The Grumeti River, at a glance

The Grumeti River spans the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park, flowing westwards into Lake Victoria

The western corridor stretches 50 km and comprises vast savannah grasslands, riverine forest, rolling hills and shady acacia groves. 

This area of the Serengeti is seldom visited due to its remoteness. However, those that do venture this far are rewarded with a great variety of year-round wildlife, including giraffe, hippo, cheetah, elephant, large Nile Crocodiles and good leopard and lion populations. 

Grumeti's remote location means that you will not be distracted by a trail of safari vehicles. Around 30 safari vehicles gather on the banks of the Mara River during The Great Migration, but Grumeti's banks will be occupied by half as many vehicles.

Grumeti River

Visit the Grumeti River on these trips

The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.

Although increasingly unpredictable, the marching column of wildebeest, zebra and antelope, usually spend two weeks between May and June crossing the Grumeti River. 

The neighbouring Grumeti Reserve is one of the few places in the Serengeti where you can spend a few hours on foot exploring the African wilderness. 

Alternatively, glide across the early morning sky in a hot air balloon for a bird's-eye view of the river and plains. 

There are only a few accommodation choices in the western corridor year-round, but in peak season mobile camps are set up that follow the migration. 

Grumeti River

Lying in wait, Grumeti River, The Serengeti

Grumeti River or Mara River Crossing? Help Me Choose

Grumeti River

The Grumeti River is a great choice for those who want to avoid travelling in the peak season from mid-June to September, when the parks are busier and travel more expensive. 

The Grumeti River crossings usually occur within a 1 or 2-week window in May and June, but predicting the precise time is impossible, as the migration follows the rains. 

River crossings on the Grumeti usually occur as the long rainy season transitions into the dry. So intermittent rainfall is likely, which could affect roads and planned excursions. The grass is also typically longer and greener, making wildlife more difficult to spot

The Grumeti River is located in the remote western corridor of the Serengeti, which easily adds an extra 3-4 hours to your journey if driving - an important consideration if you are crunched for time. Alternatively, daily flights to Grumeti Airstrip are possible but can be expensive.

There are typically fewer accommodation options here, with only a few year-round and mobile camps. 

Grumeti River

Mara River

The Mara River crossing usually occurs at the height of the dry season when the grass is short, and the animals are drawn to water sources, so it makes for better viewing opportunities. 

The chances of seeing a river crossing are much higher at the Mara River, as the crossings occur more frequently. They also tend to be more dramatic as the river is faster, deeper and lined by steep river banks, unlike the Grumeti. 

Accommodation is better established in the areas surrounding the Mara River, with options to suit more budgets. 

However, Mara River crossings occur at the height of the peak season, meaning there are more travellers and higher prices. 

When is the best time to visit Grumeti River?

The best time to visit the Grumeti River is from May to September. For river crossings, plan for May to June. 

To avoid any of the lingering rains towards the end of the rainy season, aim for mid to late May if you want to see a river crossing. The rains are often heavy and sudden, which can result in activities being cancelled last minute. 

However, if you want a more secluded safari experience, the western corridor is great for game viewing until September. 

Hippos in water in  Maasai Mara

Where to Stay

Singita Sabora

Situated on the great migration path in the Grumeti Reserve, Singita Sabora tented camp has just 9 safari tents on offer, all beautifully decorated in a sleek and modern safari style. 

They provide an intimate luxury safari experience and have been perfectly positioned for spectacular views. 

The tents are all en-suite and air-conditioned with hot showers and bathtubs. They include a dressing room, reading area and private terrace overlooking the watering hole, allowing you to observe wildlife directly from the comfort of your daybed. 

Alongside game drives and guided nature walks, activities such as archery, stargazing safaris, mountain biking, and tennis are all available.

Singita prides itself on being eco-conscious, with minimally invasive designs using local materials, solar energy and water efficiency. They also play a significant role in local community and conservation initiatives. 

Grumeti River

Kirawira Serena

Set overlooking the Kirawira Plains in the Serengeti's Western Corridor, this luxury 25 tent camp is reminiscent of the early 20th century.

It is elegantly decorated with Edwardian chests, four-poster beds, sepia photographs, patchwork quilts and brass finishings. The bathrooms are exquisite, with twin sinks set on mahogany counter-tops, tiled floors, waterfall showers and flushing toilets.

Guests are treated to the extra luxuries like hairdryers, butler service, and early morning wake-up calls with fresh coffee.

Meals are extravagant affairs, with 5-course menus including soups, salads, roasts, sorbets, and full English breakfasts. 

Guests are not limited to eating just in the dining rooms, as the Kirawira Serena offers bush breakfasts, picnics and dinner under the stars. 

Grumeti River

How to get to the Grumeti River?

Due to its remote location, the best way to get to the Grumeti River is by air. 

Several airlines offer daily scheduled flights from Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Mount Kilimanjaro to the Grumeti Airstrip.  Flying takes less than 2 hours

If travelling by road, you can enter via the Ndabaka Gate for the quickest route to the Grumeti River and the Western Corridor. 

From Arusha, it is roughly a 9-hour drive. If you travel from Seronera (central Serengeti) or the main gate at Naabi Hill, it is approximately 3-5 hours driving. 

If you have booked your safari with us, all transport will be taken care of for you. 

Grumeti River

Discover Tanzania

The Great Migration

The Great Migration

Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and other herd animals cross the Serengeti in Tanzania, heading north to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. One of the most incredible wildlife …

Discover More

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti comes from the Maa word ‘Serengit’, which translates to ‘the place where the land moves on forever’. It is the far-reaching, endless savannahs that inspired …

Discover More

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is part of Tanzania's northern safari circuit that also includes Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. Tanzania's sixth largest park, Tarangire has …

Discover More

Selous Game Reserve

Buffaloes in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Once one of the world’s biggest game reserves, Selous has recently been split up to accommodate the new Nyerere National Park in honour of Tanzania’s first President Julius …

Discover More

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater - with its lush green plains, woodland trees and wildflowers - is one of the most popular travel destinations in Tanzania. A stunningly beautiful place, it's …

Discover More

Lake Tanganyika

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Kenya

White sandy beaches, azure blue waters, and old mango trees; Lake Tanganyika is a beautiful spot to catch your breath on your journey through Tanzania. That doesn't mean there's no…

Discover More

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park

Lounging under the shade of a baobab tree, a baby elephant eagerly awaits her afternoon snack. Her mother, the matriarch, tears off a branch to the delight of the infant. Ruaha has…

Discover More

Mount Kilimanjaro

Night sky above glowing tents on Kilimanjaro hike in Tanzania

Towering high above Tanzania at 5,895 metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. 

Discover More

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

The Zanzibar archipelago is the meeting point between Africa, Arabia and India. This semi-autonomous region is a popular post-safari destination, providing a tropical beach …

Discover More

Ready to plan your African adventure?

1
Listen

Listen

2
Match

Match

3
Reserve

Reserve

Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.

+1 315 636-4279