WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT SERENGETI IN YOUR LIFETIME
To quench our innate thirst for adventure, we often make ourselves a bucket list. Usually, this list is filled with things to look forward to and things that make us wanna look back. If you want to experience something truly remarkable, it is apt to include Serengeti in your list. Here are 10 of the many reasons why you should visit Serengeti in your lifetime:
#1: A natural world wonder
The moment you get to Serengeti is the moment you can finally say, “Wow. I AM in Africa.” The scenery in Serengeti is just breathtaking – the perfect panorama to what African dreams are made of.
Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, recognizing it as the home of the largest herds of grazing animals and the highest concentration of large mammals in the world. It is blessed with a boundless stretch of open woodlands and golden savannah speckled with lone acacia trees and random rocky outcrops as well as dense populations of various wildlife including the world-famous Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino) and globally endangered animals such as wild dogs and cheetahs. If can’t imagine it enough, think of the setting of the classic Lion King movie. It was inspired by the Serengeti.
To make things even more exciting and dramatic, the Serengeti is sure to show you unrivaled predator-prey interactions – leopards hunting a wounded gazelle, a lioness attacking a feeble postnatal wildebeest, hyena packs ravaging a defenseless zebra.
#2: Home of the World Cup of Wildlife
Every year, over two million wildebeests, 300,000 zebras, and 900,000 gazelles travel from the southern plains of the Serengeti to its northern region in pursuit of better grass and water resources. Majority of the herds cross the Nile crocodile-infested rivers while others swerve northeast towards Lobo Hills, haven of many soaring black eagles.
Of course, while the herds move from one place to another, predators are always around the corner, waiting for the perfect time to make a kill. Predator-prey action is definitely a common sighting!
This annual event, often referred to as the World Cup of Wildlife, is the largest animal movement in the world and one of Earth’s greatest spectacles.
You can experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure nowhere else in the world. It is a cycle that travelers across the globe await and so it is always wise to plan your trip ahead.
#3: Year-round destination
In the Serengeti, the magic never palls. No matter what month or season you plan to go, there will always be something in store for you. Sure, April and May are known as “long rains” or wet season but this is also the time where you can see the whole park transform into a lush, green paradise with water-rich rivers, lakes and pans. Significant herds of buffaloes, elephants and other herbivores are common sightings during this time.
In December to February (sometimes extending until March), approximately 8,000 baby wildebeests are born in the southern area of the Serengeti. Expect to gush over their cuteness as they try to run around with their wobbly feet right after they come out. But, also expect some heartbreak as predators take real advantage of these feeble young ungulates and vulnerable mothers. Often, adult wildebeests barricade around the birthing mothers and their babies to protect them from the opportunistic animals.
In other months especially between June and October, you will be able to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather that’s ideal for bush picnics and some fascinating game viewing experiences.
#4: Nearby other UNESCO sites and parks
As part of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, it is very easy to visit other star attractions in the country. A 5-day itinerary (or even less) can cover other spectacular game sanctuaries like the world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Ngorongoro Crater and the scenic Lake Manyara National Park. If you want, you can even add cultural tours, beach escapades and treks to Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain!
#5: Suitable for any budget range
The Serengeti always has something in store for everyone – from exciting activities like hot air balloon safari, bonfire amidst the wild and bush dining right at the heart of the park to a wide-range of accommodation: budget camps, mid-range lodges and ultra luxe tented camps!
Whether you are traveling alone, with friends, family or are in a romantic getaway with your loved one, the magic of the Serengeti will surely blow you away and make your African adventure a trip you will always want to look back to.
#6: Sightings of other wildlife
It’s easy to get fascinated by the magnanimous wildebeest migration joined by tens of thousands of zebras, gazelles and topi. But, the Serengeti offers more than that. Worldwide known for its abundance and wide array of wildlife and game, it is not uncommon for a visitor to see rare species of antelopes like klipspringer, elands, fringe-eared oryx and dik diks hanging around the kopjes or jackals, hyenas and cheetahs tailing the wildebeest herds.
Perhaps the most sought-after among tourists are the Big Five – East African lion, African bush elephant, African leopard, Eastern black rhinos and African buffalo – that can be easily seen in their natural habitats inside the park. Other common wildlife sightings include golden wolves, honey badger, mongoose, otters and wild dogs. Primates and reptiles are also abundant in the Serengeti. You can find Nile crocodiles, leopard tortoises, chameleons, black-necked spitting cobras, yellow and olive baboons, vervet monkeys and black and white colobus.
#7: Panoramic postcard landscape views
Encompassing 14,750 square kilometers of wildlife-ridden grassland plains, savanna, woodlands and riverine forests peppered with granite outcrops and umbrella trees, the Serengeti offers an unrivaled scenery that’s just magical in every corner. Whether you gaze upon its glorious landscapes with your eyes, through your camera lens, from your safari vehicle, over your room’s veranda or from a floating hot air balloon, the Serengeti will surely take your breath away. Besides, it wouldn’t be recognized as one of the most biodiverse landscapes for nothing, right?
Plus, the Serengeti features one of the most stunning sunsets and sunrises in the world. So sit back, relax and enjoy a concerto of muted pink, orange and gold skies from a distance.
#8: Birding Activities
The Serengeti is home to over 500 bird species including yellow-billed storks, lesser flamingoes, vulture, martial eagles, Masai ostriches, blue-cheeked Cordon Bleu, helmeted guinea fowls, raptors and crowned cranes. Migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa also arrive around November, adding to the already impressive resident birds in the area. So if you are a bird enthusiast, prepare to feast your eyes with an incredible avifauna and get ready as you will surely find it hard to put down your binoculars!
#9: Meet the Maasai
The vibrant Maasai tribe is by itself a valuable part of the Serengeti landscape. Even if you’ve already went out on a wildlife safari and explored every corner of the Serengeti, you won’t be able to fully understand it without paying a visit to the locals who have lived there all their lives. Make time to visit their tribe and learn a thing or two about their culture and lifestyle. Maybe you can even “jump dance” with them or attend one of their ceremonial traditions!
#10: Exceptional accommodation options
Experience luxury in the wild: stay in the heart of the Serengeti without losing touch of first-class amenities and lavish comforts. You can have your own exclusive tented camp, daily spread of sumptuous food prepared by a professional chef and a comfortable bed fitted with superior quality sheets to rest on after an exciting day out.
Or, if you want to rough it out and experience a raw African adventure, you can always choose to do an actual camping where you can stay at camping tents on designated camping sites.
There are plenty of other reasons why you should visit Serengeti in your lifetime: availability of flights from all over the world and a plethora of superb photo opportunities to name a few more. Certainly, there is nothing like the Serengeti. It is the ultimate destination for travelers who want to experience a whole new world of adventure, mystery and natural beauty. So, when are you going to tick it off your bucket list?