The Serengeti is the most iconic safari destination in Tanzania and probably the African continent. Picture vast rolling plains illuminated by the world-famous African sun and adorned with a spectacular scenery of different animals roaming about. It is both fascinating and humbling - a true definition of Nature’s perfection spread as far as the eye can see. In addition, the Serengeti is one of the only two places in the world where you can witness the Great Wildebeest Migration. Hailed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, this annual event is the most exhilarating wildlife spectacle in Africa, with more than a million wildebeest, accompanied by thousands of zebras, elands and Thompson’s gazelles, traverse thousands of kilometers across Eastern Africa.
Regions of the Serengeti
At its most basic level, the Serengeti is a region of jaw-dropping biodiversity covering about 30,000 sq. km (12,000 sq miles). It is located in the northern region of Tanzania, straddling the Kenyan border. For years, these vast open plains were virtually unknown to the outside world, until the end of the 19th century, when foreign invaders decided to set up hunting sites. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. There are four main regions of the Serengeti, each offering unique views of nature at its finest, including the Great Migration.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is the pride of Tanzanian tourism and is famous for its abundance of wildlife, budding ecosystem, breathtaking rivers, and long stretches of rolling grasslands. It is bordered by Kenya to the north where it runs into the Masai Mara National Reserve; the Ngorongoro conservation area to the southeast, the Ikorongo and Grumeti game reserves to the west, and to the northeast lies the Loliondo Game controlled area. The park is known for its treeless grassland and is a natural habitat for various wildlife including the Big 5, wildebeest and other hoofed animals such as gazelles, impalas, zebras, topi, hartebeests, buffalos, and waterbucks. The amazing scenery here also makes it one of Africa’s perfect honeymoon spots.
The Southern Serengeti
The Southern Serengeti plains are home to numerous migratory herds, especially during the rainy season. This region is filled with nutrient-rich plains with short grasses rich in phosphorus, which makes it an ideal location for the famous calving season during the Great Migration, as well as offers spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. Much of the Southern Serengeti lies outside of the Serengeti National Park so off-road driving and walking safaris are usually allowed. If you’re planning to visit the Southern Serengeti region, keep in mind that it is excessively seasonal so during the dry season, it is transformed into a semi desert and herds usually drift away as the area dries out.
The Central Serengeti (Seronera)
This lively and vigorous wildlife area is renowned for hosting the best resident game compared to other regions of the Serengeti. This is because it is ideally located centrally, making it is the perfect location for a well-rounded safari adventure. Game viewing in the Central Serengeti is excellent at any time of the year and if you arrive just before the dry season (May to early June), you’ll get to see the northbound wildebeests migrating through the Central Serengeti and again in November to early December, when the herds are on their way back to the short grass plains in the south.
The Northern Serengeti
This region is home to large herds migrating during the months of July to November. It is a relatively unexplored wilderness filled with amazing landscapes and inhabited by scores of magnificent wildlife. A visit here affords you exceptional and dramatic sightings of wildebeest and zebras as they make the perilous journey across the Mara River into the Masai Mara region in neighboring Kenya. These lumbering beasts are not just wary of the large crocodiles lying in wait, but also the strong current of the river. It is a tense moment for some visitors as they witness these exhausted and terrified wildebeests and zebras attempt to brave the torrential flow. Some are able to make it across with exerted efforts, but others are not so lucky.
Top Activities to try while in the Serengeti
As Tanzania’s quintessential safari destination, the Serengeti offers a myriad of outdoor adventures as you explore the wild. The best part is that you can visit any time of the year and still enjoy an unforgettable experience. Our top picks include:
The Serengeti is definitely the place to be if you are looking for a well-rounded safari experience. Talk to us about your plans today.
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