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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

The Serengeti’s Wildlife Seasons: What Happens When

The Serengeti, one of the most iconic destinations in Africa, is known for its vast plains, abundant wildlife, and incredible landscapes. It is a place that offers unforgettable experiences for travelers from all over the world. If you are planning to go on a safari in the Serengeti, understanding the wildlife viewing seasons is essential. Different seasons offer different experiences and opportunities to see wildlife. Allow me to share with you the wildlife viewing seasons in the Serengeti and what to expect to see and experience in each season.

The Serengeti is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what you hope to see and experience. Generally, the best time to visit the Serengeti is during the dry season, between late June and October. During this time, the wildlife is concentrated around the rivers and waterholes, making it easier to spot wildlife, and the dry grass and foliage make it easier to spot animals. However, different seasons offer different experiences, and here is what you should expect during each season.

January to February: The Calving Season

Between January and February, the Serengeti welcomes the annual calving season, where thousands of wildebeests and zebras give birth to their young. If baby animals are your thing, then this is the time to go. The woodlands erupt with wobbly-legged giraffes, baby elephants, warthog piglets, and enormous numbers of wildebeest calves. In fact, an estimated 8,000 wildebeest calves are born every day.

This season is a game-changer as it is one of the highlights of the year, leading to an influx of predators waiting to pounce on the vulnerable young ones. It’s a free-feeding frenzy, with big cats taking down more food than their cubs could consume. The calving season offers an excellent opportunity to witness wildlife in an entirely different way, as you witness both births and deaths.

March to May: The Green Season

March and May. It is a season of transformation where the dry and dusty landscape becomes lush and green, attracting millions of grazers, including wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles. During this season, you can expect to see a lot of newborn animals, and the birdlife is excellent.

However, the green season is often avoided by many travelers as it can be challenging to drive on muddy roads. But the long rains arrive along with a thousand rainbows, transforming the Serengeti into a lush landscape. Sojourning this time of the year guarantees exclusivity to endless plains, big cat sightings, and discounted pricing!

June to October: The Dry Season

The dry season, often referred to as the high season, is arguably the best time to visit the Serengeti. It starts in early June and runs through October. During this time, the temperatures are cooler, and the skies are clear, making it the perfect time to witness the great wildebeest migration as millions of wildebeests and zebras cross from Tanzania to Kenya in search of fresh grazing lands. The dry season is also known as the predator season as predators are very active, making it easy to spot big cats like lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Africa’s largest and most vicious predators, giant Nile crocodiles, await their prey in the murky waters of the Grumeti and Mara Rivers.

November to December: The Short Rains Seasons

Between November and December, the short rains season occurs in the Serengeti. It is a transitional season that marks the end of the dry season and the start of the green season. During this time, the grasslands are still relatively dry and brown, and the wildlife is less abundant. However, the short rains breathe life into the landscape, and the first green shoot is a signal of the birth of a new cycle.

Just as in June, there is a sudden absence in the central and Northern Serengeti. Wildebeest herds are now dotted in the south, in preparation for the culmination of their gestation period, and the long journey the following year.

The Serengeti is a destination that offers something unique in each season. Whether you want to witness the wildebeest migration, see newborn animals, or experience the birth of a new cycle, the Serengeti has it all. My advice would be to plan your trip according to the experiences you hope to have. If you want to see the great wildebeest migration, visit between June and October. If you're going to see animals' birth and new life, visit between January and February. The Serengeti is a destination you'll never forget, whenever you visit.

Let's get started planning your safari vacation! Reserve your complimentary consultation call with me to begin!

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