The Serengeti National Park,was founded because the area was used for hunting lions and this led to a vast depopulation of the animals. The British colonial administration in Tanzania created a partial game reserve of around 3.2 square kilometers (800 acres) in 1921 and made it a full game reserve in 1929. This was the foundation of what will one day become known as the Serengeti National Park, which was officially established in 1951. In 1981 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Serengeti National Park is home to a large array of animals. Included in this is the entire Big Five, however the rhino populations are very small due to the large amounts of rhino poaching in all of Africa. Strong measures are taken in the park to ensure the safety of this endangered animal.
Some of the other animals found in the park are large herds of impala (one of the most successful mammals on earth), Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, klipspringer, giraffe, warthog, roan antelope, bushbuck, lesser kudu, oryx, hartebeest, eland, wild wildebeest and many others.
A list of more commonly found mammals in the Serengeti National Park.
Other carnivores within the area include the very rare African golden wolf, African lion, leopard, striped hyena, spotted hyena, African wild dogs, honey badger, serval, cheetah and many others.
The area is a birder’s paradise, featuring more than 500 different species of birds, ranging from the very large ostrich, the Ashy starling, the Black crake, Ficher’s lovebird, Hartlaub’s turaco, the red and yellow barbet and very small finches. A list of the more commonly found bird species in the Serengeti National Park.
While the Serengeti spans two countries, Tanzania is considered the main point of entry. There are many airlines that offer affordable flights to the country.
International visitors who are exclusively visiting the Serengeti for a safari will be better off flying into either Dar es Salaam or Arusha before boarding a transfer vehicle or flight to take them to their safari provider. This is the more comfortable, less rugged option when compared with the second option, which is to drive in. There are many shuttles that will take you to the Serengeti, or, alternatively, you can drive yourself. A drive is ideal for those who are already touring the area and often driving is a cheaper option.
As we’re on the travelling topic, this is the best time to talk about the paperwork you will need. Most travelers will need to apply for a visa if they wish to enter Tanzania. The visa is valid for 6 months and the great thing about this visa is that you can apply for it online if you wish to save time by not having to visit your closest Tanzanian embassy or consulate. It’s best that you read up on all of the visa options available as in some cases you will be able to apply for your visa upon entry.
Again we have to mention that the Serengeti spans two nations and as such it can have an effect on the paperwork you’ll need. If you want to see the second half of the Great Migration or if you have always wanted to see the Maasai Mara, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork to visit Kenya. You might well end up with 2 visas, so doing your research before booking an African safari is a must. You will also need to be in possession of a valid passport.
Your first time on safari? You are in for an unforgettable experience! Depending on how many days you have chosen to spend in the Serengeti, you could be in for a laid back, unrushed safari, or a quick, action packed adventure.
Africa is the perfect wildlife holiday destination, but it is not the kind of destination where you’ll be sleeping in until 10 am. Waking to the sounds of animals, birds and insects is one of the most beautiful and relaxing way to start the day. It reminds you of where you are but it is also going to make it impossible to have a sleepy lie in.
Just about all African safaris have early starts, because the earlier you head out there, the more animals you will be able to see. Africa comes alive just before dawn. The earlier you are up and out there, the better.
By 12 pm, when the African sun is searing hot, even in the middle of winter, animals tend to hide away and you might be inclined to follow suit. Early mornings are ideal for spotting wildlife as they get a drink of water or indulge in some early morning grazing.
Most days on safari will start at around 6 am and breakfast is eaten while you enjoy a 2 – 3 hour game drive. This is the norm for most safari providers, but itineraries can change from company to company. By midday, you will either return to a rest camp or you will stop somewhere comfortable to have lunch. Again, while it might change from tour provider to to provider, most times you will be taken back to your accommodation where you can kick up your feet and spend your afternoon relaxing.
Once the sun starts to dip in the afternoon, and the day cools off, guests go out for a late afternoon safari. At this time of the day, the animals emerge once more. During certain periods of the Great Migration, animals don’t wait for the heat to abate, and can often be seen migrating throughout the day.
The Serengeti is unlike any other place on earth. The vastness of the landscape along with the Great Migration can make you feel small in comparison to the wonders of nature. A visit to the Serengeti is without a doubt, a once in a lifetime experience. If this safari is not on your bucket list, it should be.