Serengeti Safari Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is the largest national park on Tanzania northern safari circuit covering an area of 14,763km². The park is only part of the greater Serengeti eco-system that stretches into southern Kenya in Masai Mara Game reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and North West towards Lake Victoria. Serengeti (Siringeti) is a masaai world that means Endless plains.
Seerngeti has evolved overtime as the most prominent safari destination in Tanzania/ East Africa being that it features on many documentaries and television writings about the African wildlife especially because of its large lion prides among other game.
Sights within Serengeti
As a unique and the oldest eco-systems in the world, Serengeti has so much that fascinates its visitors just beyond its vegetation and wildlife. The park is a vast savannah plain with occasional rocky outcrops/kopjes spread over the northern region, valleys, acacia trees and woodlands, water stream and rivers, small lakes and so much more.
The Serengeti Tanzania Park is sectioned into four distinctive safari routes and it may take you a day or two to explore each of the safari areas. The area are particularly of savannah plains and Kopjes in the south, a northern corridor linking up with the Masaai Mara in neighboring Kenya, Seronera River and campsites or lodges at the heart and finally a western corridor along the Grumeti River reaching the shores of Lake Victoria 8km away.
Annual Serengeti migrations are the main reason for Tanzania safari to Serengeti Park. More than a million animals move from the southern Serengeti plains in February in search of water and fresh grass pastures which they find more 300km away in the neighboring Masai Mara Game reserve in Kenya. The animals migrate and cross two rivers, Grumeti and Mara making an amazing spectacle of a sea of grunting herds.
Lake Ndutu in the south is a spectacular area to catch the Serengeti Big five and other animals early in the year (December to February). This seasonal lake is fringed by forest woods and you’ll see giraffes, flamingoes and other birds here. The area is a calving site for wildebeest and gazelles in January and February before they set off for their migrations later on.
The rocky outcrops (Kopjes) are an important past of the Serengeti eco-system. Many of the kopjes are famous outposts for lions, leopards and insects. Moru and Simba kopjes are identified for their big cats on the hunt. Besides, some of the kopjes have water holes which attract several herds of animals looking for water. The Lobo kopjes in the north are excellent outposts for wildlife viewing during the migration.
The vast park is gifted with the largest herds of African lion moving in herds of more than 10 members. The serengeti lion safari is a safari trip that no Tanzania tourist should miss. Other animals in the park include hippos, crocodiles, warthog, gazelles, buffalos, wildebeest, giraffes, crocodiles, impala, dik-dik, eland, reed buck, elephants, rhino, waterbuck, hyenas, leopards, jackals, servals, cheetahs, spring hare, porcupine, hyraxes, baboon, vervet monkey, colobus monkey, patas monkey, snakes, lizards and mongooses.
More than 500 birds are recorded in the park alone, minus the migrant species that flocks in from Asia and Europe in the onset of the winter season that last from October to April. Some of the birds regularly seen here include flamingoes, vultures, storks, sun birds, ostrich, martial fish eagles and many others.
Serengeti is reached by air via Kilimanjaro and Arusha airport using charter flights that land in the airstrip near Seronera river or at Kirawira in the north west that cost around USD 150 and 250 per person
By road, the park is reached using private vehicle, cars and hired tour vans from Arusha through Lake Manyara National Park, western rift valley escarpment, Ngorongoro crater area, farmlands, past Olduvai Gorge and then to Naabi hill gate which is the main park gate. The journey from Arusha is about 325km and 8 hours drive.
When to visit
The safari experience on Serengeti National Park goes on all through the year but different safari activities in Serengeti have specific timing. The rainy season that starts in March and ends in May, with short rains in October and November –it is the best time to visit Serengeti on Tanzania birding safari however the road are indeed slippery and only robust 4X4 vehicle can access some parts of the park.
July up to August has less game viewing opportunities as most of the herds move on the annual migration trails into northern Serengeti crossing over to Masai Mara Game reserve in Kenya. The herds later return in November and thus create great game viewing time up to late February.
Serengeti Safari lodges and accommodation
Serengeti safari lodges define luxury safari overnights to the dot. There are a number of excellent safari lodges located near the Seronera area, being a game crowded region in serengeti. Such include Serengeti Sopa lodge, Serena Serengeti lodge, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Seronera Wildlife Lodge and Ndutu Safari Lodge near Olduvai Gorge among others. The safari lodges usually offer fully equipped en-suite bathrooms, private verandas and elegant furniture.
There are also several tented camp, 12 bush camps and public campsites that include Kijesereshi Tented camp and lodge-south of Nsabaaka Gate, Serengeti Migration camp around the Lobo area, Kensington camps, Mapito tented camp, Grumeti river camp, and many others . The public campsites have basic facilities, some without running water but African night sounds dominate the night fall among them are laughing hyena, roaring lions, cooing owls, cricket, croaking frogs-ofcourse under a star-filled sky. T