Serengeti, Tanzania's oldest park (established in 1951), is perhaps the most famous and popular game reserve, known for its dense predator population and annual wildebeest migration. It is a vast and stunningly beautiful wilderness located 208 miles (7hrs) from Arusha and covers approximately 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km) - about the size of Northern Ireland.
The name, Serengeti, derives from the Maasai language meaning 'endless plains' and it's on these plains that the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, the migration of over a million wildebeest, accompanied by more than 200k zebra and 300k Thomson's gazelle (along with their predators) takes place each May in to June. It's a frenzied three-week bout of territorial conquests and mating, survival of the fittest as 25 miles long columns plunge through crocodile-infested waters on the annual exodus north, replenishing the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 600 miles pilgrimage begins again.
On safari in the Serengeti, you are in one of the best places to see the 'big five' (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo). Alongside these, there are plenty of gazelle, zebra, giraffe, eland, hippo, impala, baboons, monkeys, lions, hyena, cheetahs, jackals, many other mammals and almost 500 bird species.
This park is suitable for year round safaris and is especially good between December and May when the rains act as a magnet to the migrant herds. With altitudes ranging from 920 to 1,820 metres, the temperatures vary from 15-25 degrees celsius (60-77 degrees fahrenheit).