Central Serengeti & Seronera Valley

The Central Serengeti, lying at the heart of this spectacular national park, is the most popular region in the reserve for its abundant wildlife, large numbers of big cats and quintessential Serengeti landscapes of acacia-studded savanna. Resident wildlife makes this part of the Serengeti a fantastic year-round destination, but the months of April to June and October to December, when the herds of the Great Migration pass through the area, are when it’s at its peak.

elephants in the serengeti Credit: Camp Zebra

The Seronera River Valley, located in the south-central region of the park, is one of the most popular areas in the entire reserve. Known as the Big Cat Capital of Africa, the Seronera is rich in lion, leopard and cheetah – and people often spot all three in one day of game drives. Look for leopard around the Seronera River, which is home to one of Africa’s densest populations of the big cats, while lions can often be seen on the kopjes (rocky outcrops). The Serengeti Plains – the open savanna south of the Seronera River – are prime cheetah territory. Other animals to spot in the area’s varied habitats of rivers, swamps, kopjes and grasslands include elephant, hippos and crocodiles in the rivers, buffaloes, impala, topi, jackals and bat-eared foxes.

While the year-round supply of water from the Seronera River means that the area is excellent for wildlife spotting throughout the year, April to June is the peak season for game viewing in the Seronera, as this is when the plains are full of migrating wildebeest, zebra and gazelle as they’re making their way up north. The central location of the Seronera means that it’s one of the best places to see the Great Migration in action, as the animals are moving through the area for months.

Highlights

The Central Serengeti is a fantastic area to see the Great Migration in action: the herds move through this section of the park from April to June as they travel northwards, and then they come back again heading south from October to December. Some of the best locations in the Central Serengeti to see the herds include the Seronera Valley and Seronera River, Moru Kopjes, Simba Kopje and Maasai Kopjes.

wildebeest in seronera central serengeti

If you’re after Big Cats, the Seronera area in the Central Serengeti is your best bet: this region is hailed as the best place to see predators – particularly lion, leopard and cheetah – on thrilling hunts.

The Central Serengeti is studded with many rocky granite outcrops, known as kopjes, which are where you should look out for lions and cheetahs. There are also some particular kopje highlights, such the Simba Kopje, or Simba Rocks – the place that inspired Pride Rock in the Disney film The Lion King. The film link is not the only reason to visit this pile of granite boulders however – it’s great spot to see lions, which are often lying on the rocks under the sun. At Moru Kopjes, south of the Seronera River, you can try and search for some of the last remaining black rhinos in the entire reserve – as well as see some old rock art paintings. Then there’s a visitor’s centre for the Serengeti Rhino Project, where you can learn about the important rhino conservation work that’s being done to protect this highly endangered species. Moru Kopjes is also one of the very few areas of the park where you can do multi-day walking safaris.

rhinos at lake nakuru

Hot air ballooning is a must-do when you’re visiting the Serengeti. Floating gently above the grassy plains in the golden light of dawn, spotting animals from your suspended basket is an experience you’ll never forget. If you’re staying in the Central Serengeti, you can get a transfer to and from your lodge or camp to the hot air ballooning launch site near the Masai Kopjes. A champagne breakfast once you land is the cherry on top of an amazing activity.

Many lodges and camps offer a visit to a Maasai village so that you can learn more about the famous semi-nomadic pastoralist tribe who have long lived in the area that is now the Serengeti and the Masai Mara national parks. At the Maasai village you’ll be treated to members of the village singing and dancing, with the male warriors doing a traditional jumping dance. You’ll also be able to buy beautiful jewellery and handmade crafts, which make great souvenirs – and also support the local economy.

Travel tips

serengeti acacia camps seronera Credit: Serengeti Acacia Camps

  • The Seronera region, as the most popular area of the park, has a wealth of lodging options ranging from budget-friendly through to mid-range and up to all-out luxury, with some of the park’s best high-end properties. Budget travellers can camp under the stars at the rustic Seronera Campsite, while travellers looking for mid-range options will find affordable lodges and camps – many of which are family friendly and offer the full range of amenities such as WiFi. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury camps: there are mobile camps which move with the Great Migration herds (and don’t scrimp on comfort, with proper beds, hot bucket showers and private butlers), beautifully designed lodges with private infinity pools and activities such as guided meditation sessions in the bush, bush picnics and stargazing.

  • The park headquarters are also based in Seronera (close to the airstrip), where there’s a visitor information centre, a curio shop and a café.

