By Agustino Lachuo
Game viewingwithin Serengeti National Park is great all year round, however particular areas are best at particular times. In the dry season which starts in late June up to September, that is the overall best time to watch the wildlife since the wildebeest migrations actually the highlight to see.offers the best wildlife viewing in general- with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.
Best time to go: January-February for the wildebeest calving; June-September for general wildlife viewing with a chance of seeing the wildebeest crossing of the Grumeti River June-July.
High Season: Most of the year – July to March (The Serengeti will be crowded around the Seronera area)
Low Season: April and May
Best Weather: June to October (Little to no rainfall)
Worst Weather: March and April (Peak of wet season)
June to October – Dry Season
Wildebeest passage through the western corridor is best viewed in the moths of June and July.
Animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers and they are easier to spot since the vegetation is less thick.
This is because it is usually sunny and dry.
Mosquitoesare few so are the chances of contracting malaria.
The park gets quite crowded around the Seronera area.
Mornings and nights from June to August are usually cold. So you are cautioned to bring warm clothing for early morning game drives
November to May – Wet Season
Late January to February is an excellent time to see predator action. This is the calving time in southern Serengeti.
The scenery is glamorous.
April and May are low season, so it’s usually less crowded and rates might be less.
Despite the fact that wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, Serengeti compromises good game viewing all year.
Travelling birds are present and birdwatching is at its finest.
With exception of March, April and May, rains are habitual short afternoon storms and rarely destruct with your tour.
March to May is the climax of the wet season.
The Serengeti ecosystem is among the oldest on earth yet the indispensible features of climate, flora and wildlife have barely transformed in the preceding million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November. Thereafter they turn west and north following the long rains in April, May and June. The prehistoric instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile housing river can stop them. No wonder it is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous.
Serengeti NP’s weather
The climate in Serengeti is typically moderate and lovely. The average temperatures areeven throughout the year. On top of consistently being cool to cold at night and in the early mornings, it never gets very hot. Therefore it is better to take warm clothing for early morning game drives. The altitude in the Serengeti is between 1139 to 2174 m (3737 to 7133 ft). Temperatures fall by about 6.5°C per 1000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1000ft), hence the park has wide climatic variations.
There are two wet seasons. The ‘short rains’ are from November to December and the ‘long rains’ are from March to May.Serengeti’s dry season is from June to October. In the wet season it rarely rains all day though afternoon thundershowers are possible.
Dry season – June to October
June, July, August, September & October most days have a fine, clear sky, sunny weatherand afternoon temperatures are usually around 27°C/81°F. However, casual rains my fall begin in October, as the eve of the rainy season. It gets cold at night with minimum temperatures around 15°C/59°F. Cold fronts with temperatures close to freezing are rare but it’s still cold in the morning.Endeavor to bring sufficientwarm clothing for early morning game drives.
Wet season – November to May
Wet season – November to May
Temperatures are moderate in the wet season. Afternoons are normally 28°C or 82°F and nights are around 17°C/63°F.
November & December – ‘Short rains’ – A month of random rains occurs between October and December. Although afternoon showers are more likely, these rains rarely fall throughout the day and are not likely to hinder your trip. Daytime temperatures are usually around 28°C or 82°F while night and early morning are around 17°C or 63°F.
January & February tend to be a dry spell between the short and long rains so the exact timing is unpredictable.
March, April & May – ‘Long rains’ – These are the wettest months with cloudy days and frequent rains. However it rarely falls the whole day. On average maximum and minimum temperatures are 27°C/81°F and 17°C/63°F respectively, though in April and May, cold fronts might bring colder peak temperatures.
Serengeti National Park is certainly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unique for its natural beautyand scientific value. With over a quarter of a million zebras, two million wildebeest, as well as half a million Thomson’s gazelle, it hosts the largest number of plains wild animals in Africa. The wildebeest plus zebra form the highlight of a unique spectacle of the yearly Serengeti migration.
‘Serengeti’ is a word in the local Maasai language that means an extended place. The National Park sits on 12,950 square kilometers; the size of Northern Ireland. Its ecosystemis roughly the size of Kuwait, and comprises of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maswa Game Reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve (in Kenya). It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, Lake Eyasi in the south, and the Great Rift Valley to the east. No wonder, it offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth.