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Location: Serengeti ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions
Area: 14,750 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi)
Nearest Airport: Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO)
How to reach: fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which is situated about 46km/29mi from
Famous for: annual migration of white-bearded wildebeest and, zebra and Nile crocodile and honey
Months open: All year
Best time to visit: late June to October
‘Serengeti’ in Masai means ‘endless plains’, and vast expanses of flat land are what one sees in the Serengeti National Park located in northwestern Tanzania. The national park is a part of the larger ecosystem, continuing into Kenya as the Masai Mara National Reserve, and different game reserves and control areas on either side. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, Ikorongo Grumeti Game reserve and the Loliondo Game reserve surround the Serenget National Park, thus making these savannah grasslands an enviable and considerably large biodiversity and ecological hub.
The Masai have been grazing cattle here since the last 200 years however, it was during the British colonization that parts of the area were made into game reserves due to excessive hunting practices. The Park was established in 1951.
The Great Migration is a natural spectacle that is the highlight of the Park. Wildebeest and other animals, the number crossing 1.5million, migrate from Serengeti into the Masai Mara National Park, every year between July to October in search of water and food. This spectacular phenomena of hordes of animals moving and crossing the Grumeti (Tanzania) as well as the Mara (Kenya) rivers, expounds amazing scenarios of wildlife behavior and ecosystems.
How to reach
Most safaris to the Serengeti National Park begin from the town of Arusha. The Kilimanjaro International Airport is 46km from Arusha. Besides, one can fly to Dar es Salaam (860km), capital of Tanzania.
What to see
There is spectacularly varied biodiversity in the Serengeti National Park. Home to large number of different species of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, Serengeti is haven for wildlife devotees. The animals one hopes to spot during a safari are the Masai Lion, African leopard, Tanzanian cheetah, African Bush elephant, black rhino, African buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, bushbuck, roan antelope, bat eared fox, crested porcupine, olive baboons, African wild dog, honey badger, mongoose, jackal, stripped hyena and many more. With about 500 bird species, the avian beauties that take shelter here include the Masai ostrich, crowned crane, kori bustard, secretary bird, marabou stork, lovebirds, lesser flamingo, hornbill, helmeted guineafowl, oxpeckers and vultures. Reptiles found here are the Nile crocodile, rainbow agama, puff adder, spitting cobra, African python, Nile monitor and more.
Things to do
Safari rides in Serengeti will make the wildlife fan inside you jump with joy. The sighting of animals is pure delight, not to mention, the great migration is nothing short of aweing and amazing. The hot air balloon safari should not be missed at any cost for its magnificent aerial views. Besides the safari rides, there are few other attractions in and around Serengeti that are natural landscapes as well as wildlife sighting sites. 1. Grumeti River – River safari, camping and watching the wildlife at close quarters are some of the attractions around this river. 2. Naabi Hill – Within the reserve this rocky hilly outcrop is a good point to catch some great views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife. 3. Hippo Pool – As the name suggests, this water body is filled with hippos lazing around. A very good chance to catch sight of lions as well as other animals, along with a flock of varied bird species. 4. Interacting with the Masai villages to learn more about their culture and life> Nearby locations The Grumeti Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game reserve are some of the surrounding reserve areas that can be explored for their wildlife and avian species.
Day 1 – Arrive at the Park and check into the lodge. After lunch, we start the first afternoon safari and enter the savannah armed with cameras, enthusiasm and hope. Enjoy sharing the photos and experiences with the group in the evening before retiring for the night.
Day 2 – We begin the day with an early morning safari ride and continue with the afternoon safari post lunch. Enjoy a night of camping and chatting before calling it a day.
Day 3 – The same routine of the entire day split into the morning and afternoon safari continues.
Day 4 – Another fulfilling day in the Park beckons us. We begin with the morning safari and then the afternoon venture, enjoying the familiarity and buzzing wildlife landscapes.
Day 5 – We start for the final safari today and capturing the last few hours of the Park on our cameras. Post lunch we visit the nearby Masai cultural tours after which you may choose to visit the
adjoining reserves or continue with your onward journey.