Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park was created in 1951 as a nature reserve occupying a vast territory in Northern Tanzania (14,763 km²). In the Masai language, the Serengeti means “Endless Plains”. This is a very accurate description, since the park is the largest in Tanzania, it is located on a plateau, at an altitude of 914-1829 meters above sea level.
Approximately comparable to the territory of Northern Ireland and considered to be one of the largest nature reserves in the world, the Serengeti is famous for having 35 types of mammals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, hippos, buffaloes, rhinos, baboons and antelopes, and also over 500 species of birds. Many of these animals are not found anywhere else in the world.
The annual migration of ungulates and zebras for 800 km in search of food and water in the dry season in May is one of the attractions of the park. The spectacle of rushing animals across plains is impossible to forget. Elton-John’s song “Circle of Life” is written about this, so do not forget to upload it to your player, going to the Serengeti. In March, antelopes and zebras are removed from their places and wander to the west, fording the Grumati River. In May-June, the herds change direction and rush to the north, feeding on grown greens. By August, herbivores occupy the Kenai reserve Masai Mara, and in October they go back to the Serengeti, but only by other trails east of the summer. In February, the Serengeti turns into a huge maternity hospital: every day thousands of calves, foals and other animals are born here.
In addition to communicating with the wildlife through classic jeep safaris, visitors to the Tanzanian national park can enjoy the exotic landscapes of African savannas and plains, rivers and lakes. Watch the beautiful sunsets and visit the rocks containing the Masai rock art.
It is also the only park in Tanzania where you can fly in a balloon, if you don’t do this, then you will regret your whole life.
In East Africa, only the national parks of the Kenyan Tsavo exceed the 15,000-kilometer Serengeti. As for popularity, nobody compares with him here – and there is a great merit of his father and son Grzhimekov. In the 50s. German naturalists for the first time used aviation to count the number of animals. In the end, their lightweight Dornier, painted zebra-colored, crashed with Michael Grzhymek at the helm. The researcher was buried on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater, and 30 years later, his father found peace next to him, who wrote several books about Tanzanian nature, including the famous “Serengeti should not die”.
The best time to visit the park is winter (from December to March). Serengeti is located 250 km north-west of Arusha. The most visited areas of the huge savannah are the south-east and the center, where the main local village Seronera and the largest park airfield are located. Those visitors to the park arrive there who use Coastal Aviation direct flights daily from Arusha (1 h. 20 min., $ 175). There are also airfields in the north (Kogatende, Coastal Aviation, daily from Arusha, $ 260) and the south of the park (Southern Serengeti, Coastal Aviation, from Arusha, $ 200). The rest come along the highway leading from Arusha to the west in the direction of Lake Victoria. The main gate of Naabi Hill (Naabi Hill Gate, adults / children 5-16 years old $ 50/10, under 5 years old – free, guide $ 20 / day) closes as early as 6 pm, as driving around the park after 7 pm is prohibited. If you do not have a safarimobile or a rented car, then Seroners can be reached by a regular bus from Arusha to the northwestern cities of Tanzania — Musoma or Mwanza. So you can drive the whole of the Serengeti from east to west, but do not expect to see much. From the west, you can enter the park through the gate from the balloon basket: flights are organized by Serengeti Balloon Safaris (Arusha, www.balloon-safaris.com) for about $ 500 – contact them or any park hotel in Seroner. The village also has an information center (Visitors Information Center, 8.00-17.00). Day trips to the park also organize hotels, and at travel agencies in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi, you can buy a tour (often with Ngorongoro and other nearby parks)