Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The park covers around 5700 square miles of savannah grassland. Serengeti is home to a diverse array of wildlife with more than 3 million large mammals.

Originally, the Maasai lived and grazed their cattle on the Serengeti lands. Serengeti gets its name from the Maasai word “siringet,” which means “the place where the land runs on forever”.

Serengeti was gazetted a national park in 1940. In 1981, Serengeti National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Serengeti National Park is popular for the great migration of wildebeest. This migration involves large numbers of animals moving to different parts of the park looking for water and pasture. This includes more than 1 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras among others.

serengeti lionsSerengeti Flora and Fauna

The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest ones on earth. It has not changed so much over the last 1 million years.

Sparse acacia trees dot the vast savannah of the Serengeti. In the western corridor, there are more forests and dense bushes.

This makes Serengeti a great home for many wildlife species that roam the plains. The animals in the park include elephants, lions, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, and giraffes among others. Additionally, there are around 500 different bird species in the Serengeti.

Things to do in Serengeti

1. Game Drives

On these game drives, guests get to enjoy seeing the wildlife that lives in the Serengeti. You can go for your game drives either early in the morning or in the evening.

On the game drive, you will see lots of animals including favorites like zebras, elephants, lions, hyenas, and more.

serengeti wildebeest

2. Great Wildebeest Migration

Every year, there is a great migration of wildebeest and zebra. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras move south from the northern hills to the southern plains.

You will be able to see these animals causing great waves and splashes in the water as they move in search of greener pastures.

3. Visit a Maasai village

The drive towards the main park entrance provides the opportunity to view the expansive landscape dotted with traditional Masai villages.

The Masai people are recognizable by their bright-colored traditional clothing and their villages are fenced by tree branches to keep the wild animals out.

The Masai are nomadic herders of camels, cattle sheep, and goats and so their diet consists of animal milk, meat, and blood. These people have lived in this park for over 200 years and carry out several exciting rituals and customs.

4. Visit Olduvai Gorge

This site represents the history of man and is a fascinating place to visit while at the Serengeti because it is where archaeologist Dr. Louis Leaky found remains of the first early man from about a million years ago.

5. Moru Kopjes

This is a rocky area with a variety of shades where the black rhino can easily be seen.

The black rhino is a critically endangered animal and you will be able to see it in its natural habitat. With very few black rhinos left in the world, there are even few places to see them in the wild.

6. Retima Hippo Pool

This is a water body is found where the Seronera and Orangi rivers converge in central Serengeti. It is known for large pods of hippos. At this site, you will see a variety of hippos fighting and swimming in the water.

7. Grumeti River

Grumeti River is found in the western corridor of Serengeti National Park. It provides a great opportunity to see crocodiles in the water and along the shores.

Grumeti River is the major river crossing for the Serengeti great migration. You will be able to see several animals as they cross the river.

8. Hot air balloon safari

The hot air balloon enables you to have a view of the entire Serengeti at the break of dawn by floating above the Serengeti plains while seeing wildlife on the ground below and the beautiful scenery.

Where to stay

Serengeti National Park has a wide variety of accommodation options as a popular destination. From luxury lodges to mobile camps, there are many options for your budget and style.

How to get there

Serengeti National park is located 295km west of Kilimajaro International Airport. The park can be reached either by road or domestic chartered flight.

Most tourists go to Serengeti from Kilimanjaro by road which takes around 8 hours.

Best time to visit

For most tourists, the best time to visit the Serengeti is during the dry season from June to October. During the dry season, it’s easy to see animals as they congregate near water bodies.

The dry season is also ideal for the people who want to witness the great wildebeest migration in Serengeti.

The wet season is a good time to visit Serengeti if you prefer smaller crowds of visitors. Despite the distinct dry and wet seasons, the weather is pleasant throughout the year.

Conclusion

Visiting the Serengeti for African wildlife safaris offers experiences that cannot be compared. From the great migration or the all-year wildlife viewing, Serengeti is worth visiting.