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01 January 0001

The Serengeti November

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. 

The Serengeti is the Africa that we all have in our minds – endless grass plains stretching as far as the horizon, punctuated only by the odd flat-topped acacia tree. The concentration of game here is truly phenomenal. This is Big Five game viewing territory, in an authentic environment with no fences and little interruption from man – the huge herds following ancient migration routes embedded in their genes. 

However, the Serengeti is far more than just a Great Migration park. There is a very good argument that, even if you took the great herds out of the Serengeti, you would still have the finest safari park in Africa. The Serengeti’s immense natural beauty has its drawbacks, with certain times of year and certain areas being honey-pots for tourist attention. However, when one part is busy, another is quiet – there is always a part of the Serengeti you can make your own. 

Where to stay?

Throughout November the herds are pushing back south to their wet season grazing grounds of the southern Serengeti. It's still possible to see herds crossings the Mara River in the far north whilst the central plains often also get a lot of action. The reality is it’s a moving month and therefore somewhat unpredictable. I’ll sometimes split a clients stay during this time of year with the central plains and the far north being a great combination. The general rule is that from the 1st to the 10th November I would still head for the northern plains around Kogatende and the Mara River, however from the 10th onwards I would head for the heart of the park. 

From the 15th June onwards the first ‘splinter’ herds can be seen crossing the Mara in the far North. Historically however the Western Corridor and northern central parts of the park are the place to be. If I was choosing one area then I’d focus on the central and western plains, an incredible area that’s predator rich and well respected as one of the very best game viewing areas on the continent. 

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.