The Serengeti National Park has probably been the subject of more books, television documentaries, pictures, photos and lions of the Serengeti digital images on African wildlife animals, than any other African national park. Hosting the annual wildebeest migration across its grassy plains – arguably the world’s greatest wildlife animal spectacle, this park is without a doubt a defining image of East Africa and more specifically Tanzania.
The Serengeti Park in Tanzania covers an area of 14 763 sq km, but the greater Serengeti roughly 30 000 sq km in extending, incorporates several other reserves, notably the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park. The park is a picturesque grassland of awesome beauty and size. Derived from the Masai phrase “Siringet” meaning “endless plain”, the Serengeti Plains ecosystem is defined by an ancient migration route, followed annually by around two million animals.
Park Routes: The Serengeti African Park can be divided into four distinctive topographical areas: The southern park area, which features the Serengeti plains and its kopjes. The central park area also referred to as the Seronera area where most of the campsites and some of the lodges are located. The western corridor, a wedge of land along the Grumeti River, which reaches to within 8km of Lake Victoria and the northern corridor, which links up with the Masai Mara in Kenya and, which is used by most of the animals during the up and down migration periods. Each area warrants at least a half-day safari, meaning that two to three days is the ideal minimum to see a bit of everything the park has on offer.
Hot Air Balloon: Another very popular option to gain a bird’s-eye view of the wildlife below, is from a hot-air balloon safari. An early morning departure, gentle lift-off, the lush rolling expanse of the Serengeti plains below, and a romantic champagne breakfast to complete this very special and unforgettable park experience. Find information and pictures at this link: Hot air balloon safaris.
Animals in Serengeti: Even with the migration up in the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya, the Serengeti National Park contains a substantial population of African plains animals including buffalo, giraffe, warthog and a wide range of antelopes like impala, bushbuck, waterbuck, dik-dik, reedbuck, and the massive eland. The elephants also tend to be migratory and a large number move down south towards the Tarangire National Park area. But probably the most memorable of the park’s animals is its thriving predators, which include the more than 3000 lions and whose males have unique and characteristic black manes, a great number of cheetahs, leopard, as well as over 8000 spotted hyenas.
When to visit: The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania provides for an unforgettable and remarkable African wildlife safari experience and can be enjoyed throughout the year. The rainy seasons (March to May and October to November) may affect road conditions, but this does not usually provide a serious problem. The wildebeest migration normally takes place between April and June, while the wildebeest are usually concentrated in the southern Serengeti during the calving season from December to May.