When it comes to national parks, the Serengeti is the holy grail. This stunning national park covers 5,700 square miles or 14,763 square km of the Serengeti plains and the extensive acacia woodland savanna.
With a vast abundance of wildlife, such as big cats and large herds of elephant.
On top of that, it’s the focal place of the great migration, wherein millions of wildebeest migrate. It all starts around May when the wildebeest head out to the grassy plains and woodland on the Serengeti national park’s western corridor.
By June or July, the wildebeest arrive at the northern Serengeti plains, where they risk it all in crossing the crocodile-infested Grumeti and Mara rivers. If you’re planning to visit Serengeti national park, it’s best to know these ten things about the Serengeti.
1. The Serengeti ecosystem is the oldest in the world
It’s well-documented that the Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest and most scientifically significant ecosystems globally. Its weather patterns, flora, and fauna, are thought to have altered only a little for as long as a million years, providing the area with a prehistoric presence.
The greater Serengeti ecosystem with its sweeping plains can be witnessed in a safari vehicle where you can see hoofed animals, lions, black rhinos, thousands of different species of birds, and so much more.
2. It's an ancestral land
When you visit East Africa, particularly in central Serengeti, you’ll get to witness the great migration and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where the Ngorongoro crater is located. This land is vast and is a Unesco World Heritage site.
Across the border of the Serengeti lies the Masai Mara National reserve, wherein there are twice-a-day game drives and see this beautiful country up in the air via hot air balloon. This place is nestled on the west Kenyan border, where greener pastures are found.
3. You can visit the maasai village or the maasai tribe
You’ll get to see the Maasai village and tribe themselves during your visit. This can be arranged ahead with your local tour operator to have a smooth and fantastic experience with the tribe and immerse yourself with their culture.
However, it’s best to note that you’ll be required to donate to the village and buy souvenirs from their ‘gift shop.’
4. There's an entrance fee
When you enter the southern Serengeti or in any park, you’ll be required to pay an upfront entrance fee. Adult tourists—aged 16 years and above, have to pay US $83, and children between the age of 3 to 16 are expected to pay US $24.
Children below three years old get free admission. There are also opportunities to experience walking safaris, wherein you can see different antelope species, hoofed animals, hunting dogs, bush babies, lion kings, more hippos and other grazing animals, and natural wonders. Contact us to plan a trip like this.
Furthermore, it’s where you can see the millions of wildebeest crossing into the dangerous, crocodile-infested Grumeti river and Mara river.
5. There is an annual migration of over two million wildebeest
The Great Wildebeest Migration was chosen as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa, including the Nile River, Okavango Delta, the Red Sea reef system, Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro crater, and the Sahara Desert.
Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest herds travel throughout the region into Kenya in pursuit of fresh water and grass.
Since the Serengeti is likely to be packed during the great migration, you can visit the Ngorongoro crater to avoid the crowd but still get to have an amazing experience viewing the migration.
6. No night drives in the Serengeti
Another thing worth knowing about the Serengeti is that there are NO night drives in the Serengeti, only the nearby areas. The night game drives are an enthralling way to see wildlife thriving during the evening rather than during the day.
Animals that can be seen during this time are aardvarks, bush babies, civets, and larger menacing animals that prowl for fresh meat. However, night drives aren’t authorized in the Serengeti national park itself.
But, no worries, as many of the world-class lodges in and around the Serengeti area offer nighttime game drives—usually on the outskirts. On top of that, the Serengeti doesn’t have any fences, allowing you to see the great game during the nighttime drives.
7. Experience the colourful swahili culture
The Swahili culture is prevalent in Tanzania, which means you’ll get to experience this when you travel through the stunning Serengeti.
Make sure you taste some of the local Swahili cuisines, such as Nyama Choma, ugali, pilau, and more!
8. It has the best and most scenic accommodations
The Serengeti is blessed not just in wildlife but also with other varieties, such as its accommodations.
It could be easy to think you’ll have it rough, but this isn’t the case. The Serengeti has luxury campsites and comfortable bush lodges to suit every traveller’s tastes.
9. It’s best to visit the Serengeti during the dry season
When you visit the Serengeti, it’s best to do it during the dry season to experience the best wildlife viewing, rock formations, and other marvelous sights of this Unesco site.
Moreover, it’s best to avoid the rainy season to get the best African experience in the Serengeti.
10. The Serengeti is one of the seven wonders in Africa
This beautiful natural area has become one of the seven natural wonders of Africa, along with the Sahara Desert, Nile River, and the Okavango Delta of Botswana.
Other amazing parks to visit in Tanzania
Ruaha National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Tarangire National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Preparing for the weather in Tanzania
When you go to Tanzania, it’s best to prepare for its weather and pack the correct type of clothes. Typically, the climate here is tropical, and the coastal sites are hot and humid, while the northwestern highlands are temperate and cool.
There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania—the short rains from October to December and the long rains from March to June. It’s also best to note that the central plateau tends to be dry and parched throughout the year. If you’re a bird watcher, you can get fantastic accommodation prices during the rainy season, where a myriad of bird species awaits to be studied.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday, however, Zanzibar Island offers beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. You can also visit Pemba Island and Mafia Island if you want a more tropical holiday.
This can be added to your Safari package. Get in touch with us to find out how.
Prepare for those cold nights
The nights in the Serengeti can be relatively cold out under the open skies. Correspondingly, the daybreak game drives on the Serengeti can be pretty chilly, so make sure to pack some long pants and a comfy sweater for cold mornings and nights.
Although there are many tented camps and lodges with outdoor fire pits to sit around, you might still feel chilly if you’re not wearing proper clothing. Some tented camps and lodges offer guided nature walks, so you might want to take comfortable sneakers or shoes.
Since tented camps don’t usually have 24-hour electricity, it’s wise to pack extra batteries for your camera or have an external battery pack for your cell phone.
What do you wear on a safari?
As much as possible, pack lightly and choose earth-toned clothes as the safari is very dusty. It will prevent the dirt from being seen on your clothing. Khaki and tan are the preferred colors.
Moreover, it’s best to avoid red, purple, or royal blue clothes as these colors tend to make animals shy away.
Whether you’re coming to Serengeti for the wild wildebeest river crossings or simply enjoy a serene time bird watching, this park has it all. Serengeti National Park is enormous and offers a plethora of different safari options.
Contact Easy Travel today to start planning your dream safari or to get travel tips for your Tanzanian adventure!
Alternatively take a look at our Safari Tours to start planning!