Serengeti National Park – Tanzania’s Coolest Place? | Trekking Days

Serengeti National Park – Tanzania’s Coolest Place?

by | Africa

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On a list of cool safari destinations, you will usually find Serengeti National Park, which is one of those places where people go when visiting Tanzania. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage and home to a wide variety of animals, including lions, elephants, and zebras. Today I’m going to give you a list of things to see and do while trekking Serengeti, as well as some information on how to get there.

Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s largest and most popular park

Serengeti covers an area of 5,700 sq mi (14,763 km2)and is home to a huge variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Serengeti National Park to experience its scenery and the animals that call it home.

A rhino that is probably not the friendliest Serengetian

The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including lions, elephants, and zebras

There are many different wildlife safaris that you can take, each with its own unique benefits. For example, you can take a walking safari, which will allow you to get up close and personal with the animals. You can also take a jeep safari, which is a better option if some of these animals scare you a lot.

The Serengeti is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 500 resident and migratory bird species to be found in its vast plains and woodlands. But it’s not just the sheer variety of birds that makes the Serengeti such a great place for birding – it’s also the sheer number of birds. On any given day, you’re likely to see hundreds, if not thousands, of different birds, from tiny warblers to huge vultures. And of course, the Serengeti is also home to some of Africa’s most iconic bird species, including the critically endangered Kori Bustard and the magnificent secretarybird.

This is a secretarybird

Key Locations

Central Serengeti

Every year, thousands of people flock to Central Serengeti to catch a glimpse of the Big Five – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos. Central Serengeti is also home to a large number of other animals, including zebras, antelopes, and giraffes.

A fluffy cat

The Serona River Valley

The Seronera River Valley is one of the most popular areas in the entire reserve. The valley is also known as the Big Cat Capital of Africa, as it has many cats, that is, lion, leopard, and cheetah. The valley is also home to a number of other animals, including African buffalo, Grant’s gazelle, and Thomson’s gazelle. The Seronera is also renowned for its stunning scenery. The rocky cliffs and riverbanks provide a dramatic backdrop to the valley, and the clear skies offer phenomenal views of the stars at night.

Somewhere in Seronera

Grumeti and the Western Corridor

Grumeti and the Western Corridor are a remote, little-visited area of the national park famed for the thrilling river crossings of the Grumeti River during the Great Migration between May and July. A huge valley bordered by hills that end in Lake Victoria. The Western Corridor is made up of open savanna, woodlands, floodplains, and riverine forests which are home to a great diversity of year-round wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, giant Nile crocodiles, rare Colobus monkeys, and the localised kongoni antelope. So if you’re looking for some additional excitement on your trip to the park, be sure to check out Grumeti and the Western Corridor!

Two Colobus monkeys

The North

The Northern part of the Serengeti Park is still little-visited and relatively inaccessible as it takes an 8-10 hours drive starting from Seronera; accommodation facilities are limited and thus it features an almost unexplored pristine wilderness, where it is difficult to encounter other visitors on a safari trip. One of the upsides to this? You can be certain that you’ll have an authentic experience without any tourist traps or gimmicks.

From July to October, the Great Migration transits in this area and, with a bit of luck, you can view herds of animals crossing the Mara River: one of the most difficult and dangerous times for the herds during their journey; wildebeests carefully assess the situation and consider all the hazards and risks before tackling the crossing.

The South

Southern Serengeti is one of the best places to see the animals of the Great Migration. Every year, thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle arrive to calve, and then at the beginning of the dry season, they make their way northwards again in search of green grass. February is a particularly good month to visit Southern Serengeti to see thousands of baby wildebeest taking their first steps on the savanna.

Serengeti during the Maasai Mara migration

Some of the things I would do while exploring Serengeti

Walking safari

There’s nothing quite like a walking safari in the Serengeti. It’s the perfect way to get up close and personal with all the wildlife that call this place home. And of course, there’s the added bonus of being able to spot some of the park’s elusive birds.

But while a walking safari can be an incredible experience, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, after all. And secondly, remember to pack your insect repellent. There’s nothing worse than being eaten alive by mosquitoes! As long as you keep these things in mind, you’re likely to have an amazing time on your walking safari in the Serengeti.

Ballon Tour

A hot air balloon tour over Serengeti is certainly something I would do, especially during the Maasai Mara Migration. For more information, check here. For other types of tours, go here.

Learn more about the park’s history by visiting the Maasai people & maybe go to Olduvai Gorge

Another thing to do while in Serengeti National Park is to visit one of the many villages. These villages do not all have the same culture and history. One of the most popular villages is Ngorongoro, which is home to the Maasai people. The Maasai are a nomadic people who have lived in the area for centuries. They are known for their unique culture and way of life.

In the southern part of the park, you will find Olduvai Gorge – an archeological site that includes a museum that gives you some information about the anthropological works of Louis and Mary Leakey, who made several discoveries that improved our understanding of human evolution.

Traditional Maasai communities

See the Maasai Mara Migration

Also known as the Great Migration of the Great Wildebeest Migration, Maasai Mara is one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife migrations. During this event, almost 2 million wildebeest, zebra, and other species cross the Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Maasai Mara is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The migration takes place in the Serengeti ecosystem, a region in Northern Tanzania that encompasses 40,000 sq mi (103599.52 sq km) of land.

Accommodation

The park includes many camps and lodges. Many of these are considered luxurious and are quite expensive. A more budget-friendly option is the park’s public campsite. For more information and booking, go here.

How to get to Serengeti

The best point of entry is likely Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is located between the towns of Arusha and Moshi and about 200 mi (320 km) from Serengeti’s southern entrance. There are several international flights to this airport, including flights from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Access to the park is relatively easy. The fastest option is to fly from Arusha to one of the park’s seven airstrips. Flights to Serengeti are operated by regional companies and there is also the option to book a private chart flight. Another option is to book a 4×4 vehicle from Arusha to Serengeti.

Arusha – The main gateway to Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro

Ready to pack?

In case you are not yet convinced on whether you want to visit Serengeti National Park or not, here are two other interesting facts: 1)The park has changed little in the last 1 million years in terms of its ecosystem; 2) Serengeti is home to the only active volcano in the area, Ol Doinyo Lengai, and who doesn’t find active volcanoes at least a bit interesting?

If you’re not convinced by now, who knows when you will be. Fortunately, Serengeti is open all year long, and, in principle, going is always an option. To pack or not to pack?

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