June and July are the best months for seeing the migration and a possible crossing of the Grumeti River. The more famous river crossings of the Mara River can be witnessed around September in the north of the park. Although the timings may vary from year to year due to rainfall patterns.

June - August September - October Rest of the year
Higher wildlife numbers due to annual Wildbeest migration typically between early June to late August Good time to spot game with large herds of plains game as they migrate back to Serengeti from the Mara There is always a good amount of wildlife in Serengeti through the year

Prices

There are quite a number of factors that influence how much you will pay for your Serengeti Safari Packages. This include:
a. The number of persons travelling: Obviously, when travelling in a group the cheaper it is for everyone, as you get to share the costs compared to when one or two persons are travelling. Also, depending on the ages of the children who are on the trip, it will affect the cost. Children under the age of 12 will pay a reduced cost compared to what adults will pay.
b. The season you are travelling: Prices tend to be high during the peak season which is normally during the wildebeest migration as more people visit the reserve making it more expensive to secure rooms. Peak season months are July to October. If you are on a limited budget best to avoid the peak season.

Jan - March
Nov- mid Dec
July - October April - June
Mid to High Season Peak Season Low Season

July and August are the most expensive months to travel to Serengeti. September to October are equally expensive but due to higher room availability it is possible to enjoy slightly lower prices. The cheapest months to visit Serengeti are April and May excluding Easter period.

c. Transportation: Depending on which mode of transport you prefer either flying or going by road, it will affect the cost. Flying to Serengeti is more expensive compared to travelling by road. For road transport, there are normally two types of vehicles that are used for safaris i.e Toyota Landcruisers or safari tour vans that carry upto 7 persons. Note that the landcruisers are more expensive than the tour vans but more comfortable. You hardly feel the rough road as you travel.
d. Type of accommodation: Depending on your preference, you have an option to book for your accommodation either in lodges or tented camps. There are different classes of accommodation ranging from the very basic to midrange to the most luxurious depending on what you want.
e. Number of days on the safari: The cost for your safari is dependent on the number of days you are planning to be on safari. The more days you stay, the more you pay.