Activities in Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is one of the most popular and sought after tourist destination for tourists on Tanzania safaris who would want to have great activities to undertake. The Serengeti is home to a large variety of wildlife and fauna as well as the Great wildebeest migration that is part of the world’s ten natural wonders.
History has it that the Maasai people had been grazing their livestock in the open plains of eastern Mar Region which they named “endless plains” for around 200 years by the time the first European Explorer Oscar Baumann visited the area in 1892. In the Maasai dialect, the word siringet which they used to describe the area means “the place where the land runs on forever”.
Activities in Serengeti National Park
- Wildlife Game drives
Renowned for its majestic wildlife, Serengeti National Park is a great ultimate game drive destination for any African safari. There are over 2,500 lions and more than one million wildebeest that roam the Serengeti plains. With the large size of the Serengeti tourists should be aware that the park cannot be explored in a single day but may require at least 4 days to explore each section of the park.
- Witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration
Wildebeest migration is an annual event where about one and a half million wildebeest accompanied by hundreds of thousands of zebra and numerous antelope species move in search for greener pastures. Their movement covers about 500 kilometers moving mostly in a clockwise direction from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara. The river crossing of Grumeti and Mara rivers happens as the wildebeest head back north wards the Mara. This is in the late March or April and May as the long rains set in.
- Maasai Cultural tour
The Serengeti ecosystem has been home to the Maasai semi-nomadic people for centuries. The Maasai live in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya along the Great Rift Valley. Their continued engagement in their traditional ways of life and their distinctive traditional clothing make a visit to their villages memorable.
Map of Serengeti National Park
- Visit Oduvai Gorge & Kopjes
The Olduvi or Odupai Gorge is one of the most ancient and historical spots to visit during a Tanzania wildlife safari. This site is the famous spot where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered human fossils and tools dating back to over 2 million years ago. Fossil remains of over 60 hominids (human ancestors) have been found in this area making it one of the most important pale anthropological sites in the world. It is a convenient stop for tourists traveling between the Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti National Park.
The Kopjes are granite rocks that stand out in the Serengeti Plains and add to the already spectacular flat grassland. They offer perfect places to see wildlife like the lions, cheetahs and reptiles.
- Hot Air balloon
Besides the popular game drives as a way of seeing wildlife in the Serengeti National Park, a hot air balloon experience is a memorable way of exploring the Serengeti. Have a different perspective of the wildlife and the vast plains on the hot air balloon as you have a bird eye’s view of the park.
Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest national park and remains the major draw card of the country’s tourism industry and the major lead for the northern safari circuit safaris. Other parks in the northern Tanzania circuit include the Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park and the Ngoroorongorongoro Conservation Area.
Serengeti National Park FAQ
The main access gates open at 06H00 and close at 18H00. We recommend not to arrive at any of the gates later than 15H00 so that you will arrive at your final destination (lodge or camp) in time.
Most Serengeti safaris start from Arusha Airport (ARK). A flight from Arusha to one of the main Serengeti airstrips takes between 1 hour and 10 minutes and 2 hours and 40 minutes, depending on the airstrip location. Bear in mind that departure times and routings may vary depending on traveller requirements and local weather conditions. As these flights service multiple lodges and airstrips it is possible that multiple stops are made en route to your destination (with a maximum of three landings). When starting from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) one should add approximately 30 minutes to the above mentioned flight times. Read all about flights to Serengeti.
The Serengeti measures 14,750 square kilometers, which is about 5,700 square miles. It is slightly bigger than the area size of The Bahamas. The national park is unfenced and therefore shares an open border with the Greater Serengeti ecosystem (including the Masai Mara in Kenya): the total area size of the Serengeti ecosystem in approximately 30,000 square kilometers or 12,000 square miles (roughly the size of Belgium)
Guests may travel to the Serengeti by vehicle (transfer, self drive or guided safari) or by flight on a light aircraft to one of the Serengeti airstrips in the national park. Your journey usually starts from the town of Arusha -which is considered to be the gateway to the Serengeti- or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). For more information please see our ‘getting here’ page.
The per person park fee currently is US$ 70.80 per adult per day (valid up to 30 June 2021). High season park fees (US$ 82.60 per adult per day) apply between 1 July 2021 and 14 March 2022, and between 16 May 2022 and 30 June 2022. The park fee for children (aged between 5 and 15 years old) is US$ 23.60 per day, regardless of the season. Children below the age of 5 may enter the Serengeti free of charge. All main entry gates accepts credit cards.
Serengeti National Park -in its original form- was established in 1951. In 1959, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was split off from the national park and the park’s boundaries were extended to the Kenya border. Kenya established the Masai Mara National Reserve in 1961 and in 1965 the Lamai Wedge between the Mara River and the Kenya border was added to Serengeti National Park, thus creating a permanent corridor allowing the wildebeests to migrate from the Serengeti plains in the south to the Loita Plains in the north. Maswa Game Reserve (southern Serengeti) was established in 1962 and a small area north of The Grumeti River in the western corridor was added in 1967.
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