Serengeti national park is the number one leading national park in Tanzania situated in the Mara and simiyu regions. Serengeti national park used to be a grazing area for the Masai pastoralists people for over 200 years. The name derives from a local Masai word to mean vast plains that never end. Serengeti is the country’s oldest national park well known for the wildebeests and zebra migration. During the migration period, over 2000 zebras and one million dwindled wildebeests can be seen along side numerous lions spying on their prey. Serengeti is one of the best places to go to for Tanzania safaris.
The park offers outstanding wilderness experiences to tourists coming to Africa and is a must visit when touring Africa. The exquisite Serengeti national park was partly established as a game reserve in 1921 by the British colonialists after the first American Stewart Edward white camped in the Serengeti area and killed over 50 lions. The adorable park was finally established as a national park in 1961. Serengeti national park is the number one tourist’s destination for adventure holidays in Tanzania and is the country’s oldest national park.
Serengeti national park remains Africa unspoiled treasure with one of the most breath taking natural occurring’s in the world during the wildebeests and zebra migration to the outstanding Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Serengeti national park harbors four of the world’s endangered animal species. The panoramic landscapes offer striking views of short Savannah grasslands dotted with kopjes, acacia trees, sausage trees and animals roaming endlessly all year round. Serengeti national park offers a good number of activities to make your stay memorable. See some of the things to do at Serengeti national park below.
The Serengeti park is endowed with the big five animals. The park harbors a lot of wildlife roaming around the endless glamorous plains. A game drive at the Serengeti national park is very rewarding because of animals like wildebeests, elands, gazelles, zebras, cheetahs, jackals, lions and many more. The climax of game viewing is during the annual beast migration.
Cultural visit to the Masai people
Before Serengeti was gazetted as a national park, the Masai warriors used to hunt on the endless plains and also graze animals here. Today the Masai people live in the northern part of Tanzania just near Serengeti and in the southern part of Kenya near the Masai Mara.
The Masai people have very rich and unique culture you might not come across elsewhere in Tanzania. Tourists can visit the Masai villages and learn their ways of life and also get themselves unique cultural wears and gifts to take back home for remembrance. Tourists can also get entertained by the unique Masai dances presented by the locals.
Hot air balloon safari
A hot air balloon safari is an excellent way of viewing wildlife apart from doing it on a car. This safari activity will expose you to more clear views of game and also view animals like hyenas returning to their dens after night hunting. The balloon safaris at Serengeti national park always start at 6am in the morning and last for about two hours. Tourists end up having a bush breakfast in the wild before they get back to their hotels.
Visit the Ngorongoro conservation area
The Ngorongoro Crater is just adjacent to Serengeti national park. This volcanic caldera was formed when a volcano collapsed on it self over a million years ago. The caldera is about 2000 feet deep. This place has got thousands of animals around and Masai villages are also near. For tourists interested in archaeology, the area has got geological and archaeological sites. The Ngorongoro caldera remains the world’s unflooded and inactive caldera lake. The area covers 8,292 kilometers squared. While at this area, tourists can also visit the only active volcano oldonyo lengai, olduvai museum, olkarein gorge, olmoti and empakai craters among the rest.
Visit Naabi hill
Naabi hill is one of the best to visit while at the Serengeti. The hill is mainly covered by acacia trees that harbor lions and cheetahs. The hill also serves as the main entrance to Serengeti national park after driving through the Ngorongoro conservation area.
Seronera river valley
The Seronera river valley is the best place to view leopards at Serengeti national park. The Seronera River is a water source for many animals and supports vegetation growth all year round. The Seronera valley also contains most of the park’s luxurious accommodation units and more wildlife.
Visit lobo valley
The lobo valley is one of the most beautiful places flooded with wildlife in Africa especially during the migration period. Gazelles, zebras and elands can be seen here. This northern sector of Serengeti has more wildlife in the dry seasons than the wet season.
Moru kopjes is the only place to view the black African rhino at the park, they also inhabit the big cats especailly the large pride of lions, shinny leopards who take shelter around the Kopjes. This place is always guarded by armed robbers as the rhinos have increased in the recent years due to poaching in order to acquire it’s horns. Other animals can also be seen in this area mostly during July to November
The great migration
The great wildebeest migration of the Serengeti national park occurs in July and November when the wildebeest cross to Kenya Maasai Mara through Mara River and later from October start crossing back to Serengeti . During this time, tourists encounter thousands of zebras and gazelles along side millions of wildebeests crossing the Grumeti River as the predators following up their prey and crocodiles wait patiently for the animals.
Serengeti national park boasts with lots of bird species, some of which are endemic to this area while others are migratory birds. Some of the birds found here are yellow throated sand grouse , little spotted wood pecker, Fischer’s lover bird, silver bird, rupells griffon vulture, grey backed fiscal, red capped robin chat and black headed gonolek among the rest. The best time for bird watching is from November to April when migratory birds are present. Serengeti national park has a lot of activities to offer tourists. Tourists need a well planned itinerary and a good number of days to explore the whole park.