Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is not famous for just any reason. The UNESCO Heritage site was recently recognized as one of the 7 wonders of the world where, aside from rhino, essentially all of Africa’s big game animals are commonly seen by safari.
The Serengeti is vast and beautiful: one of Africa’s most captivating safari areas. The sheer amount of game here is amazing with estimates of up to two million wildebeest, half a million zebra, hundreds of thousands of Thompson’s gazelle, and tens of thousands of impala, Grant’s gazelle, topi (tsessebe), hartebeest, eland and other antelope – all hunted by the predators for which these plains are famous.
Commonly split into three distinct regions the Serengeti consists of the Plains, the Western Corridor, and the North. In the Serengeti Plains, grassland dominates the landscape providing the postcard picture commonly thought of when “Serengeti” is mentioned. Between December and May, the gigantic herds of wildebeest graze the plains along with zebra, gazelle, impala, waterbuck, and other hooved animals. The plains are gifted with granite rocks called Kopjes that predators use as observation posts and also host pythons and hyrax.
In contrast, black clay soil gives rise to swamp savannah land in the Western Corridor. Giant Nile Crocodiles can be found here stalking the Grumetic River under the watchful eye of martial eagles and hippos.
Open woodlands set the scene for the Northern Serengeti region where green hills are locked in by the Seronera to the South and the Mara River to the North. This bushy savannah land is the best place to find elephant, giraffe, and dik-dik but is also home to migratory wildebeest between July and August.
The great wildebeest migration is by far the most stunning attraction at Serengeti National Park when over one million of the giant animals pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join their trek for fresh grazing. This is one fo the most unforgettable experiences of the entire safari circuit as is the Serengeti National Park in its entirety.
Hot air balloon safaris
Walking safari with picnicking, and game drives.
Maasai rock paintings and musical rocks.
The Wildebeest Migration: If you’re there at the right time, you can spot herds of wildebeest and zebra stretching to the horizon.
Olduvai Camp: On the southern edge of the Serengeti, Olduvai Camp stands at the base of a kopje, and has 16 very simple walk-in tents. Run by Maasai, it’s an ideal place to experience their culture.
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Serengeti National Park Flora & Fauna
Serengeti National Park is home to the largest populations of flora and fauna in all of Tanzania’s parks. Gigantic buffalo and wildebeest herds of are accompanied by smaller groups of elephant and giraffe as well as thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala, and Grant’s gazelle. Lions and cheetahs are extremely common, as are their heart stopping hunts, while leopards can be seen nearer the Seronera River tree in the Northern Serengeti.
For the ornithologist, Serengeti National Park hosts over 500 recorded species of bird and the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of Africa’s Endemic Bird Areas, hosting 5 bird species found nowhere else; half of which are confined to the Tanzanian portion of the ecosystem.
These Serengeti specials are easy to locate and identify within their restricted range. The grey-breasted spurfowl is a common roadside bird at the Seronera River area, in the centre of the park. In woodland areas, parties of Fischer’s lovebird draw attention to themselves and the rufous-tailed weaver is a fascinating bird placed in its own genus. The other two Serengeti-Mara endemics are the Usambiro barbet and the grey-crested helmet-shrike. Regular Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Serengeti National Park Location & Map
The Serengeti National Park is located across the Mara and Simiyu regions, bordering Kenya and Lake Victoria, in the North-West of Tanzania. Covering over 14,700 square kilometers of rich grassland, savannah, riverine forest, and woodland, the Serengeti National Park is the largest and most famous of the Tanzanian safari parks for good reason.
The entrance gates are over 300km from Arusha. Arusha is the starting point for most safaris to Serengeti National Park which can be seen after Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro National Parks. Arusha is served by its own regional airport (ARK) that can be reached via Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyere International Airport, or the closer by Kilimanjaro International Airport where regular KLM flights from Amsterdam land as well as new Qatar and Turkish Airlines routes.
Alternatively, a shuttle bus can take you from Kenya to Arusha but most safari operators will pick you up at the airport and take you from there.
The best time of year to safari at the Serengeti is between December and July for the great wildebeest migration or between June and October to see more predatory and general game. The Serengeti offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year however. February in particular is the best month for the wildebeest calving.
Fast Facts On Serengeti National Park
Total Land Area
14765 sq km About the same size as Bahamas
Elevation above sea level
920 – 1850 m
About 369 stacked giraffes
Nearest Major City & Airport
About 333 km East
When To Visit Serengeti National Park
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Arusha National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Tarangire National Park
Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
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