The Northern Serengeti is a region in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, located near the border with Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve. It is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the annual Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras.
One of the most popular attractions in the Northern Serengeti is the Mara River, which serves as a crossing point for wildebeests and zebras during the Great Migration. This is a spectacular sight to witness, as thousands of animals gather and attempt to cross the river while avoiding the crocodiles and other predators lurking in the water.
In addition to the Great Migration, the Northern Serengeti is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, and more. Visitors can go on game drives to observe these animals in their natural habitats and also have the opportunity to go on hot-air balloon safaris for a unique and breathtaking view of the Serengeti from above.
The Northern Serengeti is also home to several luxurious lodges and camps, offering visitors a comfortable and luxurious stay while exploring the region. Some popular lodges include Sayari Camp, Lamai Serengeti, and Singita Mara River Tented Camp.
Best time to visit Northern Serengeti
The best time to visit the Northern Serengeti is during the dry season, from June to October, when the animals gather around the watering holes and riverbanks. However, visitors can also witness the Great Migration during the wet season from November to May, when the wildebeests and zebras give birth to their young.
Overall, the Northern Serengeti is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness the Great Migration and observe some of the world’s most magnificent animals in their natural habitats.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic African safari experience, Northern Serengeti should be at the top of your list. Located in the northern region of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, this area is home to some of the most spectacular wildlife sightings in Africa, as well as breathtaking landscapes and unique cultural experiences.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the magic of Northern Serengeti, including its history, attractions, and activities. So, get ready to pack your bags and embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
Northern Serengeti Wildlife
Northern Serengeti is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and giraffes. Visitors can take a guided safari tour to see these animals in their natural habitat or opt for a hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the park.
In addition to its wildlife, Northern Serengeti is also known for its stunning landscapes. The park is home to vast savannahs, rolling hills, and picturesque rock formations. Visitors can take a guided hike to explore these landscapes or opt for a guided birdwatching tour to spot some of the park’s 500 bird species.
For those interested in cultural experiences, Northern Serengeti offers a unique opportunity to learn about the Maasai people and their way of life. Visitors can visit a local Maasai village to learn about their customs, dress, and daily routines, or participate in a traditional Maasai dance.
Northern Serengeti Attractions
The Northern Serengeti Park is a remote and less-visited area, which is mostly unexplored due to limited accommodation facilities and an 8-10 hour drive from Seronera. It is a pristine wilderness where you can enjoy a safari without encountering other visitors.
Kogatende: From July to October, the Great Migration passes through this area, and you can witness herds of animals crossing the Mara River, which is a dangerous and challenging time for the herds. Kogatende is the best location to observe the crossing, and it is also ideal for walking safaris.
The Lamai Triangle is another excellent destination in the Northern Serengeti that is not frequently visited by tourists. It is a small paradise beyond the Mara River with similar vegetation and animals to the Masai Mara National Reserve but with fewer facilities. The Lobo area is one of the most scenic parts of the park, with hills and kopjes that provide habitats for various animals during the dry season, including elephants.
Lobo Area: The Great Migration also transits through the Lobo area throughout the dry season, and it reaches its peak in late October or early November when the herds return from the Masai Mara and head south for the first rains. The area is inhabited by a variety of animals, such as buffalos, lions, leopards, hyenas, giraffes, and hippos.
Due to its remote location, the Northern Serengeti is less visited compared to other parts of the park, providing a more exclusive and unique safari experience. However, the shrubby savannah along the road to Lobo is infested with tsetse flies, which can give a painful sting.
Bologonja Springs, further north, is an excellent location to spot elephants, but the border to Kenya has been closed since 1977. In general, fewer animals can be viewed in the Northern Serengeti than the Seronera area, but during the Great Migration, sightings are spectacular, and witnessing the Mara River crossing is a thrilling experience.
