Serengeti National Park

Conservation Status : National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Established : 1951 (Tanzania’s Oldest National Park)
Location : Northern Tanzania, 335 Kms from Arusha

Size :14,763 Km² (Tanzania’s Second Largest National Park)


Maximum Length :210 Kms from South to North

Height A.S.L. : 1,200 (Western end) – 2,000 m (Eastern and Northern parts). Seronera 1,520 m, Ndutu 1,630 m, open plains in the Southeast 1,700 – 1,750 m, Lobo slightly less than 2,000 m


Seasonal Variation :
Two well-defined seasons – dry season from late May to October / November, wet season from October / November to May (less rainy in January – February). Best chances for a visitor to see a big migration are from November / December to May. Main roads in the park are passable all year around.


Precipitation :
Mean annual rainfall 650 (South) – 1,150 mm (North). Very low from June to September, practically rainless in the south, most rainy from November to May (highest monthly avg. in April, ≥ 150 mm)


Temperatures :
Monthly average 20 – 25°C. Daytime 27 – 32°C, night time 13 – 16°C. Temperatures slightly higher in the rainy seasons. Coolest season from May to August, with night sometimes < 10°C. Activities : Game drives, Maasai rock paintings, Musical rocks and Balloon safari Declared by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites, the Serengeti National Park at 14,700 sq km is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and breathtaking display of wildlife everywhere. Known by the Maasai people as “siringit-endless plains”, it is a land of vast grassland plains, acacia-studded savannas, wooded hills and mountains. Contiguous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve on the Kenyan side of the border, the Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s greatest wildlife refuges.


At any point in time, the park’s vast grassland plains and savannas are speckled with herds of grazing zebras, giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest and topi. The acacia forests abound with birds and monkeys; elephants and buffaloes in the swamps; and rivers brimming with hippos and crocodiles. The Seronera Valley is famous for its abundant lions and leopards. The Serengeti is an African paradise that contains one of the oldest eco-systems on Earth. Interesting features such as the fauna, climate and vegetation have barely changed in the past million years.


The plains are most famous as a stage for the great wildebeest migration, estimated to include over a million wildebeest and around 200,000 zebra, however, when witnessing this magical event there do seem to be far greater numbers. These great herds are engaged in a never ending journey through diverse landscapes, so strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, pride of lion or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Serengeti National Park is broadly divided into three distinct areas, the Seronera Valley and Seronera River, the Western Corridor and the Northern Lobo area that extends northwards to join the Maasai Mara.


The Seronera Valley : The most popular entrance to the Serengeti is the southern Naabi Hill Gate, which opens onto the Seronera Valley, a vibrant wildlife area at the heart of the Serengeti. It is characterized by wide open grassy plains patched together within a network of rivers that ensure year-round water supplies and keep this region incredibly rich in wildlife. This region in particular is studded with distinctive rock kopjies, random collections of huge granite rocks, a haven of shade and water for all animals through the dry season. The Seronera Valley has resident herds of buffalo, topi, hartebeest and impala, waterbuck, reedbuck and dikdik, giraffe, warthog, and birdlife of all colours and sizes. The large prides of lion here are renowned in this area, rolling southern plains down to the Naabi Gate is the area in which you are most likely to encounter cheetah. The lines of sausage trees along the Seronera riverbanks provide the perfect environment for leopards to camouflage themselves on sun-dappled branches. The Western Corridor : To the west of the Seronera the Serengeti branches out along the westerly reaches of the Grumeti River, in an area called the Western Corridor. This area is more wooded than the Seronera, and has a good population of resident game.


This region is particularly known and is a prime location for the wildebeest migration from mid June to July, before they head North East for the Mara River and the Masai Mara. The Northern Serengeti and Lobo area : The landscape changes as you head north from Seronera. Beyond the Orangi River the land opens out into wide open plains, clear and sun-baked and seemingly perfect cheetah terrain, although they are rarely spotted here. The route continues like this for about three hours, until you reach the hills and huge worn-smooth rock kopjies of the Lobo area.


Further north is the Mara River, which marks the border between the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Balloon safari : The Serengeti is the jewel of Africa and one of Tanzania’s most spectacular protected areas over which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride. A popular option to gain a bird’s-eye view of the wildlife below is from a hot-air balloon. An early morning departure, gentle lift-off, the lush rolling expanse of the Serengeti plains below, and a romantic champagne breakfast to complete this very special and unforgettable Serengeti experience. Witnessing this most unbelievable of natural wonders has to be the most remarkable safari experience there is. A Serengeti safari is one of Africa’s pure untamed wildlife experiences. .

Arusha National Park

This national park lies about 45km east of Arusha town. It is therefore the closest national park to the safari capital of Tanzania. This park is home to Mt Meru, Tanzania’s “other mountain” standing at 4565m, Ngurdoto Crater and the Momella Lakes. Despite its relatively small size, this park has a lot to offer such as Colobus monkeys, flamingos, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, plus a variety of bird and plant species.

How to get to Arusha National Park: From Arusha, it is roughly a one-hour drive.


Activities: Walking safari, climbing Mount Meru, game drives to Ngurdoto Crater and the Momella lakes. At dawn or late afternoon one can see Mt. Kilimanjaro quite clearly.

There are a number of options within Arusha National park and its vicinity. Due to its closeness to Arusha one can also opt to stay in the town and drive to the park. For those wishing to stay within the vicinity of the park we recommend the following

Ngorongoro Crater

This vast protected area stretches from Lake Natron (the breeding ground for East Africa’s flamingos) in the northeast, to Lake Enyasi in the south, and Lake Manyara to the east. The area includes the still active Ol-Ndoinyo Lengai (meaning “Mountain of God” in Maa, the language of the Masaai) volcano (which last erupted in 2007. Olduvai Gorge and the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It has been described as one of the great natural wonders of the world. Eight million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater was an active volcano but its cone collapsed, forming the crater that is 610 meters deep, 20 kilometres in diameter, and covers an area of 311 sq. km. Spectacular as it is, the crater accounts for just a tenth of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.


The crater is home to many species of wild game and birds. With the exception of impala and topi (due to fierce competition with the wildebeest) and the giraffe (because there is not much to eat at tree level), almost every species of African plains mammal lives in the crater, including the endangered black rhino, and the densest population of predators in Africa. A strange thing is that the crater elephants are mainly bulls. The birdlife, which includes the flamingo, is mainly seasonal, and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor.

In the northern, remote area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are the Olmoti and Empaakai craters, Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai.


The mysterious Engakura Ruins, the remains of a terraced city and a complex irrigation system, lie on the Eastern side of Empakaai Crater. Their origins are a mystery as there is no tradition of stone building in this part of Africa.


Views from the rim of the crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains. You can descend to the floor of the crater in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Only 4WD vehicles are allowed into the crater and game rangers are compulsory for all.


The Masai are permitted to water their cattle at the permanent lake and can be seen leading their animals in and out of the crater.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is located approximately 110 km Southwest of Arusha about two hours drive, covering an area of approximately 2,600 sq km.
During the dry season from June to October, this park has a particularly high concentration of wildlife, which mainly congregates along the mighty Tarangire River for water and hunting.


The park is also an ornithologist’s paradise offering shelter to more than 300 species of birds, including the largest bird in the world, rare spotted species, the ostrich and the heaviest bird that can fly, the Kori Bustard.

Animals that inhabit the Park range from; lions, buffalos, cheetahs, wild dogs, wilderbeests, leopards to zebra, gazelles and many more.

The best game viewing months are between July and December, but for bird viewing it is best to come between October and May

Lake Manyara National Park

Location: Lake Manyara is located 126 kilometres from Arusha town, and covers a total of 330 square kilometres. The Park is set in a natural Crater, creating a beautiful environment for Safari.


Attractions: Manyara National park is famous in Tanzania for many reasons, including the lions that climb the trees there. The park attracts a lot of visitors due to it being the natural habitat of many different species of beautiful bird, who spend their days searching the lake for food. In total there are over 400 species of bird living in the park.


There are also many animals that inhabit the park, such as; Elephants, Lions, Buffalo’s, Leopards, Baboons, Zebra’s, and many other herbivores. Adding to the beauty of the park is a hot spring. Water comes up from the ground bubbling, and they flow all year round in all seasons.