Why Visit Serengeti National Park?
The Serengeti National Park is a wildlife refuge on the Serengeti Plain in north-central Tanzania. It was established in 1951 and covers 5,700 square miles of grassland as well as woodland savanna. It is famous for its herds of plains animals, including wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras as well as for lions, cheetahs, and other big cats! The park is an international tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year for Serengeti National Park safari packages.
With so much land to cover and so many animals to see, planning a trip can be daunting. Fortunately, Tanzania is home to many reputable tour companies that offer Serengeti National Park trips. These trips can be customized to cater to your interests, fit your budget, and offer a personalized experience that you will never forget!
5 Bucket List Destinations In The Serengeti
For first-time safari-goers, tackling the vast, open plains of the Serengeti can be challenging. That is why it is so important to reserve a spot with a tour company. The company will do everything from plan your itinerary, reserve your lodging, provide meals, and safely navigate the roads within the country’s many national parks. So, if you’re ready for adventure, consider this sample itinerary as a starting point for your Serengeti National Park Safari package!
Day #1: Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is a great place to begin a park tour. Named for the River that winds through the park, Tarangire is known as a favorite destination for birding enthusiasts. It is also home to the African Baobab tree, also known as “the tree of life.” Starting Serengeti National Park trips at Tarangire means you will see:
- Elephants gathering along the Tarangire River.
- Zebras, wildebeests, and water buffalo roaming the park.
- More than 500 bird species to delight those who enjoy bird watching.
- Predators like lions, leopards, and cheetahs stalking the park’s grazing animals.
- Monkeys! But be careful – they are known to be very interested in your lunch if you stop to eat, and may try stealing your food.
Tarangire is a great place to begin your safari by learning more about wildlife behavior, how to track various animals, and the etiquette of a game drive before moving on to the Serengeti National Park.
Day #2: The Serengeti National Park
Now that you’ve experienced your first day in the bush, you can head to the Serengeti National Park! The park is home to two million wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes. It's also an extremely large and wild game park and home to the Big Five of Africa. This park is a favorite for tourists on Serengeti National Park tours. It’s easy to spend an entire day on a game drive, looking for wildlife on the vast plains.
The name “Serengeti” means “endless plain,” and it is very fitting. As you drive across the savannas, you will find yourself in the middle of a plain so large you cannot see its boundaries! But with such expansive and unobstructed terrain, you will soon realize you can easily spot all types of wildlife, including zebras, impalas, and even lions resting under the sparsely scattered trees.
Day #3: More Adventures In The Serengeti National Park
Game Drives in the Serengeti are among the most popular activities for visitors, and the easiest way to safely spot wildlife in its natural habitat. A typical game drive lasts from two to three hours in the morning and afternoon, with morning drives scheduled from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and afternoon drives scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Some of the more popular locations to visit on a game drive in the Serengeti include:
- Grumeti River – watch the most exciting part of the Great Migration, as the great wildebeest herd lines up at the banks of the Grumeti River to wade through the rough waters on a daring river crossing. The bank is also a popular gathering spot for elephants, hippos, and monkeys. Just watch out for the crocodiles!
- Moru Kopjes – in the middle of the Serengeti is a giant outcropping of rocks that rise up from the earth. These are the Moru Kopjes, and they are scattered across the Serengeti plains. The rocks provide shade and water for the animals, as well as a great vantage point for predators.
- Retina Hippo Pool – while a hippo looks like a lazy, gentle giant, just remember that looks can be deceiving! These ferocious animals are dangerous. However, at the Retina Hippo Pool, you can watch them lazing around in the water and showing off their lazy side as they relax.
Day #4: Ngorongora Crater
Make sure you have reserved a spot on one of the Serengeti National Park trips that visit the Ngorongoro Crater. This crater (once a giant volcano) is the largest intact caldera in the world. It is also a natural sanctuary for one of the densest populations of large mammals in Africa. Because the crater is enclosed, it has effectively formed its own unique ecosystem to support the variety of species that live there. Taking a trip to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a must for any visitor to the Serengeti. Game drives there are very popular, as the crater delivers some of the most reliable sightings of Africa’s Big Five – elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard.
Day #5: Lake Manyara
The final stop of many Serengeti National Park Tours is often Lake Manyara. This park lies in a protected area in Tanzania’s Arusha and Manyara Regions, between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley. Its landscape is similar to Tarangire National Park but is more heavily forested – making it a great home for baboons and other monkeys. It is also a great location for birds and a very popular destination for bird watchers.
Lake Manyara is also home to Africa’s famous tree-climbing lions. Some scientists believe that the lions learned to climb trees in order to protect themselves from the constant irritation of insect bites they received when lying on the ground under the trees. Others believe this behavior helps the lions escape from the extreme heat of the underbrush. Either way, witnessing this unique activity is more than enough reason to visit the park!
A Whirlwind Tour Of The Serengeti
The Serengeti is much more than just one park. The region is teeming with conservation areas, parkland, and game preserves. Serengeti National Park safari packages can take you on a tour of the highlights of this incredible region, ensuring that you have the opportunity to see the best the parks have to offer. If you want to get the most from your safari experience, Serengeti National Park tours are a great option for any traveler.