Temperatures are generally pleasant in the Serengeti. September, October and January are the warmest months, while July is usually the coolest. Rainfall is seasonal, with short spring showers taking place in November and December, followed by a longer rainy period from March to May. The wildebeest migration is dependent on the rains taking place when expected and seasonal variations may affect the timing of the animals’ movements. Our Serengeti Under Canvas semi-permanent camps move around the Serengeti year round, bringing guests within easy reach of the Great Migration.
Large parts of the northern Serengeti are dominated by woodland, which is made up of trees of over four metres (13 feet) in height interspersed by dense grass. The most commonly found trees in such areas are various species of thorny acacia. Taller trees are interspersed with dense thickets of stunted vegetation. Woodlands are good areas for browsing animals such as giraffe, impala, elephant and dik-dik. The acacias attract Grant’s gazelle, olive baboon, vervet monkey and bushbabies. Birds are especially abundant in woodlands, which offer a wide choice of comfortable nesting sites.
During the wet season, the Grumeti River is prone to flood its banks in the western corridor. Numerous oxbow lakes form and become seasonal swamps once the floodwaters recede. This terrain is favoured by elephant, buffalo and reedbuck. Although vast grassy plains have become largely synonymous with the Serengeti, they actually only form about one quarter of the total area. During the rains, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle gather in the highly productive open grasslands in the southeast of the park. Long grass plains extend throughout the west of the Serengeti and provide fodder for the huge concentrations of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores that migrate back and forth through the region.