Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is one of Tanzania’s most famous parks and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife. The park is known for being home to the largest concentration of migratory game animals in the world, including nearly 1.5 million wildebeest, 500,000 zebra, and 250,000 Thomson’s gazelle. Serengeti National Park is also home to a vast lion population, making it one of the best places on the continent to spot these majestic animals.
The park’s name comes from the local Maasai word for ‘land of endless plains,’ and indeed, the open expanse of the Serengeti ecosystem is awe-inspiring. The semi-nomadic Maasai have shared this landscape with wildlife for centuries, earning a reputation as skilled cattle herders and warriors.
The Serengeti ecosystem encompasses several areas, including Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve to the north, the Loliondo Controlled Area to the northeast, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the southeast, the Maswa Game Reserve to the southwest, and the Grumeti Reserves and the Ikorongo Controlled Areas to the northwest.
Visitors can spot over 500 species of birds and 35 species of large plains animals within Serengeti National Park, including 1,000 lions, 800 elephants, 8,000 giraffes, 20,000 buffalo, and 9,000 eland. The park is also home to hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and leopards.
Game drives are the main activity within the park, offering visitors the chance to spot the famous migration herds and other wildlife species. Hot air balloon safaris offer a unique way to experience the Serengeti’s panoramic views while spotting game from above. However, these are not accessible from all lodges.
One of the highlights of the park is the Great Migration, where approximately 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 250,000 Thomson’s gazelle cover a circuit of around 500 miles. The migration moves from Kenya to the short-grass plains of Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area and then northwest to higher rainfall areas and areas of permanent water and fresh grass.
Visitors can access the park by road or by air, with several airstrips throughout the park. The closest airstrip is Naabi Hill Gate, located in the southeastern part of the park. A transfer from the nearest airstrip is included in most game packages.
Serengeti National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and the great outdoors. It’s vast expanse and diverse wildlife species make it an unforgettable experience for all visitors.