  • The Seronera gets particularly busy during the most popular months of June and July and October to April and sightings can be overpopulated. If escaping the crowds is your priority and you’re travelling in these months, consider booking your lodging in another part of the park.

  • Seronera is accessible by road on a six-hour drive from both Arusha and Mwanza, but the easiest option to access this part of the park is to fly into the Seronera airstrip and stay at a lodge that caters for fly-in travellers: they’ll come and pick you up from the airstrip and provide game drives in their vehicles.

  • Some of the lodges and camps offer short walks in the bush of two to four hours with Maasai guides, who’ll teach you about the smaller creatures and the plants that you miss on game drives. If walking is something you’d like to experience, do some research on lodges that offer this activity.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Magical Tanzania Safari Adventure (7 days)

day 1

Welcome to Tanzania

day 2

Enjoy Maasai guided ethnobotanical walks

day 3 to 4

Explore the Serengeti National Park

day 5 to 6

Spot the Big Five

day 7

End of service!

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Serengeti in March

March is the start of the “long rains” season – the three wettest months of the year. It rains most days of the month, although it doesn’t usually rain for the entire day. Average day time highs are 29C, while nights go down to a cool 16C. The Ndutu Region is the best region of the park to stay in March, when the wildebeest herds have their new calves, and there’s lots of…

Ndutu Region

The Ndutu Region forms part of the northern section of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and stretches to the unfenced southern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, a meeting point between these two incredible wilderness areas. This section of the park is made up of rolling grasslands peppered with alkaline lakes that attract flocks of flamingos, as well as acacia woodlands. There’s…

Northern Serengeti

The Northern Serengeti offers a chance to escape the crowds: this region of the park – wedged between the Central Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve to the north – is remote and relatively inaccessible, which means it sees fewer visitors. Travellers who make it to this corner of the Serengeti will be rewarded with gorgeous landscapes of green rolling hills, granite…

Serengeti in May

May is less rainy than April, but still one of the wettest months of the year, receiving an average of 18 days of showers in the month. It’s slightly cooler than April, with a maximum average of 27C during the day. The Central Serengeti is the best region to base yourself in for the month of May, as the Great Migration herds are on the move through the heart of the park this month.…

Eastern Serengeti

The Eastern Serengeti is one of the most beautiful regions of the park: mountains, valleys and sweeping grassy plains with are lush in the green season dotted with granite outcrops and sliced through by meandering rivers. It’s one of the more remote regions of the park, which makes it perfect for adventurous travellers who prefer their safaris off the beaten track. The region can be…

Western Corridor and Grumeti

Stretching across to Lake Victoria, the Western Corridor (or West Serengeti) is a remote, little-visited area of the national park famed for the thrilling river crossings of the Grumeti River during the Great Migration between May and July. A huge valley bordered by hills that ends in Lake Victoria, the Western Corridor is made up of open savanna, woodlands, floodplains and riverine…

Popular Serengeti National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...

 | Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries...

 | Honeymoon Safari in the Serengeti National Park (6 days)

Honeymoon Safari in the Serengeti National Park (6 days)

Enjoy a romantic honeymoon at the Ngorongoro Crater where you can spot the Big Five and experience the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park...

Horse Riding to Picnic | Tanzania Classic SkySafari (8 days)

Tanzania Classic SkySafari (8 days)

The ultimate African adventure...

 | Tanzania Great Migration June/July 2019 safari (Luxury)

Tanzania Great Migration June/July 2019 safari (Luxury)

HerdTracker invites you to join them on a migration safari in Tanzania's Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park....

Close up view of Wildebeest | Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

Visit Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater and Serengeti for a four-in-one safari you'll remember forever...

Stopping for drinks | Affordable Green Season Safari in Tanzania (8 days)

Affordable Green Season Safari in Tanzania (8 days)

From Lake Manyara to the Ngorogoro Crater and the Serengeti, this Tanzania safari offers real value and shows off the burgeoning green world of Tanzania's rainy season migration ...

 | 2019 Tanzania August to October Great Migration safari (Best for budget)

2019 Tanzania August to October Great Migration safari (Best for budget)

The wildebeest migration, is one of the “Seven New Wonder of the World” and also known as The World Cup of Wildlife. If there is a safari you should go on, this has to be it!...

 | Tanzania June/July 2019 Great Migration safari (Best for budget)

Tanzania June/July 2019 Great Migration safari (Best for budget)

Explore the wonder of the great wildebeest migration from the best Tanzania has to offer...

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

Ready to start your adventure?

Get a free, no-obligation quote from a travel expert

Let's talk about your trip

How can we get hold of you?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2