The moment you set foot in the Serengeti National Park, you will start noticing a major change in the way you look at things around you. After all, you are in one of the most beautiful and phenomenal national parks in the world. Serengeti boasts of all kinds of attractions and there’s just so much to keep you occupied. The Great Migration and a safari in Serengeti National Park is its prime attraction, but this wondrous park has something to offer, irrespective of when you’re visiting. From abundant bird species and beautiful rolling plains to stunning lakes, these are the top 10 things to do in Serengeti National Park.
Witness the Great Migration
This is the main reason why people from all over the world visit the Serengeti. And we can’t say we blame them either. This is the world’s largest migration of animals, and it is a sight to behold. The sight of millions of mammals stampeding across the vast wilderness with all kinds of predators close at heels will definitely make you realize the grand scale of things, and discover the delicate balance of nature. Make sure you’re aware of when and where exactly the Great Wildebeest Migration is happening. It is a cyclical event- but you have to be sure that you plan your trip just right.
Visit the Seronera River Valley
This Seronera River Valley occupies a significant portion of the central Serengeti region. This is the Serengeti at its natural best. The entire valley is brimming with flora and fauna that is unique to the region. In fact, you can spend your entire trip in the Seronera Valley and not run out of things to explore- there are wildebeest, elephants, zebras, gazelles, and more. Better yet, the abundance of prey draws all kinds of predators- including lions, hyenas, cheetahs and leopards. The area also has some stunning permanent lodges that are open throughout the year.[read more=”Read More” less=”Read less”]
Visit the Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge, is located in the heart of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. This 300-mile long gorge is famous for being the site where 2-million-year old human fossils were found. Step back in time, and walk the same paths that our ancient ancestors walked. And while you’re here, don’t forget to visit the small but charming Oldupai Museum that was founded by Mary Leakey, the woman responsible for finding the fossils! This will be a great opportunity for those traveling to Ngorongoro from Serengeti, and will absolutely give you a great understanding about our descendants and how they lived!
Go on an Air Safari
There is nothing more stunning or luxurious than getting a bird’s eye view of the Serengeti National Park. You can actually book yourself a hot air balloon ride (from a basic ride to a more luxurious one that includes champagne). If you want a more adventurous aerial trip, you can also book one of the small chartered regional planes that fly from one of the seven airstrips in the Serengeti (keep in mind that the view from the plane might not be as good as the hot air balloon). Whatever your choice, you’re sure to fall in love with the splendid landscapes and unending beauty.
Visit the Moru Kopjes
Moru Kopjes is an amazingly interesting rock creation that will certainly thrill the traveler in you. The mound-like rocks rise up like mountains in the middle of the Serengeti plains, providing much needed hydration and shade for the animals. This is among the leading regions for animal viewing, and you can even spot predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards. In fact, this is the best area for people to spot the famous black rhino!
For those who are interested in exploring the culture of the area, ancient African rock paintings made by the Maasai will definitely be a point of interest. Make sure you visit the ‘Gong Rock’- it is revered among the local people, as it is believed to be an ancient musical instrument!
Experience the “Masai Way of Life”
Travelling to Serengeti National Park without visiting a Maasai village is really an incomplete destination. The Maasai are semi-nomadic people who have lived in Kenya and Tanzania for a very long time. You can experience the Maasai way of life in their bomas (village-like communities). The Maasai are very welcoming, and are eager to share information about their customs, lifestyle, and traditions. There are a variety of circuits that offer visits into these Maasai villages. If you want to observe their lifestyle in greater depth, you can get in touch with a local NGO or your travel agent to schedule a private village trip- this would be way less touristy, and will give you an insider view of the villages as well.
Visit the Grumeti River
The Grumeti River is located in the west and is definitely an adventure waiting to happen. It is an integral part of the annual Wildebeest Migration, and is a unique part of the experience as well. This area is full of crocodiles, and every year, there is a crocodile-wildebeest engagement that will be a fascinating subject for biodiversity fans. Those who are weak of heart should definitely steer clear of the river during this period. The area is also splendid to look at- the river valley is lush, and beautiful!
Visit the Bologonja Springs
The Bologonja Springs is a spotting center for wildlife in the Serengeti, but surprisingly, not a lot tourists visit the area. If you want to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna of the Serengeti without having to put up with the hassles of tourists, this is the best place for you. These springs draw a number of animals- including giraffes, elephants and antelopes. This is also a wonderful place for people to go bird watching! You can watch the animals frolic, fight and feed in their natural habitat, with minimal intrusion from humans.
Retina Hippo Pool
Tanzania is certainly well recognized for hippos and the place for visitors to be if one would like to see them at their natural best. Hippos can be found all over the Serengeti, but nothing compares to the Retina Hippo Pool, where they gather in the hundreds, to feed, and soak in the warm waters, and fight territorial battles! The actual pool has a number of crocodiles as well, and if you’re lucky, you might also be able to spot some herons. If you’re lucky, you can see approximately 200 hippos lounging about.
There are a number of accommodation options in the Serengeti National Park- from luxury resorts, to tents. However, there is a beauty in being out in nature at night time, when you can hear the crickets chirp, and the gentle rustling of the animals as they settle in for the night. The silence of the Serengeti is absolute, and this is an experience only a few other places across the globe can offer. Rent out a tent, and stay in a camp site- it will definitely be worth it. There are camps for every budget- from $50/night to luxury tents that have all amenities.
No matter your preferences or your budgets, you always have something phenomenal to choose from when visiting the Serengeti National Park. So jump in and fall in love with all that mother nature has to offer.
Namiri Plains, Serengeti National Park
The Namiri plains are located in the center of Serengeti which takes about one-hour drive from other camps, Namiri Plains offers a remote and intimate safari experience in a secluded area of the Serengeti. Between December and March, it’s possible to see the Great Migration herds as the wildebeest have their young in the southeast of the Serengeti, and you can watch as calves take their first tentative steps. Hot on the heels of these grazing herds are predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah.
The camp is located on what was, until fairly recently, a cheetah research base inaccessible to tourists for 20 years. Cheetah and lion populations therefore thrive here. Visitors can also encounter leopard, buffalo, spotted hyena and, in occasional instances, black rhino.
The camp’s eight canvas tents have far-reaching views over the plains, with sides that open out during the day. Every tent includes a suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers, a king-sized bed, and a safe. There’s a family tent for up to four guests (children must be aged five and over to stay here), as well as a more luxurious honeymoon tent.
The communal mess tent is scattered with sofas and has a shaded outdoor seating area. From here, you can sit and watch animals coming to drink at the natural waterhole next to camp. Meanwhile, in the dining tent you can enjoy cooked or continental buffet breakfasts and three-course dinners.
Activities from the camp include twice-daily game drives in 4x4s (which come complete with mini fridges), guided walking safaris out in the bush (extra cost), and time spent with a local cheetah researcher to learn more about the area’s endangered cats. At an additional cost you can take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti, giving you bird’s-eye views of the wildlife in the early morning light.[/read]