Safari adventure has always been the flagship of Tanzanian tourism. The country boasts a lot of national parks that suit the needs of every traveler. Among these, the Serengeti National Park is perhaps the most well-known. As home to the “Great Migration”, it attracts hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists annually, all wanting to see millions of wildebeest and other wildlife on the run to look for greener pasture in the northern part of the land. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its sheer biodiversity and ecological importance.
The majority of foreign nationals who want to visit Tanzania to see the beauty of the Serengeti National Park can now easily apply for a visa online, thanks to the newly introduced Tanzania eVisa scheme by the government in 2018. It aims to increase the volume of visitors in the country and helps to improve border security. Travelers simply need to follow the Tanzania eVisa requirements and complete a simple application form. It is also necessary to bring a detailed itinerary during one’s stay in Tanzania to ensure a smooth entrance.
Serengeti National Park Facts
The name Serengeti comes from the Maasai word “siringet”, meaning endless plains, which is befitting given that the area covers a significant portion of land, as far as the eyes can see. It covers 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 miles), almost bordering Kenya to the north and Lake Victoria to the west. The Maasai people inhabited this area for hundreds of years before they were relocated to make way for the conversion of the area into a national park.
It is made up of woodlands, savannahs, and grasslands which help nurture the vast quantity of wildlife living in the area. The Serengeti Plains is the grassland located in the south where the wildebeest mate and breed. The Northern Serengeti is mostly dominated by woodland. This is the best place to see animals such as elephants, giraffes, and impalas. The Western Corridor is where the savannah is located and is considered the best site to see predatory animals such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and spotted hyenas.
Due to its fame worldwide, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania attracts a large number of tourists worldwide, as many as 400,000 annually. It has also attracted many famous actors, celebrities, and philanthropists such as Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Author Ernest Hemmingway, and Billionaire Bill Gates.
Safari Tours in Serengeti National Park
There is a wide range of safari tour options for visitors who want to experience the beauty of Serengeti National Park. A luxurious option is available to tourists who want to splurge and travel around the plains in comfort. For this kind of tour, travelers will have their own personal guide and will stay in deluxe accommodation. Mid-range and budget tours are also available to travelers who do not mind traveling in groups and can be enjoyed without breaking the bank! It is recommended that travelers stay at least a few days in the park to ensure that they can experience the best it has to offer.
Serengeti National Park is widely known as a place where the “Great Migration” happens, wherein millions of wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles migrate to the northern part of the park to mate, give birth, and find vegetation. It is also a great opportunity for predators such as lions and spotted hyenas to feast, due to the abundance of the newly born calves in the area. It is expected that around 200,000 of the wildebeest will die in the migration due to starvation, thirst, exhaustion or being eaten by predators.
It is also a good place to see the “Big 5”; 5 iconic African animals said to be the hardest to hunt on foot. These animals are the lion, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant, and the Cape buffalo. There is a high probability of seeing all these animals on a trip to the park. Aside from these, other animals are common such as giraffes, impalas, Nile crocodiles, vultures, hippopotamuses, and many more.
When to Go to Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park weather is subtropical, typically dry, and cool from May to August, warmer and dry from September to October, and rainy and hot from November to April. Migrating animals usually stay in the park from November to June, and head to Masai Mara Park in Kenya from July to October to look for wetter land, as the park is too dry. The animals give birth between January and March, in which the rainy season starts.
The best months to see the animal migration from Serengeti National Park to Masai Mara Reserve is from December to July while the best opportunity to see predators is from June to October.