The Grumeti Game Reserve was established in 1993 in Tanzania on the northwestern border of the famous Serengeti National Park.
The reserve measures 411 km² and is a migration corridor for herds of animals that naturally pass through the area. This is where it is easy to see the movement of huge herds of wildebeest and zebra and this describes the Serengeti/Mara ecology itself.
The Serengeti National Park next door is a World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve, an easy trip to tag onto any Grumeti journey as well as being the main tourist attraction in Tanzania.
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Why visit the Grumeti Game Reserve?
Safari in Grumeti
Lesser known than the crossing of the Mara River, is the crossing of the Grumeti River, usually in late June or early July: it is one of the most dramatic sequences in the annual Great Migration, and a feast for the population of outsized crocodiles.
Only a few places in Serengeti National offer walking safaris, which makes this option in Grumeti Game Reserve a special treat.
Being outside Serengeti National Park boundaries means that your guide is not bound by park regulations and has much greater freedom to operate a wide range of safari activities.
Game viewing is good throughout the year. The broken savannah south of the Grumeti River supports resident populations of giraffe, elephant, wildebeest, zebra, and lion. The little-visited vistas of open grassland north of the Grumeti River are especially good for cheetah sightings.
Riverine forest along the river harbours a few troops of the beautiful black and-white colobus monkey, the area is also home to plenty of hippos, crocodiles and birds.
Visitors can spend hours on foot in the bush with your guide, learning about birds and insects and tracking animals, but also discover cultural and medicinal uses for indigenous plants.
There’s excellent year-round viewing and all the big predators – lion, hyena, crocodile, cheetah and leopard – are in abundance but time your visit to coincide with the migration and you’ll witness dramatic river crossings and plenty of predator-prey interaction.
Birds to be found in the Grumeti River forest include the Little Spotted Woodpecker, Red-capped Robin Chat, Black-headed Gonolek, Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus, Great Egret Egretta alba, Goliath Heron Ardea goliath, Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis and Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash.
The numbers of birds in the forest differs each day according to the amount of rainfall and the presence of mixed-species flocks
Baboon trees can be found in the Grumeti forests as well as shrubbery including Ficus spp Aphania senegalensis and Ekebergia capensis.
The main woody plants found include Cordia goetzei, Cordia ovalis, Crateva religiosa and Erythroxylum fischeri.
Other activities at Grumeti
Here are some other activities which visitors can consider during their visit:
- Walking safaris: Explore wildlife and private concessions on foot, an authentic and economical means of exploring wildlife in Grumeti.
- Night drives: Vehicle safaris can be operated during the day but also at night; and the opportunity to drive off-road guaranteed making the most of special sightings.
- The Great Migration tour: A spectacular scene with millions of animals moving through the next door Serengeti National Park in search of food and breeding grounds.
- Photo safaris: As safari destinations go, visitors on a photo safari will be in dreamland where small groups of just 3 travellers can share a luxury photography tour with like-minded individuals and enjoy wildlife viewing whilst capturing their favourite moments.
- Ngorongoro Crater tour: Although not part of the Grumeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is worth a visit, with a huge intact volcanic caldera and Olduvai Gorge with over 25,000 animals and thousands of Masai tribe members.
How to get to Grumeti?
Access to the Grumeti Game Reserve Crater is typically made via flying into Grumeti Airstrip from Arusha airport via a number of airlines that offer daily scheduled flights, followed by a five to ten-minute drive to the reserve.
Grumeti Airstrip coordinates are – South 02˚09.55” East 034˚13.30”
Tourists arrive into the town of Arusha via flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), some 29 miles by road.
Tariffs & Regulations
Prices per person per day:
- USD $50 per adult to enter the conservation area
- USD $30 per child (aged 5 – 16)
Visitors must respect the rules of Grumeti Game Reserve including the flora and fauna.
Accommodation at the Serengeti National Park
Only a handful of top end lodges can be found in the Grumeti area. During the Great Migration period, May-July, this changes and several mobile camps will set up camp in the area.
Because of its remoteness, it makes for an exceptional game viewing experience with the feeling of exclusivity.
The number of visitors in Grumeti is limited to around sixty guests in only a few small Serengeti luxury camps, this is a prime quality area devoid of tourist crowds.
Singita Grumeti Reserve Sabora Tented Camp
Singita Sabora Tented Camp is an exclusive safari lodge situated on the Serengeti Plains of the Grumeti Reserves.
This stylish, luxury tented camp offers the classic style of a bygone era, featuring 1920s safari decor. Offering only 9 lavish tents, Singita Sabora offers a private and personalised stay.
Consisting of 400,000 acres of unrivalled wilderness, these plains form part of the exciting migratory route. Professionally guided activities include game drives in open vehicles, walks, night drives, hot air balloon rides and mountain biking.
Other activities available include badminton, lawn croquet and swimming in the heated plunge pool. You can also enjoy a range of spa treatments in one of two treatment rooms or in the privacy of your own suite.
From $1,820 per person sharing
Singita Faru Faru River Lodge
Singita, which means ‘Place of miracles’, is synonymous with top-notch safaris and their Faru Faru River Lodge is no different.
Built on a gently-sloping hill that overlooks the Grumeti River in the Serengeti National Park, this stone-and-canvas lodge reflects the classic style and colonial elegance of traditional East African safari camps.
With its riverine location, is it perfectly positioned to catch herds of game and predators as they come to drink and offers thrilling proximity to the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest and other game hurtle from southern Tanzania across the country and into Kenya in search of fresh grazing.
From $1,820 per person sharing
Serengeti lodge options
For more luxury lodge options, visitors can choose from the 6 lodges of the Serengeti National Park as well as Sasakwa lodge.
The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is the ideal place to stay near the Grumeti River and have a front-row seat to see the fabulous crossing of the river by the wildebeest and zebras.
Of particular note include the luxurious Four Seasons Serengeti safari lodge, the Serengeti Serena safari lodge and the Nomad serengeti safari camp.
Pricing from USD $1,100 per person per night.
Serengeti NP also has several safari tent accommodations, also called “tented lodge”. The Serengeti Lodge Mawe is particularly popular with travelers.
9 public camping areas are available to travellers in the Serengeti NP. Sanitary facilities and kitchens are available on site.
Lodges will typically have all meals and drinks included in the lodge package.
Located in the northwest of Tanzania, a trip to Grumeti Game Reserve is often combined with a trip to the Serengeti National Park.
Day-time high temperatures range from 24C/75F to 27C/80F with the last of the rain falling in May.
Best time to go
The best time to visit the Grumeti National Park is in the Dry season (from late June to October). This period offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight.
Wildlife viewing is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.
A tourist visa is required to enter Tanzania including U.S, U.K, Canada and EU citizens. International flights arrive via Dar es Salaam (DAR) airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport for visitors wondering how to get to Tanzania.
DAR airport is located 18km south of Dar Es Salaam and a Tanzania visa will most likely be required to enter the country. Tanzania has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel.
Malaria is present in the Grumeti area and visitors should seek medical advice from their doctor and consider antimalarial medication.
Visitors can find further information on Tanzania vaccine requirements here.
Where is the Grumeti Game Reserve located?
Grumeti Game Reserve is located on the northwestern border of the Serengeti National Park.
How much is the entrance fee to the Grumeti Game Reserve?
USD $50 per adult & USD $30 per child (aged 5 – 16).
What animals will visitors see at Grumeti Game Reserve?
Visitors to Grumeti GR will see giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, wildebeest, hippos, birds, zebras, lions as well as black and-white colobus monkeys.