Serengeti National Park situated strategically between Kenya and Tanzania and makes safaris between the two countries easier and memorable. This provides an easy and convenient connection between the two countries for itineraries which include both Kenya and Tanzania as well as tours through the rest of East Africa with a connection via the Kenya-Tanzania border. With Ngorongoro crater to the south and Maasai Mara Reserve to the north extending to Kenya, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed as these countries are endowed with various species of wildlife as well as beautiful scenery which can be seen during the game drives. Different entry points to Serengeti national park make it easily accessible as well as the different sectors of the national park demarcated for easy locating of attractions.
Activities in Serengeti National Park
- Game Drives: Serengeti national park offers different game drives suitable for different groups of people depending on their preferences of times for the game drives. The game drives include: T
- Morning game drive which is suitable for clients who arrive the previous day at the park or have spent the night at accommodation within the park. These morning game drives make it easier to spot the animals as they are more active during this time of day and during the dry seasons the animals depend on the morning dew as their source of water which is a unique survival feature for the animals in the Serengeti.
- Afternoon game drives are also available for at Serengeti national park and are convenient for arrivals within the park during the day which guarantees a relaxing drive with a slight chance of catching a glimpse of some of the animals such as the lions, hippos, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, antelopes, kobs, cheetahs, zebras which take shade in hidden areas around the national park due to the hot sun and the large plains making it difficult to find shelter close to the game viewing areas. Different animals have different shelter points during the day depending on the ability of the hiding place to act as a shelter from the heat and as a safe place from predators.
- Full day game drives are the most recommended game drives as they provide plenty of chances for viewing the animals as they graze, hunt ,draw water from the different water points, feed, groom each other during the different times of day which makes it easy for a tourist to understand the way of life of the different animal species in the national park while enjoying the golden sunset in the national park at the end of the game drive.
- Night Game Drives: Serengeti national park also gives chance to photographers and filmmakers to capture the nocturnal life of the wildlife which is more about survival for the fittest as the animals hunt and protect themselves from being preyed on using their instincts due to the darkness which makes defense a hard job for animals with less experience in tracking the source of danger in the night. Night game drives also allow front row viewing as unknowing animals are attacked by predators for a late-night meal. This, however, is at an extra cost as these game drives put the tourists at more risk than game drives taken during the day.
- Bird Watching: Birders are not forgotten as different bird species can be seen in Serengeti national park. These bird species in the same way as the animals within the national park have unique ways of life. Examples of the many bird species within the national park include the flamingos which possess a beautiful pink color, ostriches with their long strides, the secretary bird and many other birds.
- Wildlife Viewing: Tourists who visit Serengeti national park usually stay longer due to the vast wildlife species which includes the big five which are the lion, elephant, hippo, rhino, and leopard. This attracts many tourists to Serengeti national park as the big five are a unique attraction on their own at the park.
- Balloon safaris are also available at Serengeti national park for the more adventurous kinds of people. This is made possible with the help of an experienced and skilled pilot assisted by a crew of capable people to ensure the safety and comfort of the people aboard the hot air balloon. However, there are certain restrictions put in place for the safety of the passengers who wish to fly through Serengeti national park as they view the different attractions in the national park. The clear skies make it possible for the hot air balloons to fly around the park without worries of any incidents as a result of bad weather. The hot air balloon tour kicks off at dawn which allows viewing as the sunrises over the plains of the Serengeti at a cost of $ 500 per person.
- Cultural Tourism: Serengeti national park is not only a home for the different wildlife species but it’s also shared by the famous Maasai people who have a unique way of life as nomads with a well preserved culture making it possible for tourists who visit at any time of the year to experience their culture as they interact with and entertain the tourists from camps around Serengeti National Park with the help of linguist guides who act as intermediaries between the Maasai and the tourists through translating and interpreting the language of the Maasai to the tourists. This makes communication easier between the tourist and the locals hence making the cultural experience memorable. Cultural exchange is also made possible as the Masai also gets to learn about the ways of life of the tourists. The art and crafts of the Maasai are also seen such as the beads worn around the necks of the Masai women which a sign of beauty, spears for the men and the traditional cloth worn by the Masai men and women wrapped in a unique way around their bodies as they go about their daily activities. The Masai people are also very hospitable which makes the cultural experience safe and comfortable for the tourist. Benefits from cultural tourism are shared with the Masai people and this encourages them to participate in tourism activities and to share their knowledge about their culture and Serengeti national park with the tourists. There are also cultural tourism programs aimed at improving the livelihood of the local community through tourism by giving the local community a sense of ownership of tourism in their communities with tourist attractions.
Attractions in Serengeti
Apart from the wildlife, bird species and the local community, Serengeti national park has different attractions which include; Olduvai Gorge, Moru kopjes, Retina hippo pool, Grumeti River, Seronera river valley.
