Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park is also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder. It is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join in the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, along side the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterises the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth is memorising. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. There are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.
Popular as the Serengeti might be, it remains so vast that you may be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focused unswervingly on its next meal.
The Serengeti is 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles) and location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and the Great Mara River, which the wildebeest cross in their hundreds of thousands. The Serengeti also borders Lake Victoria to the west. It remains to date one of most spectacular natural phenomena’s that attracts visitors from across the globe
Scheduled and chartered flights are available from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza.
The paved road from Arusha (the hub of the Northern Safari Circuit) is in excellent condition with stunning scenery, including the incredible Great Escarpment Wall and the Ngorongoro Highlands.
What to do
Hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris, picnicking, game drives, and bush lunches and candle lit dinners can be arranged. The list of exciting adventures is endless. Contact us for more details.
Visit neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai active volcano and Lake Natron’s pink flamingos in their thousands.
When to go
Follow the wildebeest migration any time between December to July. The migration timing changes slightly every year according to conditions, however late May to end July is considered the highlight. To see predators, come in June/July as they follow the wildebeest migration. Alternatively come in October as the big cats stalk these same antelope foaling on the plains of the Serengeti – after their return from Kenya.
There are a number of excellent lodges available in the Serengeti, ranging from adequate to altra luxurious. In addition there are superb luxury tented camps, as well as public camping and private campsites. Your choice is our command.