Serengeti National Park is easily Tanzania’s most famous national park, and it’s also the largest, at 14,763 square kilometers of protected area that borders Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Park. Its far-reaching plains of endless grass, tinged with the twisted shadows of acacia trees, have made it the quintessential image of a wild and untarnished Africa. Its large stone kopjes are home to rich ecosystems and the sheer magnitude and scale of life that the plains support is staggering. Large feelings of pride of lions laze easily in the long grasses, plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trump to each other across the plains, and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers.
The annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara attract visitors from around the world, who flock to the open plains to witness the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet. More than a million animals make the seasonal journey to fresh pasture to the north, then the south, after the biannual rains. The sound of their thundering hooves, raising massive clouds of thick red dust, has become one of the legends of the Serengeti plains. The entire ecosystem thrives from the annual migration, from the lions and birds of prey that gorge themselves on the weak and the faltering to the gamut of hungry crocodiles that lie in patient wait at each river crossing for their annual feed.
But it’s not just the wildebeest that use the Serengeti as a migratory pathway. The adjacent reserves of Maswa and Ikorongo, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya all allow the animals and birds of the area a free range of movement to follow their seasonal migrations. Indeed, in the wake of the wildebeest migration, many of the less attention-grabbing features of the Serengeti are often overlooked. The park has varied zones in which each ecosystem is subtly different. Seronera in the center of the park is the most popular and most easily visited area. The Grumeti River in the Western Corridor is the location for the dramatic river crossing during the wildebeest migration. Maswa Game Reserve to the south offers a remote part of the park rewarding in its game-viewing and privacy, and Lobo near the Kenyan border offers a chance to see a plentiful game during the dry season.
Aside from traditional vehicle bound safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Serengeti plains has become a safari rite-of-passage for travel enthusiasts. The flights depart at dawn over the plains and take passengers to close over the awakening herds of wildebeest and zebra, gazelle and giraffe. The extra altitude allows guests to witness the striking stretches of plains punctuated only by kopjes. Up in the sky, you have Africa all to yourself.
Serengeti National Park – African Safaris
Serengeti Safari, Serengeti Camping Safaris, Serengeti luxury lodge accommodation, and safari tented camps information guide. The word Serengeti, meaning “endless plains” in Maasai, is a vast expanse of breathtaking East Africa savannah, home to numerous species of wild animals.
Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya are essentially one large park and ecosystem, a magical “animal kingdom” if you like, sharing the spectacular natural wonder of the world – the annual wildebeest migration. Serengeti is Tanzania’s premier wildlife reserve and the accommodation ranges from Budget luxury lodges and tented camps, budget camping, and Serengeti safari
The Serengeti justifiably famous for its huge concentrations of wildlife, especially the big cats, as well as being the stomping ground of the Great Migration, a massive accumulation of 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 350,000 gazelles stretching their legs over 1,200 miles in an annual race to find enough water and green grass for their survival.
The Serengeti National Park is broadly divided into three distinct areas, the Seronera Valley and Seronera River, the Western Corridor and the Northern Lobo area that extends northwards through the Lamai Wedge to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
Heart of the Serengeti ( Seronera Valley )
The greatest proportion of tourist on Serengeti Safari visits the Serengeti through its Southern entrance, the Naabi Hill Gate, which opens onto the Seronera Valley; a vibrant wildlife area at the heart of the Serengeti. This is the region in which the migration commonly stop to calve in March each year, however, the Seronera region is characterized by mainly wide open grassy plains and rocky kopjes, patched together within a network of rivers that ensure year-round water supplies and keep this region incredibly rich in wildlife throughout the year. All other areas of the Serengeti are more seasonal and much of the time wildlife viewing is dependent on the path of the migration.
The Western Corridor
This follows the path of the Grumeti River up towards Lake Victoria. This region provides superb wildlife viewing action when the migration crosses the crocodile-infested waters of the Grumeti; at this point camps such as the Grumeti River or Kirawira come into their own. It is also possible to arrange mobile camping in this region in order to optimize sightseeing your location.
The Northern Reaches – Lobo to Wogakuria
The Northern reaches of the Serengeti remain fantastically quiet and unvisited, due to their relative inaccessibility. Previously inaccessible swathes of National Park at Wogakuria, close to the Masai Mara border, have been opened up by flying safari options staying at superb permanent tented camps such as Sayari. This region has been described as the ultimate paradise for keen safari buffs.
The principal feature of the Serengeti is its stunning wildlife and the annual spectacle of the migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest in pursuit of water and food in response to the changing seasons. Its name derives from the Masai word siringet, which means an ” extended area’, an apt description of seemingly endless rolling plains that give the Serengeti a timeless, romantic beauty. This is a plain-dwellers’ stronghold of 14 763 square kilometers, reaching up to the Masai Mara in Kenya. The park teems with wildlife – it is thought that over 3 million large mammals roam the plains with at least 35 different species of plain-dwelling animals. The bird life is also fantastic.