- Wildebeest Migration: Witness the great wildebeest migration across the Mara River as large herds of these magnificent creatures found in the land of endless plains of the Serengeti gallop thunderously while hungry crocodiles wait for unknowing prey to feast on and experience a true African safari while enjoying the scenic savanna from a bird’s eye view as you float in the hot air balloon through the wonders of nature or drive through northern Tanzania’s tourist hub to view different flora and fauna with an experienced guide to show you around the national park and watch as a group of hippos swim in the retina hippo pool and birders are not forgotten as different bird species such as flamingos, ostriches can be seen at the right birding spots as directed by the tour guide and relax at the different accommodation facilities around Serengeti national park which cater for luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation making your stay comfortable as you create an everlasting signature of memories with your loved ones at an affordable price.
- Olduvai Gorge is a historical site also known as the cradle of humanity where the remains of early man are believed to have been found by an archaeologist. Evidence of early man occupation is also seen in the stone tools which were discovered along with the remains of early man at Olduvai gorge. This acts as a great destination for researchers as well as students in order to understand the early man and their way of life. Wildlife such as black rhinos can also be spotted around Olduvai Gorge, therefore, making it possible for educative research and for game viewing.
- The retina hippo pool: Watch as large numbers of hippos swim in the retina hippo pool to cool off from the heat in the Serengeti and the best part of it all is that tourists are given a chance to have a close look at the hippos from a safe distance on foot. This provides a close encounter with the magnificent creatures which are part of the big five and therefore a major attraction for the tourists making it memorable as photography is possible from an amazing angle that captures every moment of the hippos taking a dip in the pool.
- Seronera river valley is well known as a major tourist attraction site within Serengeti national park. Home to a variety of wildlife species, Seronera River valley also has a beautiful landscape that offers greater chances of viewing animals such as kobs, zebra, jackals, foxes, impalas, elands. The valley is a good vantage point for witnessing the great wildebeest migration around June – July as well as the big five. Detours can be made from this part of the national park off the usual tourist trail which increases the chances of spotting wildlife.
- Moru Kopjes consisting of granite rock outcrops as a result of volcanicity is another attraction within Serengeti national park. They provide a strategic viewing point for predators such as lions to study their prey and also a resting point as they wait for the perfect opportunity to strike. Given the vast plains of Serengeti national park, the Moru kopjes standout from the rest of the landscape creating a change of scenery as seen during a game drive around the central parts of Serengeti national park where the rock outcrop is found. Different animal species grazing across the Serengeti Plain can also be seen from the rock such as zebras, kobs, giraffes, elephants, buffalos.
- Grumeti River is found in the western sector of Serengeti national park and close to Lake Victoria. It is a section of the park where wildebeest cross the river as part of the wildebeest migration. The river is however infested with Nile crocodiles which make the migration difficult as they prey on the wildebeests. The sight of the large numbers of wildebeest crossing the Grumeti River northwards with a journey started from the southern parts of the river is a spectacular sight to see. The river also attracts different animal species as it acts as a water point for the animals bathing and grazing around the river.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to a variety of wildlife species such as rhinos, lions, zebras, giraffes and bird species such as ostriches. It is also crossed by the Great Rift Valley and borders Serengeti national park.
Accommodation in Serengeti National Park
Relaxation and leisure activities are not forgotten as different Serengeti accommodation facilities are available around the National park. The accommodation available includes luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation. Quality, comfort and safety are guaranteed at these accommodation facilities regardless of their price ranges. Budget accommodation facilities include; Serengeti Simba Lodge, Serengeti Kati Kati tented camp, Grumeti Migration camp, Ikoma tented camp, Lobo wildlife lodge. Luxury accommodation includes Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Roving bush top camp, Singita Mara camp, Lemala Nanyukie tented lodge, Sayari camp. Midrange accommodation includes Serengeti Serena Lodge, Melia Serengeti Lodge, Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Kubu Kubu tented lodge.
With all the available information provided a tourist is left with only answering the question of how to get there and this can be answered. Different transport means can be used to access Serengeti national park to participate in the different activities and to marvel in the beauty of its attractions and these include the following; by air, by car. Different airstrips are located within the national park such as Seronera airstrip which eases the connection to the national park by air from airports such as Kilimanjaro International Airport. A transfer from Arusha can be made to the national park by car and by flight. Another available option is connecting from Kenya to Serengeti national park through the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya. This ensures flexibility in transportation around the national park and a tourist is bound to have their dream safari guaranteeing maximum satisfaction.
“Visit Serengeti National Park and get a chance to experience a great wildlife safari that will expose you to the Big 5 African animals and other species like birds, mammals and the vast plains of Serengeti.”