Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

 Perhaps it is the view of it from Naabi Hill or its grasslands stretching to the end of the earth, or maybe its groups of lions resting on its open and never-ending plains catching the breeze the reasons behind its charm, or it could be the wildebeests migrating in groups. Whatever the reason is, Serengeti charm is undeniable. It is Tanzania’s oldest National park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  

The park is one of the greatest areas famous for wildlife. Most of the people who are interested in the Wilderness and adventure dream of visiting it. Every large animal in East Africa is likely to be witnessed in Serengeti National Park. Welcome to one of the greatest wildlife destinations in the world with its vast savanna that will surely cast its spell on you.  


Scenery and Wildlife:


      Serengeti mesmerizing scenery is due to its grasslands in the southeast that seems to be never-ending. That is why it is given the name "Serengeti". The word “Serengeti” means “endless plains” in the national Masaai Language. As for the northern part, it is full of hills and rocks. If you go more to the west you will find rivers, valleys, and rivers. Even forests can be found.  Many areas in Serengeti are full of 'koppies', granite outcrops rising up from the plains.


     Serengeti offers its visitors one of the best wildlife viewings in Africa.  All of the Big Five (Lions, Leopards, elephants African Buffaloes, and rhinos) are easily seen there. However, the rhino is a bit rare and only the black ones are present. All three big cats are easily seen there. Lions are often found in the whole park, Cheetas are more likely to be found on the southeastern plains, while leopards are commonly found lazing in one of the big trees along the Seronera River. Aside from being an epic place full of many predators and big cats especially lions, leopards, and Cheetah, Serengeti National Park is a home for other predators such as Hyenas, Jackals, and pat-eared foxes. Serengeti is also a home for small groups of giraffes and many antelope such as eland, topi, kongoni, and impala.

       Moreover, Serengeti is famous for its wildebeest annual migration. About 8 million animals cross the plains of Serengeti annually with more than 1,500,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle. As a result, predators follow the migration for hunting.


Location and History:


     Serengeti National Park is located in north-central Tanzania. The park is partly adjacent to the Kenya border and adjoining Ngorongoro Conservation Area from the northwest. Serengeti was first established as a national park in 1951 and added to UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981.It covers about 5,700 square miles (14,763 square km) of grassland with extensive acacia woodland Savanna, making it one of the best grassland in Africa; it extends 100 miles southeast from Lake Victoria's shores; and on the eastern side, it extends 100 miles south from Kenya- Tanzania border.  

      In the late 1950s, a Systematic Wildlife population survey in the area was done for the very first time by the German zoologist Bernhard Grzimek, and by early 60’s the Seronera Wildlife Research Centre was established as the Serengeti Research Institute (1962), based at Serengeti National park's headquarters at Seronera.



Why Serengeti?


1- In only two places in the world - the Masai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania - happen the most dramatic wildlife event, which is the Great Migration. Every year, millions of animals such as wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle make their way from the Ndutu to the southern part of Serengeti. They cross the huge plains of grass to reach the fresh and green grass resulting from seasonal rain. For many months, a great variety of animal herds can be seen in different parts of the park.  

2- Serengeti is one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, making it one of the seven wonders of Africa. Its ecosystem supports the diversity of animals and birdlife which is hard to find everywhere else.  

3- Serengeti is a home for the highest concentration of predators in the world.  

4- Serengeti's Vastness is making it a destination to be visited more than one time. Each part and region of it offers a different landscape, wildlife, and of course a different experience.  

5- Serengeti Wildlife as mentioned before is one of a kind. The park is abundant in varieties of animals from the Big Five to giraffe and gazelle.

6- For bird lovers, you can see more than 500 species in the park including Tanzanians endemic ones such as Fischer's lovebird, grey- Breasted spur fowl, and Rufous-tailed weaver. Kori bustard, yellow-throated sand grouse, secretary bird, grey-crested helmet shrike, and Hildebrandt’s starling are also found there.




Weather and Best Time to visit:


-Usually, the weather is moderate and pleasant. It is never very hot but it is cool most of the time at night and in the early mornings. The afternoon temperatures are usually around 25°C/77°F. At night cold is expected, with minimum temperatures around 14°C/57°F.

-From June to October is the dry season in Serengeti. On the other hand, there are two wet seasons: 'The Short Rains' are from November to December and 'The long Rains' are from March to May.  

- Though it rarely rains during the wet season, there might be some thundershowers. The temperature in the afternoon reaches 26°C/79°F and the temperature at night might be around 15°C/59°F.

-Based on the above there is a lot of seasonality in Serengeti National Park. Of course, it would be worthy to visit in the peak months during the Great Migration, to live this amazing event and to witness the vast herds, lion kills, and river crossing. Or you can visit in quieter times, but that does not mean it is a less significant time of the year. Yet, the park is full of events such as the wildebeest calving in the south of the park in January and February. Wildlife viewing is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times.


Know Before You Go:


1- The Seronera Region is the most popular area there and it has a lot of lodging options that are suitable to all budgets.  

2-The park headquarters is in Seronera right next to the airstrip where you can find the visitor information center, a curio shop and a cafe.  

3- The region gets really busy during June, July and from October to April. Accordingly, if escaping crowds is essential for you, you are to consider booking in another part of the park.  

4- Seronera is accessible by road having a six- hour drive from Arusha and Mwanze.  

5- The easiest part to get to the park is by air.


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