Northern Serengeti Safaris
Walking Safaris: Another unique feature of the Northern Serengeti is the opportunity for walking safaris. Walking safaris are a more immersive way to experience the wilderness and to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna. In the North, you can take guided walks with experienced rangers who will provide you with a wealth of information about the area and its inhabitants.
Great Wildebeest Migration Safaris: In addition to the Great Migration, there are plenty of other wildlife experiences to be had in the Northern Serengeti. You can expect to see large numbers of predators, including lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as many other herbivores such as elephants, giraffes, and zebras. The Northern Serengeti is also home to a wide variety of bird species, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers.
Game Drives and wildlife safaris: There are a variety of ways to experience the Serengeti, including game drives, hot air balloon rides, and walking safaris. The park is divided into different regions, each with its own unique landscapes and wildlife. The Northern Serengeti, as previously mentioned, offers a particularly wild and pristine environment with limited accommodation options.
It’s important to note that while the Serengeti is undoubtedly a magical destination, it’s crucial to visit responsibly and with respect for the environment and wildlife. This includes following park rules and guidelines, choosing responsible tour operators and accommodations, and minimizing your impact on the environment during your visit. By doing so, you can ensure that this incredible ecosystem remains preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Great Wildebeest Migration in Northern Serengeti
The Serengeti ecosystem is home to wildebeest and zebras, which are part of the world’s largest migratory movement of wild animals, consisting of around 2 million ungulates in constant search of water and pastures.
During this period, the migratory herds move towards the grazing grounds in the north, which is also the time for the epic crossings of the Mara River, where huge crocodiles lurk.
Initially, the wildebeest are hesitant to cross the river, but as the pressure builds up from the rear, they eventually have no other choice but to cross, resulting in spasmodic crossings.
By the end of August, some wildebeest cross into Kenya and enter the Maasai Mara, while others stay in Tanzania. In reality, the Mara River is equally present in the Serengeti as it is in the Kenyan Maasai Mara.
However, while the Kenyan side accommodates over 5000 visitors, leading to high tourist pressure, there are only a handful of excellent small camps on the Tanzanian side due to limited accommodation facilities. This translates to lower visitor numbers, and the northern Serengeti remains relatively unexplored.
Accommodation in Central Serengeti
Accommodation options in the Northern Serengeti are limited compared to the more developed Central and Southern areas of the park. However, there are a handful of luxury lodges and tented camps that provide a high level of comfort and service. These lodges and camps are located in prime wildlife viewing areas and offer a range of activities, including game drives, walking safaris, and cultural visits to local villages.
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path safari experience, the Northern Serengeti is an excellent choice. With its remote location, pristine wilderness, and abundance of wildlife, it’s a destination that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
BEST KNOWN FOR
• Great Migration crossing the Mara River
• Wildebeest migration moving to the North from July – Nov
• Rare oribi antelope & black rhino
• Big cat viewing in ancient Lobo Valley
- 2,200 square miles
- Savannahs, Open Woodlands, Riverine Areas, Hills, Valleys
- Wildebeest, Zebra, Eland, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Oribi, Giraffe, Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Crocodile
Q: When is the best time to visit Northern Serengeti?
A: The best time to visit Northern Serengeti is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. This is when the wildebeest migration takes place, and the wildlife is easier to spot.
Q: Do I need a visa to visit Tanzania?
A: Yes, visitors to Tanzania require a visa. You can apply for a visa online or in person at a Tanzanian embassy or consulate.
Q: What should I pack for my trip to Northern Serengeti?
A: You should pack light, breathable clothing, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars!
Northern Serengeti is a destination that should be on every safari enthusiast’s bucket list. With its diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and unique cultural experiences, this destination offers an unforgettable African adventure. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned safari-goer, Northern Serengeti has something to offer everyone.
From witnessing the wildebeest migration to exploring the Maasai culture, Northern Serengeti is a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, if you’re looking for an authentic African safari experience, pack your bags and head to Northern Serengeti for an adventure like no other.