Top 10 Things to do in Serengeti National Park
Top 10 Things to do in Serengeti National Park: Serengeti national park is the most famous and oldest national park located in the northwestern part of Tanzania bordering Maasai Mara national reserve in the north, Ngorongoro conservation area in the southeast and Maswa game reserve in the southwest. The national park was gazetted in 1951 and covers an area of 14,736 square kilometers which is composed of savannah, grassland, acacia woodland, abundant wildlife including animals like elephants, wildebeest, lions, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, buffaloes, birds among others. The name Serengeti was derived from Siringet word which in Maasai language means a great open space where land goes on and on.
Top things to do in Serengeti national park
Game drives, this is the major activity in the park that is done in the comfort of a 4WD pop up safari vehicle. game drives can either be carried out very early in the morning at around 6:00am when the park is active therefore you will be able to view predators before going to their hiding areas or in the afternoon at around 4:00pm. the morning game drives are the most common and most rewarding in that most animals are more active therefore you will be able to view animals grazing, experience predators like lions, leopards, hyenas hunting, birds awakening, witness the wildebeest migration, enjoy great views of the sunrise, witness the wildebeest migration among others.
Guided nature walks, this is an amazing activity that gives visitors an opportunity to get out of the safari vehicle, stretch and explore the park on foot. Nature walks in Serengeti national park are conducted by an experienced armed park guide and they are best done in the morning or in the evening. During the guided nature walks you will follow different trails in the park where you will be able to witness the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River, view animal habitats, different plant and tree species, butterflies, listen to sweet sounds of birds singing in the trees, enjoy the beautiful scenery, sunset/sunrise, take clear pictures among others.
Serengeti national park is one of the birding havens in Tanzania in that it harbors more than 500 bird species including endemic birds which are only found in the Serengeti Mara ecosystem, near endemic species which can also be seen in the neighboring countries and migratory species. Bird watching can either be done early in the morning or late in the evening with the company of an experienced birding guide and during birding you will be able to spot different bird species such as fischers lovebird, usambiro barbet, rufous tailed weaver, grey crested helmet, green backed fiscal, black headed gonolek, silverbird, yellow throated sandgrouse, ruppells vulture, hidebrandts starling, grey brested spurfowl, red capped robin chat among others.
Hot air balloon
Hot air balloon is an adventurous activity in the park which allows you to have aerial views of the park. Visitors will be picked from the lodge at around 5:00 am and transferred to Maasai kopjes where they will be briefed about the expectations, safety, and precautions on a hot air balloon
and then start the flight which takes about one hour. During the exciting activity, you will have spectacular views of treetops, open plains, animals, birds, enjoy the sunrise among others and when you land you will enjoy a bush breakfast with a bottle of champagne. After breakfast, you will be awarded a certificate for participating in a hot air balloon and later be transferred back to your lodge or go for a morning game drive in the open plains.
Cultural tours in Serengeti national park give visitors an opportunity to interact with the local people in the surrounding communities. during the cultural tour you will visit the Maasai village where you will be able to meet the Maasai people, visit their traditional Boma homesteads called Manyatta, visit their local school, healthy centers, learn about their culture, tradition, way of living, taste their traditional dishes, enjoy entertainment by Maasai men and women performing traditional dances, music and drama, listen to ancient stories among others.
Witness the great migration
During your safari in Serengeti national park you will be able to witness the great migration where more than 1.5 million wildebeest, 350,000 Thomsons gazelle, 200,000 zebras along with other antelopes gather their young ones and start their trek north from Serengeti plains cross the Mara River. The great migration takes place annually and it’s believed that their journey is dictated by their response to weather in that they follow the rains and growth of new grass. the migration starts in the north of Serengeti plains with the birth of calves between January and march and the abundance of vulnerable calves means that predators will also b e roaming around therefore during this time you will witness calving and hunting of the big cats. When drought comes in may the herd moves north to the Maasai Mara national park to feed on high green grass which gives you an opportunity to have spectacular views of wildebeests crossing the Grumeti River.
Visit Serengeti visitor’s center
The Serengeti visitors center is a small tourist village that is located in Seronera in the park that is comprised of a reception area, video room, a café, administration offices, curio shops and illustrations such as an elevated walkway that was built around the cluster of rocks and trees with information about the wildebeest migration and the entire national park. During your visit at the center you will know more about the park, the wildebeest migration, watch videos, interact with other tourists, buy some souvenirs, maps, booklets among others.
Tour around the Grumeti River
Grumeti River is an interesting place in the park where the great wildebeest migration takes place annually when millions of wildebeests, gazelles and zebras start the journey from north Serengeti plains to Maasai Mara plains. the river contains large numbers of crocodiles which anxiously await for the herds of wildebeests crossing and other animals like lions, elephants, hippos, hyenas, cheetahs among others therefore visitors who love wildlife, Grumeti is a must-visit destination.
Visit the Moru kopjes
Moru kopjes are scenic rock formations that consist of old granite called Moru in Maasai language meaning old. They are situated in the southwestern part of the central Serengeti national park and they act as great places for game viewing where you will be able to view animals like lions, leopards, cheetahs, black rhinos, zebras, elephants, wildebeests among others.
Enjoy bush dinners
Bush dinner in Serengeti national park starts at around 6:00pm and takes place at a scenic location on the plains with a table, chaise, a campfire, lanterns and a bush kitchen. The bush dinner commences with a short game drive and then arrive at the chosen location where you will have great views of the plains, enjoy views of the sundowners, enjoy traditional entertainment by marimba music, view the stars five course dinner which is prepared by the blazing charcoal BBQ, accompanied by the Maasai dance and songs. The bush dinner is a great way to add romance to your safari in Serengeti national park.
Best time to visit Serengeti national park
Serengeti national park can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to October because during this time there is little rainfall therefore vegetation will be short and animals will gather around the water sources to drink water which gives you an opportunity to have great views of animals and experience the great wildebeest migration.
Top 10 Things to do in Serengeti National Park