Connoisseur’s Season in the Northern Serengeti
The northern Serengeti is known as an exceptional destination to view the great wildebeest migration. Separated from the Masai Mara by the Mara River and its resident teeming crocodiles, a migration safari here offers exceptional and dramatic sightings of the popular river crossings.
But some would say it’s the season outside of the migration, between December and March, when this area is at its best. Connoisseur’s Season, as it has become known, is arguably one of East Africa’s best-kept secrets.
Once the thundering herds have moved south, the secret beauty of the area springs to life: the grass rebounds into a lush green carpet, and the Mara River becomes a winding ribbon of calm through the grasslands. The wildlife is plentiful, and the tourists are not, allowing you a rare chance to soak up the beauty of the Northern Serengeti in peace and quiet.
It wasn’t until 2005, when Asilia built the first camp in the region, that this corner of the northern Serengeti became known by discerning safari travellers. Far from the well-trodden tourist tracks to the south, Sayari Camp specializes in offering that rare pleasure in the Serengeti: Africa’s finest wilderness, all to yourself.
With Sayari as your base of exploration, you’re perfectly positioned to experience this magical wilderness at a time when you’d be forgiven for thinking you have the area all to yourself.
Sayari Green Season
5 Reasons to plan your Connoisseur’s Season safari?
This corner of the Serengeti was long overlooked by safari travellers, and it remains one of the ‘wilder’ corners of the region, unblemished by modernity. Sayari Camp unobtrusively blends into the landscape, offering unimpeded views of the kopje-studded landscape. Riverine forest flanks the Mara River, herds of antelope– and their predators –are plentiful on the greening plains, and the Siria Escarpment to the west ensures dramatic scenery during your game drives.
A surprise around every corner
For all its grandeur, there’s a certain predictability to game-viewing during the migration. But as the herds move south the Serengeti turns into one giant treasure hunt, with each game drive revealing new discoveries: a leopard kill here; elephant herds with their young over there, perhaps a rare bird sighting in the clear dawn light, and sometimes even a rhino grazing on the banks of the river.
It’s unpredictable, yes, but all the more rewarding for it. If you’ve seen the migration and want a deeper understanding of the bush, this is the time for you.
Once the migration has moved south, taking the bulk of the tourists with it, the northern Serengeti offers unrivalled exclusivity, with just a handful of guests exploring a vast tract of African wilderness. See the migration, yes, and tick off the Ngorongoro Crater. But once you’ve tired of the crowds, come back to Sayari Camp once the herds have moved on, and you’ll soon discover why safari connoisseurs call this the ‘secret season’.
The dust has settled from a million hooves and the air is washed clean, allowing the bright African sunshine to transform the horizon into a palette of colours. If you’re a keen photographer wanting to capture the plains in pixels, this is the time to visit.
The northern Serengeti offers outstanding birding opportunities from December to March, as hundreds of European migrants join over 300 resident species in a great ornithological get-together. From cool woodland to grassy plains and rocky hilltops, Sayari offers easy access to a great diversity of habitats.
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