Central Serengeti: Everything You Need to Know

Lionesses on a kopje

The beating heart of a magnificent ecosystem, Central Serengeti is the best place to go on a safari in Tanzania. The region is humming with wildlife. The area possesses a variety of habitats, ranging from swamps and rivers to kopjes and thick woodlands, which in turn nurture a variety of fauna. In fact, a particular Simba Kopje here is the very kopje that inspired the Pride Rock seen in Disney’s The Lion King!

The famed Seronera River Valley is also located in the southern part of Central Serengeti. It has such a dense population of big cats and it is referred to as the Big Cat Capital of Africa.


1. Wildlife

2. Birds

3. Vegetation

4. Things to Do

5. Weather and Climate

6. When to Visit

7. Accommodations

8. Location and How to Reach

9. Fee Structure

10. Safari Tours

11. Frequently Asked Questions


You will be in the very nucleus of the fabled Serengeti, so you will come across a multitude of animals here, including the big five.

The area has a huge number of permanent residents so game viewing is impeccable here year-round. From big mammals like elephants, buffalos, and giraffes browsing in the area to small shiny reptiles and insects crawling about in trees and rocks call this region their home. Herbivores such as impalas, elands, and topis in the area also attract predators like hyenas, wild dogs, wildcats, caracals, and of course the three big cats: Lions, Cheetahs, and Leopards.

Seronera Valley is the best place to spot these big cats. Lions are often seen in the Kopjes, and they are also used by leopards at times. The plains in Seronera are a great place to spot the Cheetahs. The region around the Seronera river is also used as a shelter by the Leopards, but do keep in mind that because of the Leopard’s solitary nature, it will be difficult to spot them. Not everybody sees them even while visiting Serengeti, so do not be disheartened. The same can be said for the Rhinos. While Rhinos do call Serengeti their home and are usually spotted near Moru Kopje in Seronera Valley, chances of seeing them here are only about 20 to 30 percent. You are more likely to spot Rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater.

Even though animals stay in Central Serengeti throughout the year, you will find even more animals in the months from April to June and October to December, as the migration will be passing through this area during that time. There will be millions of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles feeding on the grass and rushing toward their next location.

In the woodlands of central Serengeti, you are likely to spot primates such as baboons, bushbabies, and vervet monkeys as well.

In the Retima Pool in the same region, you will also be able to spot hundreds of hippos.


Serengeti’s ecosystems support an abundance of bird species and you are likely to spot a lot of them in Central Serengeti. The region is famous for sheltering endemic birds of Africa that can be found near watering holes, in the kopjes, or hanging by the branches of the trees.

Grey-breasted fowl is a popular bird species endemic to Tanzania which you can spot in the grasslands of Central Serengeti. Fischer’s Lovebirds will also be very easily spotted. They are a small species of parrots, and they can be spotted twittering about in the trees or near watering holes. Secretary Birds are also quite famous in this region. They are often seen in pairs while they are out hunting for food.

These are just some of the birds that you are likely to spot in Central Serengeti. There will be Kori Bustards, Ruppell’s Vultures, Hornbills, Ostriches, Shrikes, and many more birds for you to spot.

The nesting time of birds is from November to April so those would be some of the best months to see the birds. You will also be able to spot migratory birds from Europe and North Africa. (I tried a lot to find the names of these migratory birds but none of the sources had sufficient information)


Central Serengeti has all kinds of famous trees one sees in documentaries about Tanzanian wildlife. Acacias, Sausage Trees, Fig Trees, Yellow Fever Trees, Umbrella trees, Candelabras, Whistling Thorn, you will be able to find them all here if you are someone who takes interest in the vegetation.

The region also has all the dominant grasses; Red Oat Grass, Finger Grass, and Pan Dropseed.

Air ballooon serengeti

Things to Do

To help you have an immersive, unfogettable experience, Central Serengeti offers a wide range of activities for you to choose from.

Geame Drive:

Game Drives are ofcourse an activity that no one will be missing. You will be driven around Serengeti's most abundant region in a 4x4 vehicle by an experience driver/guide. Your driver will take you some of the best locations where you will get a good view of the wild, and use his expertise to track and find the animals you specifically wish to see. In addition, if there are certain birds or topographical features ypu wish to see, you need only inform your driver and he will try to locate them for you.

Hot Air Balloon Safari:

A hot air balloon safari in the central Serengeti is a thrilling experience that allows you to witness the beauty of the Serengeti from a completely different perspective. The hot air balloon safari usually begins early in the morning around 6 a.m. You will be picked up from your camp or lodge between and 4:00 and 5:30 a.m. and driven to the launch site.

Upon arrival at the launch site, you'll have the opportunity to watch as the balloon is inflated, and then you'll climb aboard the basket for takeoff. As the balloon gently lifts off the ground, you'll be treated to an amazing aerial view of the Serengeti's vast grasslands, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife.

During the flight, which lasts approximately one hour, you'll drift silently over the Serengeti, marveling at the stunning scenery below and the majestic wildlife that roams the plains. Your pilot will guide the balloon over different areas of the Serengeti, providing interesting facts and insights into the ecosystem and wildlife that you see below.

