Top 5 Things To Do In The Serengeti

The Serengeti is one of the most famous and widely visited national parks of Africa and here you can experience some of the most spectacular wildlife viewings in the world. But there are also plenty of other activities you can enjoy in the Serengeti between game viewing drives.

The Serengeti matches most people’s dream idea of an safari in Africa with the numerous species of wildlife, vast golden plains adorned with kopjes and umbrella trees, groves of the weird Kigelia Africana, otherwise known as the sausage tree and watering holes filled with crocodiles and huge hippos.

To get the most out of your time in Africa it is important to plan well, given the sheer size of the interesting areas to visit and the time needed to fully enjoy what a tour has to offer.

Below you will find my tips on the top five must-see activities to enjoy in the Serengeti.

1. Allow as much time as possible for game drives

It is probably fair to say that for most visitors, the highlight of a visit to the Serengeti is the experience of viewing the wildlife in its glorious natural habitat. Famous for the migration of wildebeest and bird watching opportunities, this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most tourists. But what many do not account for is the sheer size of the area – you simply cannot cover everything in a few days, and to try means you will miss out on some amazing views. So allow as much time as possible for game drives and leave as early as possible to maximize your day.

2. Visit the Serengeti Visitor Center

The Serengeti Visitor Centre is well worth a visit. Here you will find a guided walking path with very helpful and informative signs and exhibits describing the ecosystem of the Serengeti and the wildlife. Wildlife you will likely come across when walking the path includes unusual birds, vibrantly colorful agama lizards and cute little rock hyraxes.

The center has a picnic area, restrooms, and a coffee shop. You can also buy souvenirs. You will find the Visitor Center in the Seronera area. It is open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

3. Visit a Maasai Village

The Serengeti ecosystem is home to the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, who live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley. They are a well-known people in East Africa as they live within many of the more famous game parks. The Massai live an old-style way of life, marked by their distinctive traditional attire. Most of the Maasai villages welcome visitors and the tribes people are happy to demonstrate their customs and lifestyle. A visit to a Maasai village will usually last about an hour. Visitors are typically shown the village school, a boma dwelling which is a round construction made of sticks, cow manure and mud, and if you are lucky a dancing ceremony. After tourists may purchase crafts created by the villagers.

4. Experience the Great Migration

The Serengeti is the background for one of the world’s most eminent natural spectacles: the Great Migration. Herds of over a million wildebeest, zebras and gazelle move in a pattern throughout the year which is somewhat predictable. Some people think the migration is a once a year event, summed up by a river crossing, but the beast actually migrate throughout the year, as the seek fresh grazing pastures and fresh water. The precise timing migration depends on the rainfall pattern during the year.

Here’s an  idea of the migration cycle: From January to March the wildebeest reside in the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area and southern Serengeti area grazing and calving.  During April and May the herds begin to move in a northwesterly direction looker for greener grass. May is generally the start of the mating season also known as “the rut”. When June comes, the herds are looking to move to the western side of the crocodile-infested Grumeti River, and throughout July and August they move in a northeast direction towards the Mara River and the border of Kenya. This is the time of the dramatic Mara River crossings when many animal lose their lives to crocodiles. From September to December the herds graze in the Maasai Mara in Kenya before slowly migrating in a southwestern direction returning to Tanzania to restart the process.

If you are interested in seeing the migration, contact us and we will give you details of how to maximise your chances of seeing the herds. Regarding the river crossings, timing is not always predictable so if this is high on your list make sure you plan enough time in the area to improve your chances of seeing it.

5. See the Serengeti from above

Perhaps the most marvelous way to see the Serengeti is with a bird’s eye view floating in a hot air balloon over the plains at dawn. During a balloon ride you can witness the sunrise over the “endless plains” before lowering to treetop level to view the herds before they seek cover to escape the hot daytime heat. After landing, you’ll be treated to a glass of champagne and a full English-breakfast with. This is a wonderful but experience but it does come with a price tag of $499 per person. You can find out more at Serengeti Balloon Safaris.