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.

cheetah cubs in the eastern serengeti

The region can be visited year-round for wildlife sightings, but November to February are the best months to see the Great Migration herds passing through towards the Southern Serengeti. The green season of December to May sees the plains become lush and verdant, which attracts abundant game. Home to the biggest concentration of cheetah on the continent, the Gol Kopjes is the most famous landmark in the Eastern Serengeti, while the area is also known for its lion and leopard sightings.

Under two hours’ drive from the Central Serengeti, the Soit Le Motonyi region, which opened in 2014 after being closed for two decades for cheetah conservation, is drawing visitors for its pristine, totally undeveloped landscapes of grassy plains and acacia woodlands, completely secluded camps – and for cheetah.

Highlights

Spotting cheetah is a big highlight of a safari to the Eastern Serengeti, and the prime area is Gol Kopjes. Known as the world’s largest Japanese rock garden, the Gol Kopjes – huge granite rock formations – are home to the highest concentration of cheetah on the continent, and offer some of the best game viewing opportunities in the Serengeti during the rainy season from January to June, when the Great Migration herds are passing through the area.

lions in the eastern serengeti tarangire national park

To experience rugged wilderness with very few other visitors, the newly re-opened Soit Le Motonyi region, where short grassy plains meet acacia woodlands, is one of the most remote and least developed corners of the Serengeti. The area was inaccessible to the public for twenty years for cheetah conservation, and now it’s the best place in the Serengeti to see a huge concentration of cheetah undisturbed by other cars and tourists. The Great Migration herds pass the area between November and April (with the “long rains” period of March to May attracting a huge number of feasting hyena), and leopard and lion can be spotted on the rocky outcrops, while there’s other wildlife to spot year-round thanks to a permanent water supply. There are only two camps in the Soit Le Motonyi area, and activity highlights include walking safaris and spending time with a cheetah researcher learning about conservation strategies and helping to collate data on cheetahs that you spot.

If you’re staying in the Eastern Serengeti, consider making a side trip outside of the park to visit Lake Natron, a brightly hued lake with a pinkish crust that attracts millions of flamingos between June and November. You can swim in the lake, and explore the surrounding scenery, which is remarkable – think volcanic craters, waterfalls and gorges. Close by to the southern end of the lake, the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai (“Mountain of God” in Maasai) looms over the Rift Valley. Adventurous travellers who are up for a bit of a challenge can tackle the 2962-metre ascent of Ol Doinyo Legai over three days.

Travel tips

tarangire great wildebeest migration safari

  • There’s a limited amount of lodging in the Eastern Serengeti, which is perfect if you like seclusion and privacy, but it does mean that you need to book far in advance.

  • If you’re staying at a camp in the Soit Le Motonyi region, then the closest airstrip is Seronera, which is around one and a half hours’ drive away. Note that there are only two camps in Soit Le Motonyi, so you’ll need to book in advance for the high seasons of December to February and June to October.


Popular Serengeti National Park Safaris

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

 | January to March 2021 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

January to March 2021 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

Travelling to Tanzania during the calving season is a sight to behold and something unique to the region...

 | February Calving Season Safari in Tanzania (9 days)

February Calving Season Safari in Tanzania (9 days)

Visit Tanzania during the calving season to see wildebeest calves join the massive herds making their way through the Serengeti for the great migration....

The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. | HerdTracker Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Adventure (7 days)

HerdTracker Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Adventure (7 days)

Experience the wildebeest migration in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park with HerdTracker...

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...

Game viewing | Green Season Wildebeest Migration Safari (11 days)

Green Season Wildebeest Migration Safari (11 days)

This four-in-one calving season safari includes not only the Serengeti, but Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Ngorogoro Crater...

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

Tanzania Classic SkySafari (8 days)

The ultimate African adventure...

Asilia Africa | Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings  (10 days)

Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings (10 days)

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River...

 | Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

We're offering our guests the chance to explore two world-famous destinations in under a week ...

 | Group Safari into Northern Tanzania (7 days)

Group Safari into Northern Tanzania (7 days)

Travel is so much better with friends. Experience the best parts of Tanzania through breath-taking landscapes, nature and wildlife at its best...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

You might also like

Have some ideas?
Contact us and get a customised no-obligation itinerary

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2