Serengeti National Park: The Magical Tanzania Tours Hub

Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is a corrupted version of the Masai word “Siringit” meaning unending plains. PHOTO/FILE

Serengeti National Park, whose location is within the magnificent north western Tanzania, is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.

Serengeti, a corrupted version of the Masai word “Siringit” meaning unending plains, boasts a huge population of wild animals including the rare tree-climbing lions, buffalo, leopard, hippo, jackals, hunting dogs, roan antelopes and many others.

The 12,950 square-kilometre national park is part of an ecosystem that spans across the Kenya-Tanzania border into the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

Serengeti National Park, which supports over 30 species of large mammals – the highest concentration of large mammals in the world – and more than 500 species of birds, was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1981.

Undoubtedly, the major attraction of the Serengeti is the Great Wildebeest Migration, the biggest animal show in the world. During this event, more over 1.5 million wildebeests, zebras and gazelle cross over to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in search of pasture and water.

READ: World’s biggest wildebeest migration begins in Kenya

Watching these animals is a great spectacle. But when you tire from staring at the creatures, you can head straight to Moru Kopjes to socialise with rhinos or to the Retina Hippo Pool to catch a glimpse of these beasts.

Located in central Serengeti, some 32 miles from Naabi Hill (Serengeti National Park’s main entrance), Moru Kopjes is home to the park’s only black rhino population. These animals are critically endangered and are closely monitored by armed rangers.

The site is easily accessible by road via safari cars and it is close to the Serengeti Sopa Lodge – one of the best hotel accommodation options in the Serengeti.

On the other hand, Retina Hippo Pool is located at the point where Seronera and Orangi rivers converge and it consists of a deep puddle of water with about frolicking 200 hippos.

Other interesting attractions in the Serengeti National Park include Seronera River Valley, Ngongoro Conservation Area, Naabi Hill, Labo Valley, Grumeti River, and Bologonja Springs.

Best time to go
The best time to take a Serengeti safari is usually dependent on weather and on your priorities. If the focus of your trip is to experience the wildebeest migration, you should plan your safari between July and November. On the other hand if you want to watch hippos in their natural habitat, then consider visiting during the dry season (July-November) when more hippos are exposed due to the lower water levels at the Retina Hippo Pool.

How to get there
International visitors to the Serengeti National Park are usually served by the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha (about 320km away), from where they reach the park by road or air. The journey by road from Arusha will take you about 8 hours.

Where to stay
There are many accommodation options for those touring Serengeti, among them hotels, lodges and safari camps.

According to TripAdviser, top hotels and other accommodation facilities in Serengeti National Park include Sayari Camp, Kirawira Serena Camp, Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge, Sanctuary Kusini, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, and Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp.