The Serengeti is the most famous of Tanzania's national parks located in the northern part of Tanzania. The park is renowned for its annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest and on their way are usually accompanied by about 250,000 zebras and 200,000 gazelles. Ceaseless columns of wildebeest swarm into the Serengeti, blanking the plains on their way to Maasai Mara, thus anyone planning a safari to the Serengeti is well worth it.
The massive Serengeti is 14763 sq. km of endless rolls of plains dotted by kopjes (rock outcrops), and patches of flat-topped acacias, woodland, swamps and lakes. By the way, the word Serengeti itself is a Masaai word which stands for "endless plains". It provides sanctuary to the highest concentration of wildlife in the world. It is home to about 4 million animals. As you travel on, you gradually encounter increasing numbers of wildlife. There are about 35 species of savannah animals to see along with many of the 500-odd species of birds. In June or July one can witness this spectacular annual migration in search of water and food as the season change. In their wake, follow the predators: lion, cheetah, hyena and hunting dogs with vultures circling overhead.
Serengeti is one of Tanzania's largest national parks but has very little water, so the migration and general location of most of the animals is linked to rainfall patterns. The Serengeti migration is non-stop taking place between 9-11 months of each year as described below.
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH
Safaris planned with the intention to follow the great migration please note that December to July is the best time - see details above. However, for those wanting to see predators June to October is recommended.
Once in the country, the Serengeti can be reached both by air and road. There are scheduled and charter flights from Arusha town, Lake Manyara and Mwanza. Driving by road from Arusha takes about 8 hours over a distance of about 320 km. The Kilimanjaro airport in Arusha is the closest international airport to the park and visitors can take any of the internal flights to the Serengeti airstrips at Seronera or Kirawira.
Olduvai Gorge is situated in the eastern Serengeti and it is about 48 km long. The gorge is simply referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind” and it is also locally called "Oldupai", a name given by the Maasai for the sisal growing that is grown in the gorge. It is here in 1959 the dedicated Doctors Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the skull of Zinjanthropus Man believed to have lived 1.75 million years ago. In addition fossils from prehistoric animals that lived around the same period were discovered. The George Museum exhibits their remarkable finds but the place is also a resting place suitable for picnic lunch whilst on a safari. The Gorge is located on the route between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti and is part of many itineraries.