Africa’s most famous game reserve. Serengeti National Park, which covers an area of Approx. 15,000sqkm, is renowned for its dense predator population and the annual Wildebeest migration. This migration is the biggest annual animal migration in the whole world. The name Serengeti derives from a Maasai word Serengit, which means endless plains. And this indeed is the specialty of this beautiful park. There is little permanent water in the park so animal migration in the area is strongly linked to rainfall patterns. The park lies in Northern Tanzania bordering with Kenya’s Maasai Mara, with whom it shares this incredible ecosystem and the animal Wildebeest migration.
The habitat mainly consists of open plains grass with some isolated granite koppies, patches of acacia woodland and riparian woodland around Grumeti river in the western corridor.
Concentration of Game
Wildlife in Serengeti is most abundant compared to anywhere else in Africa. The million plus Antelopes and hundreds of thousands of other species support a big predator population and make Serengeti a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Large predators include Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Golden and Black Backed Jackals, Bat Eared Foxes and Spotted Hyena. Nocturnal predators include Civet, Serval, Genet and African Wild Cat. Other mammals include: Rhino, Elephant, Hippo, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Eland, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Warthog, Baboon, Impala, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelle.
Besides game drives in the park, the most interesting thing is the newly introduced Baloon Safaris. These safaris are operational in the Seronera area. The safaris start very early in the morning at around 6 AM and last for about an hour ending with an excellent bush breakfast. The balloon safaris offer wildlife sightings from a very interesting angle. These safaris cost extra and need to be booked in advance.
Best time to visit
Wildlife concentrations in different parts of the park depend on the annual migration, which consequently depends on the rainfall pattern. The Seronera plains provide the best views of large wildlife concentration between December and May. Lobo area is worth visiting during September and October when the migrating herds pass by. And the Grumeti area in the western corridor offers great views of the migration between May and July. However, Serengeti is still the best place for wildlife anytime of the year in any part of the park.
Most of the tourists visit the western corridor of Serengeti, the Seronera area. This is because this is the area that is the closest to Arusha, has the biggest concentration of lodges and enjoys the longest period of wildlife concentration. Serengeti is part of the northern tourist circuit. Most of the tourists visiting the north transfer between Serengeti and the other parks in the north such as Lake manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro. Serengeti is also accessible by light aircrafts from Arusha and Zanzibar. There is also a good surface road to the other parks in the north extending up to the city of Arusha.
It is quite difficult to put a time frame for Serengeti especially for someone who wants to see the migration. With the frequent changes in the rainfall patterns it gets even more difficult to predict. The more days you give yourself for Serengeti the better it is for you and the more the chances for you to witness the great spectacle of the annual migration. 3 to 4 days should be a minimum in our view.
Our Recommendations on Serengeti National Park
Serengeti will definitely be at the core of your African safari experience, this much we can guarantee. There is hardly anywhere else in the world where you will be able to see such a vast variety of wildlife in as much abundant numbers. For those who can spend only few days here then sticking to Seronera will be a good idea but for those who can spend more days in the park then following the migration up to Lobo will be a good idea. Grumeti River provides spectacular views of crocodiles feasting wildebeest and other animals crossing the river during migration.
for a perfect, well-organized and affordable affordable tour of this beautiful park.