The Serengeti’s Four Regions and Why They Are Important

The Serengeti From The Air - Aerial

The Serengeti. Even the word itself sounds far away, like a distant galaxy or unreachable star. Yes, we all know the Serengeti is in Africa. Yes, we know that the Serengeti is a place where lions roar and eagles soar, where hyenas laugh and hippos lounge–thanks Disney!–but what exactly is the Serengeti? How does it operate? And for our purposes, what region of the Serengeti is best suited for safari?

Look no further. This post is all about the WHAT, the WHY, and the WHERE of the Serengeti. Where exactly is the Serengeti, and in what sections do safaris typically travel? Because the word Serengeti quite literally means “endless plains” or “the place that rolls on forever,” in local Maasai language. Here, without a compass you could get turned around. Consider this post your compass.

Quick History: The Serengeti’s Beginnings

Sometimes mythical places like the Serengeti—or, say, the Egyptian Pyramids, Mount Everest, or the Amazon rainforest—fold so deeply in our imaginations that we forget to realize their true dimensions. To drill down and learn more about their history and nuance is to inject meaning into these destinations. Becuase the Serengeti is so vast (so vast, in fact, that it should be on everyone’s bucket list: here), let’s waste no time.

 At its most basic level, the Serengeti ecosystem is a region of outstanding biodiversity that straddles the political borders of Kenya and Tanzania (mostly in Tanzania). For millennia, these plains were virtually unknown to the outside world, until the end of the 19th century, when Austrian explorers first entered the scene, opening a floodgate of imperial hunting camps.

Wildlife numbers dropped precipitously, until the British ended hunting in a large portion of the area, which would become the Serengeti National Park. The size of Northern Ireland, this park now teems with over 2 million ungulates—wildebeest, gazelles, zebra, and innumerable other species. In 1981, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn more here.

Serengeti vs. Serengeti National Park.

Hearing travelers interchange the words “Serengeti” and “Serengeti National Park” is about as common as seeing a blue-balled vervet monkey swinging from the Tanzanian canopy. Technically, they are not the same thing. The Serengeti National Park is a protected area that extends 14,000 sq. kilometers (5,700 square miles) but lives within the greater Serengeti Ecosystem, a much larger region at 30,000 sq. km (12,000 sq miles). The Serengeti includes this national park plus several game reserves.

 For our purposes, we will be focusing on Serengeti National Park, the crown jewel of the region, a destination that receives over 350,000 visitors annually.

Four Regions of the Serengeti: Central (Seronera), Western Corridor, Northern, Southern

When dropping into Serengeti National Park, it can sometimes feel like you had been playing in the kiddie pool all your life and now, all of the sudden: BAM! You are in the deep end now and you must quickly orient yourself. Worry not: Easy Travel is here to help.

Each experienced driver-guide knows every nook and cranny of this park, and will provide you with much-needed context along the way. To give you a general sense of the region and all of its parts before you arrive, here’s a look at the four main regions of the Serengeti: Central (Seronera), Western Corridor, Northern, and Southern.

Region 1. Central (Seronera) Serengeti

If you only had one option for where to maximize your chance of seeing the most amount of wildlife in the least amount of time, better travel to Seronera. In both April and November, wildebeest will be migrating through here en masse. Though you will likely find several other outfitters in this area, this is considered the central heartbeat for the Serengeti. The Seronera River has one of the highest densities of leopards on the planet. Think postcard stretches of savannah, towering acacia and baobab trees, and you.

Region 2. Western Corridor and Grumeti

Spin your Serengeti dial west and you reach the Western Corridor and the infamous Grumeti River, one of the most dramatic river crossings for the millions of wildebeest that migrate endlessly in search of grasslands and water. The Great Migration makes its way to the Western Corridor late-May through June, and it is here where you will see wildebeest threading past lions and leopards and Nile crocodiles—some over 20 feet long (6.5m)!

Region 3. Northern Serengeti

By the beginning of July, the migration makes its way north to the upper, lesser-visited reaches of the park, where most of the animals will remain until September. Here you will find more woodlands and hills, along with the main highlight, the Mara River. During this period, wildebeest will cross the river several times, and, like the Grumeti River, these passages can be deadly. Here is some incredible footage of the scale of wildebeest at the Mara River: 

Region 4: Southern Serengeti

The Southern Region - Serengeti National Park - Safari

Southern Serengeti consists of short-grass plains, and it’s technically where the Great Migration begins. From December to March, wildebeests begin to grow and congregate in number in the south, in regions around Lake Ndutu, shared by both the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. For a full look at Easy Travel’s Migration tour options, click here.

Bottom Line?

The Serengeti isn’t just some ephemeral dreamscape, but a real one, an ecosystem thriving off its millions of animals, its migrations, its predator and prey drama. It is all one seething mass of life and beauty, and to better understand these various pockets before arriving will give you an advantage. If the migration is what you’re focused on, tracking their movements will help you understand where they’re likely headed in any given season. Here’s our take on the best time of year to view the migration. Takeaway? There’s never a dull moment in the Serengeti. Each of the four regions offer unparalleled adventure and unique encounters with some of the most stunning creatures on the planet.


