Serengeti National Park-Tanzania Wildlife Safaris : Serengeti National Park is one of the world renowned destinations for wildlife safaris in Africa. If you are planning to have the ultimate African safari experience, Serengeti national park in Tanzania is the place to be.
The national park is frequently visited by international tourists who are timing the wildebeest migration that takes place annually. Each year, over 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeests migrate from Serengeti national park in Tanzania to Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya; along with over 250,000 zebras.
Brief Background on Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti national park lies in the North-western region of Tanzania and is bordered to the north by Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. The national park acts as a gateway for tourists looking to explore the northern part of Tanzania, which also includes other savannah parks such as Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Arusha National Park.
Serengeti national park in Tanzania is also the focal point of the Serengeti ecosystem, which is twice as large in size, and encompasses other areas such as Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the neighbouring Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
The national park spans over a radius of 14,750 square kilometres making it one of the largest national parks in Tanzania. It was first established as a partial game reserve in 1921 by the British colonial government majorly to protect its remaining lion populations that were being poached. Later in 1929, its status was elevated to a full game reserve.
Serengeti was declared a national park in 1951 and receives over 350,000 tourists visiting the park every year. The national park is governed by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TNPA); and apparently derives its name from a local Maasai word ‘siringet’ which means ‘the place where the land runs on forever.’ It is no wonder that the park leaves a lasting memory in the minds of tourists visiting on a wildlife safari in Tanzania.
Serengeti national park in Tanzania is a wildlife haven; sheltering more than 3,000 lions, 7,500 hyenas, 250 cheetahs, 500 bird species and more than 1.5 million wildebeest. The large number of wildlife in the park makes Serengeti national park one of the best wildlife viewing destinations on the African continent.
Serengeti national park in Tanzania neighbors Loliondo Game Reserve to the east, Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves to the West, Maswa Game Reserve to the Southwest and Ngorongoro Conservation Crater to the Southeast.
Activities Conducted in Serengeti National Park.
Bird Watching safaris in Serengeti national park in Tanzania are a must-do especially for tourists who love birding. The national park is one of the top birding destinations in Tanzania and the world at large given that it hosts more than 500 species of birds.
Some of the bird species to look out for during your birding safari in the park include; the red-billed buffalo weaver, southern ground hornbill, crowned cranes, sacred ibis, cattle egrets, black herons, knob-billed ducks, saddle-billed storks, goliath herons, marabou storks, yellow-billed stork, spotted thick-knees, white stork and the lesser flamingo among others.
Game drives in Serengeti national park are one of the best ways that you can view the abundant wildlife in the park. Game drives are usually conducted in the southern part of the national park; and the almost treeless savannah grasslands of the south are the most imaginative scenery of the park.
Visitors can view lots of wildebeests roaming this part of the park between December and May. Other wildlife viewed in the plains include; hartebeests, topi, buffalo, waterbucks, zebra, gazelle and impala to mention but a few.
The northern sector of the national park is largely characterized by open woodlands and hills- ranging from Seronera in the south to the Mara River on the Kenyan Border. This part of the national park is the best for visitors to view wildlife like; elephants, giraffe and dik dik.
Cultural encounters in Serengeti national park offer visitors a chance to interact with the local Maasai people who live in communities near the national park. The Maasai are some of the friendliest ethnic tribes in Africa and a visit to Serengeti national park will grant you the opportunity to visit their homesteads and learn more about their unique culture.
Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks in Serengeti national park offer visitors an opportunity to explore the national park on foot. Tourists on a guided nature walk safari in Serengeti national park stand a chance to have close face-to-face encounters with wildlife in the park, thus making your visit to the park all the more memorable.
Hot air balloon safaris.
Hot air balloon safaris in Serengeti national park are some of the unique activities offered to tourists visiting the national park. Visitors on a hot air balloon safari get to view wildlife in the park from the skies above. What really makes hot air balloon safaris in Serengeti national park really memorable, is getting to have a bird’s eye view of the park including the wildlife and landscape like the view of Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.
Accommodation Facilities in Serengeti National Park.
There are a number of lodges and camps available for visitors wishing to spend a night or two in Serengeti national park and these include; Seronera Wildlife Lodge, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Ndutu Safari Lodge (near Olduvai Gorge) Serengeti Serena Lodge, and Serengeti Sopa Lodge.
There are also camps available for visitors who wish to camp in the park: Kijesereshi Tented camp and Migration camp around the Lobo area. There are public camp sites available in the camp which includes 6 special camp sites and 12 wilderness camp sites. These public camp sites are awesome for visitors on a fixed budget or those who simply love to camp in the wild.
How to Get to Serengeti National Park.
The national park can be accessed either by road or air transport means. The nearest airport to the national park is Kilimanjaro international airport that is located in Arusha. Visitors can always book an international flight on Kenya Airways and fly to Kilimanjaro airport in Arusha. Once you land at the airport, one would need to charter a domestic flight to one of the airstrips in the park or hire a car and drive to the park.
Alternatively, visitors can choose to travel to Serengeti national park by road which takes about 7 to 8 hours to get to the park if you are driving from Arusha. Although the distance is long, travelers are rewarded with amazing scenery along the way.