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The central Serengeti consists of the plains woodland border and transition zone. In this area, the great Serengeti plains gradually diffuse into gentle rolling hills and the woodland habitat that dominates the western and northern regions of the park. The lions share of the lodges are located in this region as well as the park headquarters and the various research facilities. All these facilities are located here for good reason as not only is this area centrally located but it also supports an amazing abundance of year round, resident wildlife.
The central Serengeti is home to the beautiful Seronera valley. Several perennial rivers run through this valley enabling many resident animals to thrive year round. The combination of location and resident prey attracts the largest populations of predators in Africa. It is this amazing abundance and diversity of easily seen large predators that attracts thousands of visitors and hundreds of researches to the Seronera river valley each year. There is simply no better place in Africa to observe these large carnivores and since many are resident, excellent encounters are available year round regardless of the season or where the great migratory herds are located. It is not unusual to see all four large predators (lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah) during the course of a day in the central Serengeti.
Game viewing in central Serengeti is at its best during the dry season (June – November) as resident animals are more concentrated in the immediate area due to the lack of water on the plains. Resident herbivores include impala, buffalo, hippo, warthog, topi, hartebeest and giraffe. Resident carnivores include lion and leopard.
In addition to the resident wildlife, significant concentrations of migratory animals are found in the Central Serengeti during the dry season including cheetah, Thomson’s gazelle and hyena.
During the wet season, there is still plenty of resident animal action but most of the migratory gazelles, cheetahs and hyenas have left for the plains. There are 12 documented resident lion prides within a one-hour game drive radius from Seronera. All these prides are resident and can be seen year round. The Seronera Valley in the Central Serengeti is also one of the best areas in Africa to spot the elusive leopard.
The only draw back with game viewing in the central Serengeti is the fact that the majority of the lodging is located in this area. The immediate game circuits around the Seronera valley are well traveled and, depending on the month, you will likely encounter several other vehicles. The months of July, August and December see the most visitors and careful planning is important if you are traveling during these months.