Attractions in Serengeti National Park
Attractions in Serengeti National Park: Serengeti national park is one of the most popular national parks in northern Tanzania due to various attractions. The national park was established in 1951 which makes it the oldest protected area in the country and covers an area of 14,750 square kilometers which is composed of endless plains of Riverine forest, savannah, grassland plains and woodlands which act as habitats for abundant wildlife species including animals like the big five mammals, primates, bird species among others. Serengeti national park is famously known for its great wildebeest migration where animals migrate from Serengeti plains to Masai Mara in Kenya in search of fresh grass.
Serengeti national park harbors interesting and unique attractions which include
Serengeti national park is known for harboring abundant wildlife species which can be viewed in the Riverine forests, savannah, woodland, grassland plains, Moru kopjes, retina hippo pool or Seronera river valley. animals in the park include the big five mammals which are elephants, buffaloes, black rhinos, lions and leopards, other animals like giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, gazelle, elands, topi, kongoni, impala, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, wild dogs among others. Animals in the park can be viewed during the game drives, guided nature walks and hot air balloon safari all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to October because this is the time when vegetation is less for clear viewing and animals gather around the water sources to drink water.
Serengeti national park harbors more than 500 bird species which makes it one of the birders’ paradise in Tanzania. Bird species in the park range from migratory species from Europe, water birds, endemic birds which are only found in the Serengeti ecosystem and near endemic species which are also found in the neighboring countries. Bird lovers in Serengeti national park can engage in bird watching activity so as to view different bird species such as yellow colored fischers lovebird, kori bustard, rufous tailed weaver, grey breasted spurfowl, usambiro barbet, grey crested helmet shrike, black headed gonolek, ruppells vulture, schalows turaco, silver birds, yellow throated sandgrouse, verreaux’s eagle, southern ground hornbill, red capped robin chat, grey backed fiscal, Hildebrandt’s starling, green backed woodpecker, tropical boubou, sulphur breasted bush shrike, white breasted tit, ashy starling, red billed oxpecker, malachite sunbird, yellow fronted canary, pink backed pelican, goliath heron, yellow billed egret, green backed heron, saddle billed stork among others. Bird watching in Serengeti national park can be done all year round though the best time is in the wet season during the months of November to April because this is the best period to view colorful and migratory birds from Europe.
The great wildebeest migration
This is one of the major reasons why so many tourists visit Serengeti national park. The great wildebeest migration is an amazing and extraordinary experience where over 1.5 million wildebeests, 350,000 gazelle, 200,000 zebras and other antelopes annually migrate from the Serengeti plains cross the plains of Masai Mara in Kenya in search of fresh grass. Timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is primarily dependent on weather or rainfall patterns of each year. It’s believed that the journey of these animals is dictated by the growth of fresh grass and some experts also believe that they react to lightning and thunderstorms in a distance. tourists in Serengeti national park can witness the drama of the great wildebeest migration in the dry season during the months of June to July because that’s the period when large concentrations of wildebeests will cross the southern banks of Grumeti River towards the Masai Mara in Kenya with a challenge of animals crossing the river due to crocodile infected pools which feast on them.
Seronera River Valley
Seronera river valley is one of the best places in the central part of Serengeti national park for wildlife viewing in that it offers great views of animals like buffaloes, giraffes, topi, hartebeest, impala, warthogs, dik dik, bushbucks, waterbucks, reedbucks, hippos, Nile crocodiles, predators like lions, spotted hyenas, leopards, caracal, cheetahs, serval, primates like vervet monkeys among others. Seronera River is also a great place for bird watching where you will be able to spot different bird species such as herons, egrets, hoopoes, kingfishers, grey crowned cranes, Egyptian goose, rollers, fish eagles among others.
Grumeti River is an interesting area that is situated in remote western corridor in Serengeti national park. The river is infested with crocodiles and wildebeest migration where over one million wildebeest, thousands of gazelle, zebras and other antelopes are forced to cross Grumeti River n a battle for survival. Animals will cross Grumeti River during lake may to mid July therefore tourists will have an opportunity to witness the amazing experience.
Kopjes are scenic rock formations that are found in the central part of Serengeti national park where the River Mbalageti valley begins. The kopjes consist of old granite which resulted due to cracking and erosion from exposure to the sun, rain and wind. The Moru kopjes are outstanding and beautiful due to the size and they provide shade, small water pools which attract animals such as zebras, elephants, wildebeest, lions, leopards, cheetahs, serval, caracal and the remaining population of the black rhinos in the park hence the best place for game viewing during your safari in Serengeti national park. The Serengeti Rhino project has a visitor’s center where visitors can learn about different animals and conservation strategies that is employed to save them from extinction. The main groups of kopjes in Serengeti national park are Moru kopjes, Gol, Barafu, Wogakurya, Maasai, Loliondo and Simba kopjes.
This is an interesting and prehistoric site which contains bones, fossils and ancient artifacts of humans and animals that were discovered over 2 million years ago. Olduvai Gorge is located in the Great Rift Valley between Serengeti national park and the Ngorongoro conservation area. The site became famous due to the paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey who discovered the early Hominin fossils, there is a museum and visitors center overlooking the gorge that was opened in October 2017. The museum provides excellent photos, documentaries and presentations of the archaeological findings. Olduvai gorge has official guides at the site who will take you on a tour around the area explaining the history of the site, you will be able to learn about various fossils, hominines and prehistoric mammals that used to live in the area, interact with a resident about the importance of the area, visit the site where Mary and Louis Leakey discovered the early Hominin remains, chat with scientists, researchers about their new findings among others.
Retina Hippo Pool
Retina hippo pool is situated where the Seronera and Orange Rivers converge in central Serengeti. The hippo pool consists of a deep puddle of water with large concentrations of hippos, crocodiles and water birds like herons. Retina hippo pool offers refugee for hippos and crocodiles during the dry season which makes it the best time to visit Serengeti national park because large concentrations of hippos will be exposed in the lower water levels in retina hippo pool.
The Maasai people are proud nomadic warriors who count wealth in cattle and children, the maasai have been herding their cattle for many years. During your safari in Serengeti national park you will visit the Masai villages which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their culture where they live in extended families, history, dress code, visit their farmlands, homesteads, health centers, primary schools, taste their local dishes, enjoy their traditional dance, music and drama, buy some souvenirs to take back home among others.