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01 January 0001

The Serengeti December

The Serengeti is the mother of all safari parks. This jewel in Tanzania’s crown is the most famous game-viewing park in Africa. Stomping ground of the 2 million strong wildebeest Great Migration and home to the highest concentration of predators in Africa, the Serengeti National Park is one of those rare places that exceeds your imagination.

Where are the herds?

December is a month that sees the herds settling into the wet season grazing grounds of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. At the start of the month the herds are often still moving south whereas by Christmas and the New Year the southern plains are certainly the place to be. 

The focus for the next few months is the volcanic soil of the ‘Serengit’ – the endless short grass plains. Here, nutritious grasses create the perfect mineral balance for muscle and bone growth in young wildebeest whilst adults benefit from the best grazing in the entire ecosystem. This can often be the start of calving season, although peak calving season concentrates itself in a few weeks between January and February.

Where to stay?

Due to the fact the herds are still on the move it’s important to decide where you stay on exactly when you travel. At the start of December the central plains of Seronera and Namiri as well as an area further south called Moru would be my focus, whilst from the 15th December onward Kusini and Ndutu are the places to be. For longer Serengeti ‘migration focused’ trips it is advisable to use camps that cover the entire of the areas mentioned above. 

Mobile camps, luxury lodges and adventure campsites are spread across the entire park. We’ve always believed that focusing on the location of the herds should be the focus for a one stop stay in the Serengeti, but we often encourage clients to combine two areas of the park to either maximise chances of the largest herds or to make the most of quieter non migration areas that are still thick with game. 

To give you an idea of the range of properties we work with we split our camps and lodges into three approximate price brackets. Value, Classic and Luxury. As a very rough guide, and focusing on peak season including vehicles and park fees etc but excluding long stay deals, Value camps are approximately $500 per person per night (pppn), Classic are $700pppn and Luxury are $1,000ppn and over. 

This is based on an all inclusive rate for the majority of these properties. 

Over the next few pages I'll discuss the best properties in the region and our view on where to stay at the different price brackets. I'd like to stress however that if you do find a property that's not mentioned then please get in touch with our specialists and discuss why we have not included it. The reality is the region has a huge range of options, some are much better than others! This is simply supposed to be a discussion of the very best at each price bracket.