Serengeti National Park

Wildebeest, Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is located in the Mara and Simuyu Regions, Northwestern Tanzania to the Kenya border where it is continuous with the Masai Mara National Reserve. It is under the protection of the Tanzania National Parks Authority.

Serengeti National Park Parts/Divisions

The park habitat consists of grassland plains, savannah, riverine forest and woodlands. The Serengeti National Park can be divided into three regions namely;

The Serengeti Plains Southern/Central Part) which is the most popular and scenic part of the park whose habitat consists of savannah dotted with acacia and is filled with wildlife. This is where the wildebeest breed from May to December.

Western Corridor whose habitat consists of forests and dense bush and is covered by black clay soil. It marked by Grumeti River which is home to Nile crocodiles. The migration passes through this part of Serengeti from May to July.

The Northern Serengeti (Lobo Area) where the Serengeti National Park meet up with the Masai Mara National Reserve on the Kenya side. The habitat of this part is dominated by open woodlands and hills. The migration passes through here from July to August and is the best part of the park to find elephant, giraffe and dik-dik.

The Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve are twins. Let’s see why.

Serengeti Area

The Serengeti is in the Northwestern part of Tanzania that border Kenya. It is in this part of Tanzania that Serengeti National Park lie. Where the Serengeti extends to Kenya, it is referred to as the Masai Mara and vice versa.

This part of Tanzania or Kenya is referred to as the Maasai Land.

The Maasai Community is the dominant community and lives alongside wildlife. They have fierce warriors and not much afraid of the wildlife.

They are pastoralists/nomads and have a well preserved authentic culture.

The Great Migration from Serengeti to Masai Mara and Vice Versa

The Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve are well known for the Great Migration.

Wildebeest accompanied by their closest allies-zebras and antelopes-move between these two parks at different times of the year offering a spectacular view to the tourists.

The great migration begins at Ngorongoro Conservation Area then Serengeti National Park and finally to Masai Mara National Reserve.

This migration is determined by the availability of the water and feeding vegetation.

The initial phase is between January and March during the calving period and the grass is abundant in this phase.

As the rain stop and feeding vegetation begin to diminish at the end of May, the animals move to the Northwest to Grumeti River where they stay until the end of June.

In July, the herds move to the great Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Here they cross the Grumeti River and the Masai Mara River as they get fed on by the Mara Nile Crocodiles.

This is one of the major tourist attractions in Masai Mara and Serengeti.

The animals stay in Kenya Masai Mara from July to November when the short rains begin.

With the help of emerging vegetation, migration begins again to the south, arriving at Serengeti National Park at around December

This is in preparation of the initial phase of calving and the cycle repeating.

About 1.5 M Wildebeest and nearly 250,000 zebras and gazelles take place in this Great Migration.

Serengeti National Park attractions

Why is it popular? Here are the Serengeti national Park facts

  • It has a big contribution to the annual Great Migration
  • A wide variety of animals including over 2 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebra, and 500,000 Thomson’s gazelle
  • Numerous Nile crocodile
  • It home to the big Five-Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, Lion and Leopard
  • Olduvai Gorge-the cradle of mankind

Serengeti National Park Animals

Serengeti National Park is famous for its abundant wildlife. It is home to over 2 million wildebeest, 250,000 plains zebra and over half a million Thomson’s gazelle.

Other wildlife found here includes the topi and Coke’s hartebeest, lion, hyena, jackal, African golden wolf, wild dogs, baboon, giraffe, impala, waterbuck, warthog, hippo, elephant, cheetah, leopard, Gray-crowned crane, eastern black rhinoceros, and African buffalo.

Reptiles include; the Nile crocodile, leopard tortoise, chameleons, Nile monitor, African python, black mamba, puff adder, cobra, among others.

The park has also abundant birdlife. It has over 500 species of birds which include; the Masai ostrich, vulture, lesser flamingo, hornbill, eagle, lovebird, stork, crowned crane, kori bustard, guinea fowl, and secretary bird

Things to do in Serengeti National Park

The major park activities you can engage in here include

  • Game viewing,
  • Picnics
  • Camping, and
  • Visiting Maasai Cultural Villages

Serengeti National Park Climate & Weather

Serengeti is mostly warm and dry with an average annual temperature of 20°C.

Short rains begin from November to around January. Long rain is between March and May and the rest of the year is dry.

When to Visit

You can visit the Serengeti National Park all year round although you might want to avoid the months when rainfall is heaviest-April and May.

Again, depending on the part of Serengeti you want to visit, visiting time may vary as described above.

What to Carry/Wear on Serengeti National Park Safari

  • Zippered rucksack or backpack
  • A jacket that is wind and waterproof
  • Walking boots or shoes
  • A warm pullover
  • Trousers
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Good Camera
  • Guide book
  • Army Knife or pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • First aid flashlight
  • Mosquito repellent or insect repellent
  • Plenty of drinking water

How to get there

The best option is to get to Kilimanjaro International Airport which is about 46 km from Arusha.

Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport and use domestic flight to Arusha.

To get to the park from Arusha you can use the road 325 km to Serengeti which is quite bumpy but will give you the best safari full of sceneries or use small aeroplanes to various airstrips in the park.

Serengeti National Park Entrance Fees

Park charges are as follows:-

Nonresident (USD) adults (16 years and above) 60 (Age of 5-1 6 years 20 Students 20

Serengeti National Park Contacts

Email: md@tanzaniatourism.go.tz & info@tanzaniatourism.go.tz
Telephone: +255 22 2664878/9

Serengeti National Park Accommodation

Hotels and Lodges near Serengeti National Park include

Popular Serengeti Hotels & Lodges

Popular Serengeti Hotels & Lodges

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