Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park lies in northwestern Tanzania, bordered to the north by the Kenyan border covering 14,750 square kilometers of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands. The park is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile and honey badger. To the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve, to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, and to the northeast and east lies the Loliondo Game Control Area. Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti ecosystem.
The migratory and some resident- wildebeest, which number over 2 million individuals, constitute the largest population of big mammals that still roam the planet. They are joined in their journey through the Serengeti – Mara ecosystem by 250,000 plains zebra, half a million Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, and tens of thousands of topi and Coke’s hartebeest. Masai giraffe, waterbuck, impala, warthog and hippo are also abundant. Some rarely seen species of antelope are also present in Serengeti National Park, such as common eland, klipspringer, roan antelope, bushbuck, lesser kudu, fringe-eared oryx and dik dik. Perhaps the most popular animals among tourists are the Big Five, which include, Lion, African leopard, African bush elephant, Eastern black rhinoceros, African buffalo, Carnivores include the cheetah which is widely seen due to the abundance of gazelle , about 4,000 spotted hyena, two species of jackals, African golden wolf, honey badger, striped hyena, serval, seven species of mongooses, two species of otters, primates such as yellow and olive baboons and vervet monkey, patas monkey, black-and-white colobus are also seen in the gallery forests of the Grumeti River. Other mammals include aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, three species of hyraxes and cape hare.
There are about 500 bird species, including Masai ostrich, secretary bird, kori bustards, helmeted Guinea fowls, and southern ground hornbill, crowned cranes, marabou storks, yellow-billed stork, lesser flamingo, martial eagles, lovebirds, woodpeckers, and many species of vultures.
Reptiles in Serengeti National Park include Nile crocodile, leopard tortoise, serrated hinged terrapin, rainbow agama, Nile monitor, chameleons, African python, black mamba, black-necked spitting cobra, puff adder.
Top things to do in Serengeti national park
Serengeti boasts of all kinds of attractions and there’s just so much to keep you occupied. Sure the Great Migration in Serengeti National Park is its biggest charm, but this wondrous park has something to offer, irrespective of when you’re visiting. From abundant bird species and beautiful rolling plains to stunning lakes, these are the top things to do in Serengeti National Park.
Witness the Great Migration
This is the main reason why people from all over the world visit the Serengeti. This is the world’s largest migration of animals, it is a cyclical event- but you have to be sure that you plan your trip just right. The sight of millions of mammals stampeding across the vast wilderness with all kinds of predators close at heels will definitely make you realize the grand scale of things, and discover the delicate balance of nature.
Visit the Seronera River Valley
This Seronera River Valley occupies a significant portion of the central Serengeti region. The entire valley is brimming with flora and fauna that is unique to the region with things to explore like wildebeest, elephants, zebras, gazelles, and the abundance of all kinds of predators- including lions, hyenas, cheetahs and leopards.
Visit the Oldupai Gorge
This 300-mile long gorge is famous for being the site where 2 million year old human fossils were found. Step back in time, and walk the same paths that our ancient ancestors walked. And while you’re here, don’t forget to visit the small but charming Oldupai Museum that was founded by Mary Leakey, the woman responsible for finding the fossils! This will be a good break for those traveling from Serengeti to Ngorongoro, and will definitely give you a great insight about our ancestors and how they lived!
Go on an Air Safari
There is nothing more stunning or luxurious than getting a bird’s eye view of the Serengeti National Park. You can book yourself a hot air balloon ride, if you want a more adventurous aerial trip, you can also book one of the small chartered regional planes that fly from one of the seven airstrips in the Serengeti. Whatever your choice, you’re sure to fall in love with the splendid landscapes and unending beauty.
Visit the Moru Kopjes
Moru Kopjes is an incredibly interesting rock formation that will definitely thrill the adventurer in you. The mound-like rocks rise up like mountains in the middle of the Serengeti plains, providing much needed hydration and shade for the animals. This is among the prime areas for animal viewing, and you can even spot predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards. This is the best area for people to spot the famous black rhino!
Experience the Masai Way of Life
The Maasai are very welcoming, and are eager to share information about their customs, lifestyle, and traditions. There are a number of tours that offer visits into these Maasai villages. If you want to observe their lifestyle in greater depth, you can get in touch with a local NGO or your travel agent to schedule a private village trip- this would be way less touristy, and will give you an insider view of the villages
Visit the Grumeti River
The Grumeti River is located in the west and is definitely an adventure waiting to happen. It is an integral part of the annual Wildebeest Migration, and is a unique part of the experience as well. This area is full of crocodiles, and every year, there is a crocodile-wildebeest engagement that will be a fascinating subject for biodiversity fans.
Visit the Bologonja Springs
The Bologonja Springs is a hotspot for animals in the Serengeti, If you want to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna of the Serengeti without having to put up with the hassles of tourists, this is the best place for you. These springs draw a number of animals- including giraffes, elephants and antelopes. This is also a wonderful place for people to go bird watching.
Retina Hippo Pool
Tanzania is definitely well known for hippos and this is the place for you to be if you would like to see them at their natural best. Hippos can be found all over the Serengeti, but nothing compares to the Retina Hippo Pool, where they gather in the hundreds, to feed, and soak in the warm waters, and fight territorial battles! The actual pool has a number of crocodiles as well, and if you’re lucky, you might also be able to spot some herons. If you’re lucky, you can see approximately 200 hippos lounging about.