Serengeti National Park
About Serengeti National Park
The name “Serengeti” is derived from a Maasai word “Siringet”, meaning endless-plain, referring to its extensive plains. Serengeti is a vast and beautiful park that extends for 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 square miles), and it is most probably the world’s most famous wildlife sanctuary.
With the status of a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, Serengeti supports the largest concentration of big game in the world.
In addition to watching the incredible great migration of almost two million wildebeest and zebra that takes place each year from December to August, many people visit the Serengeti to see the exciting big cats. The park draws thousands of visitors annually, all hoping to view the long files of wildebeest and the predators that stalk them. Due to the important biological value of the park, several conservation and research efforts are underway in the Serengeti. The Tanzania National Park Association and the Frankfurt Zoological Society manage the park jointly.
All the classic big game animals of Africa are found in the Serengeti. Of recent importance are re-introduction programs for black rhino and Cape hunting dogs. The black rhino is being introduced in the north and south of the Park while hunting dogs are beginning to spread throughout.
- Game viewing by vehicle
- Walking safaris
- Ballooning is now possible in the north, south, and center of the Park
Accommodation options are many. The National Park has,
- Public campsites. These are shared sites that are booked upon arrival at the Park and have simple infrastructures of water supplies, toilets, and kitchens.
- Special campsites. These have no infrastructure and are booked for exclusive groups only through TANAPA Headquarters in Arusha.
- Seasonal campsites. These have no permanent infrastructure and are booked by a single operator for a specific period of time, on a renewable basis.
- The National Park operates a self-catering hostel for student groups and has a 2 roomed Rest House for individuals.
In addition, there are accommodations provided by private companies, that range from hotels of the highest international standard to simple but comfortable lodges and permanent tented camps.
Best time to go
The Serengeti is a year-round destination with access to all parts throughout the year.
Air. There are all-weather airstrips in the center at Seronera, in the south at Kusini, in the east at Lobo, in the west at Kirawira and in the north at Kogatende and Lamai. These airstrips are used by scheduled and private charters. Road. Access is only possible through established entry points which are at Naabi Hill, Seronera, Ndutu, Kusini, Kirawira, Handajega, Ikoma, Tabora ‘B’, Lamai, Kleins. All entry fees are paid online through the Park HQ, and all entry points and the HQ are interconnected through the internet.
The Serengeti is on almost everyone’s wish list for a safari to Tanzania, but one can only absorb the full extent of Tanzania’s extraordinary depth and character as a safari destination by including other places in one’s travels. The rugged wilderness of the southern and northwestern
Parks and the joys of Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika are a wonderful contrast. Indeed, one quickly reaches the conclusion that one safari is not enough. Welcome back one day!
When in Serengeti you may visit Fort Ikoma a German fort that was set up at the end of the 1890’s to spread the German influence in the Northern part of German East Africa. The Fort is situated on top of the most easterly of a series of low hills about one mile north of the Grumeti River.
The first European to set foot in the area was the German explorer and naturalist Dr. Oscar Baumann, who passed by as an agent of the German Anti-Slavery Committee on his way to Burundi in 1892. Baumann was in fact the first European to visit both Ngorongoro and the Serengeti together with his compatriots who built the Fort. The Fort was used as an administrative center and a military outpost until it fell to the British in 1917 as the Germans were forced to retreat from what is now Tanzania during the World War