Complete Guide to Serengeti National Park

Think of an unforgettable African wilderness experience and think not beyond the endless plains of Serengeti, Tanzania. The world-known Serengeti National Park is home to the great wildebeest migration and the big five game.

It is amazingly one of the leading safari parks in not only Tanzania but also worldwide.

Boasting its biodiversity, Serengeti National Park is officially a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site lying within the spectacular Serengeti eco-system between the Maasai Mara and the Simiyu Area.

Serengeti was established as a national park in 1951 making it one of the oldest parks in Africa.

Serengeti National Park derives its name from the word Serengeti. The same name is also referred to as Siringet by the Maasai local residents and it denotes the endless plains.

The Maasai people thought that the Serengeti plains have no end. Initially, Serengeti was visited by Oscar Baumann in 1892, and later, Stewart Edward white too visited in 1913 and returned to the park again in 1920 and spent 90 days in the Seronera region.

Location & size of Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park Tanzania is located in the Northern Safari Circuit, a spectacular tourist circuit that features also Ngorongoro Crater/Conservation Area, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National Park. Serengeti National Park is accessible within a 6-7 hours drive from Arusha town on a tarmac road.

Serengeti National Park is geographically positioned on the North-eastern side of Arusha at a close border to Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya. The Masai-Serengeti eco-system expands from the Simiyo area to the Masai Mara.

Serengeti National Park is one of Africa’s largest wildlife parks, sitting on a land area of up to 14763 sq km. It is an extensive safari park with three sectors that is the Southern region- featuring the Central region that is inclusive of the Seronera Valley also referred to by Maasai people as Serengit/endless plains.

The western corridor is another sector of Serengeti National Park and consists of the Grumeti River and has spectacular forests and dense bushland.

In the Northern sector, the Lobo region links Serengeti to the Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya. It is the least visited part of Serengeti National Park.

Tourist Attractions in Serengeti National Park

Wildlife. Wildlife is no doubt the main highlight of every Tanzania safari in Serengeti National Park. The expansive savanna park is a home to millions of wildebeests, big five game members- buffaloes, rhinos, leopards, elephants, lions; plus other wildlife species.

The other mammals of significance in Serengeti National Park include zebras, gazelles, elands, bushbucks, hyenas, dik-dik, Janet cats, baboons, oryx, giraffes, lesser kudus, hartebeests, waterbucks, hippos, warthogs, topis, klipspringers.

There are also cheetahs, mongoose, wild dogs, hyraxes, bat-eared fox, vervet monkeys, colobus monkeys, and others.

For reptile enthusiasts, there are also several reptile species to explore on the Serengeti National Park safari. They include Nile crocodiles, rainbow agama, Nile monitor lizards, chameleon, snakes such as African python, black mamba, puff adder, etc.

Birds. Over 500 bird species make Serengeti National Park a great birding safari destination and they include the endemic birds and migrant species.

They range in different habitats and essentially, there are 5 special birds that make Serengeti a special birding spot that is the grey breasted spurfowl, rufous tailed weaver, Fischer’s lovebird, grey crested helmet shrike, Usambiro barbet.

Other birds of interest on Serengeti National Park safari include Verreaux’s eagle, kori bustards, yellow-throated sandgrouse, red-capped robin-chat, lesser flamingos, vultures, ox-peckers, and more.

Great wildebeest migration. The wildebeest migration is without doubt Serengeti National Park’s safari highlight. It is one of the main reasons why many holidaymakers consider undertaking Tanzania safaris here each year.

The wildebeest migration is the world’s magical experience and a natural wonder often watched during the dry months of July to October.

July marks the climax of wildebeest migration when they cross the Mara River. In June, the migration occurs in the Grumeti River on the Western side of Serengeti and the calving period starts in January to February on the Southern side of the park.

Moru kopjes. Moru Kopjes are a famous refuge for some of the remaining black rhino population in the Serengeti National Park. They are also the best spots to see large pride of lions and hiding sites for leopards. The kopjes are beautiful rocks of geological formation.

Tourist Activities

Game drives/wildlife viewing. Game drives offer tourists a chance to immerse themselves into the stunning endless plains of Serengeti while in search of the big five games that are leopards, elephants, lions, rhinos, buffaloes, and other species like wildebeests, elands, zebras, giraffes, birds and more.

The game viewing experience in Serengeti is perfectly enjoyed while in a 4×4-wheel drive vehicle. It is possible to go on a morning, afternoon, or evening game drive in Serengeti National Park.

Birding. Birding in Serengeti National Park involves identifying important birds such as kori bustards, Fischer’s lovebird, secretary bird, grey crested helmet shrike, southern ground hornbills, grey breasted spurfowl, ostriches.

Other birds to identify include Usambiro barbet, black-headed gonoleks, Ruppell’s vultures, and more.

Hot air balloon experience. Serengeti National Park is one of the best spots in the world where a hot air balloon experience can be enjoyed. Hot air balloon in Serengeti is amazing and offers a remarkable aerial view of the park’s endless plains with a range of big game and other wildlife.

When to travel to Serengeti, Tanzania?

Serengeti National Park is open all year-round. However, for excellent wildlife encounters, the dry season is the best time to go on Serengeti safari which is from June to October and December to February.

These dry months are ideal for wildebeest migration watching and big five game drives. Birding in Serengeti is best done in November and April when migrant birds flock into the park.

Luxury accommodation in Serengeti National Park

  • &Beyond Klein’s Camp
  • Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge
  • Serengeti Sopa Lodge
  • Mawe Luxury Tented Camp
  • Serengeti Migration Camp