The most famous wildlife reserve perhaps in entire continent of Africa, the Serengeti national park is renowned worldwide for its incredible concentration of grazer and predator species. It is also the largest in the game-rich northern circuit covering an area of 14,750 sq km. The park is also among the most filmed and documented wildlife places in Africa.
It is part of the bigger Serengeti ecosystem which spans an area of 30,000 sq km. The term Serengeti comes from “Siringet” which was the name given to the plains by the indigenous Maasai herders who came here to graze their livestock. Siringet in their local language means “the place where the land runs on forever,” which signifies the vastness of this place.
Diverse and Concentrated Wildlife
A composite of grassland, savannah, forest, shrubs, rivers, swamps, kopjes, and hills, Serengeti is the ideal habitat for a wide range of wild animals. Approximately 70 large mammal species and upwards of 500 bird species can be found in the entire park. The Serengeti plains which is one of the three regions this park is divided into is the breeding place for the wildebeest and other hoofed animals like zebras, gazelles, buffalos, hartebeest, topi, impala, and waterbucks. The western corridor where the Grumeti River runs through is home to Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus, primates, and few predator species. The northern part of Serengeti National Park which borders with the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is the place to be if you’re searching for wild animals like elephants, giraffes, and dik-diks.
Serengeti National Park is also the best place to spot all the members of The Big Five of Africa, namely, the East African lion, African leopard, bush elephant, rhinoceros (both black and white), and African buffalo. Due to such ecological significance, Serengeti National Park is listed under the UNESCO World
Every year, Serengeti hosts a wildlife event which is termed as the biggest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. Somewhere close to 2 million wildebeest and thousands of Zebras along with impalas, gazelles, and other antelopes take part in it and traverse thousands of kilometres in pursuit of grazing land and drinkable water. This scene truly makes up for an epic spectacle and attracts millions of tourists to this park. Besides Serengeti, the herds migrate into the Kenyan part of Serengeti ecosystem in called Masai Mara Game Reserve before coming back into Tanzania. You can witness thousand-kilometre long trail of wildebeests traversing the plains, closely followed by the predator species like lions, leopards, and cheetahs. The river crossing and calving season are some of the highlights of the Great Migration.
Even if Serengeti is open for safari drives year round, the best time to visit the park is during the dry season in the months of June through October. Day game drives is the main activity enjoyed by tourists, while the night game drives give a different experience altogether from a different perspective. Greater number of lodges inside the park is another reason to visit the park. These lodges, some of which we work closely with, are strategically built in the most picturesque and game -rich regions of Serengeti. These will provide unparallel game experience without having you to leave the park. Cultural tours and walking safaris are also part of many Serengeti National Park tour packages.
The Serengeti is arguably Tanzania’s best park. Great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and many other ungulates (hooved animals) such as eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle are resident at any time of the year. All three big cats are easily seen. Lion are everywhere and are often found on a kill. Cheetah is very common on the south-eastern plains, while leopard can typically be found lazing in one of the big trees along the Seronera River.
The nearest international airport to the Serengeti is Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha. Kilimanjaro and Qatar Airways offer flights directly into Arusha (daily from Amsterdam and Doha). Other airlines such as Swissair  will fly into Nairobi, Kenya, (from Zurich) or Dar es Salaam, from where you can get a connecting flight to Arusha.
Best Time To Visit
Wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The Dry season (from late June to October) offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.
How To Go
The most suitable way to get from Arusha to the Serengeti is by taking a small plane to one of the various airstrips in the park. The drive from Arusha to the Serengeti is about 325km/202mi and will take about eight hours. It is a bumpy ride and, for a large part, over dirt roads – but the trip offers beautiful scenery. You’ll surely see some wildlife on the way or may even do a game drive en route.