Serengeti National Park
Serengeti at a Glance
Size: 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
Location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.
Getting there : Scheduled and charter flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza. Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do : Hot air balloon safaris, walking safari, picnicking, game drives, bush lunch/dinner can be arranged with hotels/tour operators. Maasai rock paintings and musical rocks. Visit neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano and Lake Natron's flamingos.
When to go : To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators, June-October.
Accommodation : Serengeti National Park has Four lodges, six luxury tented camps and camp sites scattered through the park; one new lodge will be opened next season (Bilila Lodge); one luxury camp, a lodge and two tented camps just outside. More details and contacts of hotels and lodges in Serengeti
Overview of Serengeti National Park
The park covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is teaming with stunning wildlife - it is thought that over 3 million large mammals roam the plains.
The dry and tree-less central plains of the park continue into western and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is in these plains that the splendour of Serengeti manifests itself during the rainy season which extends from November to May. The plains appear to be filled by millions of wildebeest, dispersed in all directions, with pockets of other plains game such as zebra and gazelles, and attending predators and scavengers. It has been estimated that there are over 1.5 million wildebeest, 500,000 zebra and 3,000 lions in the park. Of course there are many other mammal species in the park, ranging from the elephant and giraffe to the mongoose and rock hyrax, reptiles including the Nile crocodile, and about 400 bird species, of which the ostrich is represented in good numbers.
Another spectacle starts towards the end of the dry season, when water and grass become scarce in the open plains. The wildebeest move west, this time in long lines that can appear endless, with one wildebeest galloping after another as though they were being chased. Zebra, other antelopes and some of the predators follow in their footsteps. Such a spectacle is best observed and appreciated from the air.
From the west, they move slowly northwards and spill-over into Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, before returning to the Serengeti plains with the coming of the rains, but more slowly this time and spread out. It should be mentioned that, while in the east they spill-over into Ngorongoro Crater, significantly swelling the size of the resident population of wildebeest and zebra in the crater.