As the flight comes to an end, the balloon will descend and gently land on the plains. After landing, you'll enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne before being treated to a breakfast in the bush, complete with coffee and a variety of treats.

All our clients who have done this activity have given flattering reviews. However, it must be noted that this safari can get expensive, as it charges 599$ per person.

Walking Safari

A walking safari in Central Serengeti can be an incredible way to experience the park's wildlife and landscape up close. Walking safaris offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the wilderness and see things from a different perspective than you would on a traditional game drive.

One of the most significant advantages of a walking safari is the opportunity to learn about the park's ecosystem and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. Your guide will provide information on the plants and animals you encounter, as well as the cultural history of the area. You will also have the chance to observe the behavior of the animals and learn how they interact with their environment. If you're a fan of the critters and creepy crawlies, then the walking safari will give you amole opportunity to find and observe them.

Your walking safari will take olace in the Seronera region and you will have the option of doing either a short walk or a long walk. A short walk lasts for 4 hours, while anything above 4 hours will be a long walk.

If you wish to do one, we will organise book a safari for you with TANAPA and arrange a Park Ranger for you a day before the activity is scheduled.

Please note that since you will be spending at least 4 hours walking on bumpy trails, your outfit andshoes must be comfortable enough. Your walking sneakers will suffuce for the walk, and there is no need to purchase new boots simply for a walking safari. Your bottoms must cover your legs entirely, andmust not be on dark shades such as blue and black. This will keep the Tsetse flies at bay which can bite and get really annoying if proper precautions are not taken.

Rhino Safari

Rhino Safari is a unique activity that only takes place in Central Serengeti. The region around Moru Kopje in the Central region is home to Serengeti's only rhinos. Hence, the government initiated a Rhino Project in this region to protect and increase the numbe of Rhinos who were heavily poached for their horns in the past and are still under a grave threat.

For the Rhino Safari you will be taken to the special zone around Moru Kopje, and look for those magnificent creatures. Our vehicle will take you till the Moru Ranger Post, where you will be transferred into a government vehicle, which will be an open jeep. The ranger operating the jeep will visit the zone in the morning before the safari to look for areas where the rhinos will be present, and then take you to those locations during the tour. This will ensure that you will get to see the rhinos and the safari will be worth your money.

The safari will last from 45 minutes to about 2 hours and will cost 100$ per person.

Besides Rhinos, you will also have the opportunity to look for big cats such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs.

Weather and Climate

Serengeti has a moderate climate that is mostly pleasant. While the weather is pleasant in the afternoon, it does get cold during the night and early mornings so it is advisable to carry warm clothing with you.

The dry season is from June to October, and during this time temperatures can go as high as 25°C / 77°F, and as low as 14°C / 57°F.

The wet season is from November to May. Temperature can go as high as 26°C / 79°F and as low as 15°C / 59°F.

When to Visit

Central Serengeti has plenty of wildlife throughout the year but going during the Dry Season, which is from June to October, is a good option as the bush thins out which makes it easier to spot animals and birds. You will find a lot of them near water bodies. You will also encounter fewer mosquitoes during the dry season.

During Wet Season although, the region will be less crowded and it will also be a great time for bird watchers as birds will be nesting and breeding during this season.

The wildebeest migration in this region will be the densest from April to May as they will be moving from South to West. And then in December and January as well you should be able to spot the migration in Central Serengeti as it will be coming back to the South.


Section to be updated.

Location and How To Reach

Serengeti is located in Northern Tanzania and is west of the city of Arusha.

You may choose to travel to Serengeti by road. You will be picked up from Arusha and it will take about 7 hours to reach Southern Serengeti. However, you will be passing through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to reach Serengeti, so you will be required to pay the park fees for Ngorongoro as well.

Charter flights are also flown in and out of Serengeti on a regular basis, so you have the option of traveling by air as well. There is an airstrip located in Seronera which is perfect for those starting their safari in Central Serengeti.


Entry fee for Lake Manyara depends on the visitor's nationality and age. For foreigners, the park fee is $82 per adult per day. This park fee is valid for 24 hours. However, you must note that the park fees will also expire if you step out of the park before completing 24 hours.

If your accommodation is inside then a concession fee of $70 per adult per night will also apply.

Safari Tours

We offer various itineraries that include safari tours to Central Serengeti. To view some of our popular tours, click here.


In which months do we recommend this region?

Central Serengeti has an abundance of wildlife present throughout the year, but the Dry Season would be the best time to visit as the bush will thin out and more animals will be coming out to drink from the water bodies which will make spotting them easier.

A vast part of the migration will actually be present in Serengeti from December to February, however. So if you’re keen on seeing the migration then those months would be the best time to visit.

What do I see here apart from the Great Migration during the recommended months?

You will find a myriad of animals in Central Serengeti. The big cats (though the Leopards might be elusive and you might not find them), warthogs, giraffes, elephants, buffalos, impalas, gazelles, hippos, and many smaller animals.

How many days do we recommend spending here?

We recommend spending a minimum of 2 days in the Central Serengeti. And if your budget and time allow it, then 4 days would be more than enough in the Central region.


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