Getting You There?

Contact Easy Travel today to start charting out your Serengeti adventure. Our exceptional customer service staff thrive off of building custom trips that work with your busy life and specific goals on safari.

How to Plan and Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari

How To Plan A Safari Tour To See The Great Wildebeest Migration

Here’s something to consider: there’s a small corner of our wondrous planet that still teems and roils with millions of wild animals. In this untamed, unfenced locale you look out onto an endless sweep of savannah, but what will likely draw your attention most are the miles and miles of moving bodies. Here, you be witnessing something much like an inland ocean, but instead of salt water it will be the roiling waves and tidal ebbs of wildness: hooves and horns and stripes, as far as the eye can see.

This place is real. It exists. It’s called the Great Wildebeest Migration, and it might be the single most important natural phenomenon existing on Earth. But what’s most important about all of this is not just the scale. What’s most important is its beauty, hope, and perspective. This wildebeest migration offers an unparalleled glimpse into our planet’s old and honest rhythms, and our place among them. Choosing Easy Travel to explore this Great Migration will put you front row to forever transform the way you experience our planet and the responsibility we have to protect it.

 

How To Plan And Book A Great Wildebeest Migration Tour In Tanzania

The Great Migration: The What, Where, When, and Why

Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know at least a bare minimum about the Great Migration. Regardless, before we get into the nitty-gritty on planning and booking your Migration Tour, let’s first examine some need-to-know info and that will help orient and inspire you:

  • WHAT: Great Wildebeest Migration. The largest land migration of over 1.2 million wildebeest, 500,000 gazelles, and 200,000 zebras. These herds move in clockwise rotation in constant search of fresh grass and water. For more, here are the Top 10 Facts on the Great Migration. 
  • WHERE: Serengeti National Park. The migration occurs primarily in Northern Tanzania but also extends into Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.  
  • WHEN: Year-round. The migration follows seasonal changes and dances around rainy/dry spells, so it’s possible to experience the migration at any month of the year. Read more about when we think it’s best to see the Great Migration
  • WHY: The two million ungulates work together yearound, crossing crocodile-filled rivers and predators of the savannah in a 1,000-kilometer endless circuit to stay alive and procreate by grazing on grasses and water. For you this creates an unfiltered experience found nowhere else on Earth.

How To Plan And Book A Great Wildebeest Migration Tour In Tanzania

Five Steps to Plan your Easy Travel Migration Tour

Step 1: Choose your Dates. True story: your availability to travel always depends on your personal schedule (read: life), but you also want to ensure you are visiting at primetime for migration sightings.

Step 2: Select a Package. Once you determine your dates, take a look at the five Migration Tour package options. All of them last 7-8 days, start and finish in Arusha, and include multiple days of game drives in the Serengeti, with a specific focus on migration locations. Also included in each package are side trips to Tarangire National Park and to the Ngorongoro Crater, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a look: Click Here

Step 3: Find the Perfect Location and Lodge. Once you’ve determined the dates and desired package, Easy Travel representatives will finalize safari accommodations in Serengeti National Park, based on the specific location of the herd at that time. Our staff are seasoned experts and have decades of experience with the prime locations for optimal viewing.

The Annual Great Wildebeest Migration Map - Positions - Where To Go

Step 4: Firm up Details. After determining the dates, the tour package, and locations for migration viewing, we will email an invoice to you. After making the deposit, we secure the lodging. Game on.

Step 5: Let the Migration Begin! After months of preparation, you arrive into Tanzania and one of our friendly drivers will pick you up at the airport, and this will mark the beginning of a life-changing experience, something you’ll never forget.

Step 6: Share your Future Adventure. Impress your friends (read: make them super jealous) by sharing your Great Migration plans on social media. The more people know about these incredible migrations, the more we humans will seek to protect them, right?

How To Plan And Book A Great Wildebeest Migration Tour In Tanzania

Bottom Line?

The Great Migration is unlike any travel experience you will find on Earth. Quite literally, you can’t find this scale of such animate life anywhere else in one place. Easy Travel will work with you to design a tailor-made journey and get you a front-row seat, to be right in the action when that whoosh of a million wildebeest struts by your safari vehicle. Most importantly, a migration tour will put you in touch with some of our planet’s largest ecological patterns, and you will undoubtedly return home with newfound respect for sustaining life on Earth. So let’s start your journey, and your transformation, today.

 


Getting You There?

Easy Travel can arrange your once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Great Migration today. Check out our Award Winning Tours Here!

The Best Time to Visit Tanzania

When Is The Best Time To Visit Tanzania

It’s an hour to dawn as your safari vehicle bounces down a dirt road into the bowels of the Ngorongoro Crater, what remains of a two million year-old volcano explosion that’s now home to one of the most concentrated numbers of large predators on Earth. Your guide had recommended an early start, to get that first glimpses of undisturbed wildlife. Let’s do it, you said.

Continue reading “The Best Time to Visit Tanzania”