The Attractions in Serengeti National Park are what brings many tourists to Tanzania every year. The Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World heritage site and the most popular in Tanzania. It is located in the North Eastern part of the country and covers an area of about 30,000 sq. km. To the north of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the west are two Game Reserves (Ikorongo and Grumeti) and to the Southwest is the Maswa Game Reserve. Serengeti means “Endless plains” among the Maasai. The Serengeti National Park was established in 1952 and at that point included the Ngorongoro conservation area. The park is characterized by endless plains, which are dotted with kopjes, rivers and acacia trees. These features are home to the big 5 mammals (elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards and lions), wildebeest, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, African dogs, hippos, crocodiles and over 450 species of birds.

Because of its endless grasslands, the Serengeti is the ultimate safari destination for those who are interested in game drives or want to follow the great animal migration. This annual migration involves the movement of over 2 million zebras, gazelles and wildebeest. It is considered to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.

The Serengeti National Park can be visited throughout the year. However, to witness the great migration, you need to visit at the right time. The best time to follow the migration in the Serengeti is between May to June and December to March. Between May to June the wildebeest can be seen close to River Grumeti. From December to March, one needs to go to the Southern Plains to have the best sights.  July to October is also excellent if you are visiting the Northern areas of Kogatende, Lobo and Loliondo. This is where the wildebeest leave Tanzania and cross the Maraa River into Kenya. The Central Serengeti is unique because the animals can be seen all year round.

Attractions in Serengeti national park
Serengeti national park

What can you do in the Serengeti? The main attractions in the Serengeti are nature walks, game drives, Hot Air Balloon Safaris, Bush meals, visiting the Serengeti Visitor Center, visiting Olduvai Gorge, visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, observing the Wildebeest Migration, visiting the Maasai, Camping, exploring the Bologonja Springs, the Lobo Valley, The Moru Kopjes, Bird Watching, Swimming, the Hippo Pool and Lake Natron. We will now discuss all of them in more detail.

Early morning game drive

A game drive in the Serengeti park is without doubt the most popular thing to do. It is the best way to see big 5 and other resident creatures. Animals in the Serengeti are very active in the morning and evening hours. The morning game drive starts at sunrise and ends at around 11: am. It is designed to allow tourists spot nocturnal animals retreating back to their holes/dens or observe herbivores going out to graze. The morning game drive is also excellent for spotting hyenas, wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, leopards and hippos (as they return from a night of grazing outside the pools). Lions love hunting in the night and early in the morning before the sun gets too hot. It is important to note that there are also afternoon game drives starting from 2:00pm to 5:30pm. If you don’t want to miss anything, you can go for the full day game drive starting from 6:30am to 5:30pm, Attractions in Serengeti national park.

Guided Nature walks

Nature walks are an excellent way to discover the Serengeti in a way that would not be possible while on a standard game drive. The Nature walks are unpredictable and you don’t follow specific tracks. This allows you to spot reptiles, birds, insects and other rare plants along the way. Most nature walks are organized by some of the accommodation facilities. You will be escorted by an armed ranger in the terrain and knows about the different species in the park.

Hot Air Balloon Safari

If you want to have a different perspective of the vast Serengeti national park and can afford it, we highly recommend a hot air balloon safari. From thousands of feet above the ground, you will get an aerial view of the plains and the animals that roam it. Hot air balloon safaris are particularly popular during the wildebeest migration allowing travelers to observe them in the thousands. Hot air balloon safaris start in the morning and ends with champagne breakfast in the African wilderness. Hot air balloons can take between 12 to 16 people. You need to book your tour in advance and prepare to pay about $500. Hot Air balloon safaris are excellent for honeymooners and those planning to celebrate an anniversary or birthday party. You will never forget the experience of getting a bird-eye view of the Serengeti plains and Africa’s famous wildlife.

Attractions in Serengeti national park
Hot air Balloon Safaris in Serengeti

Visit the Serengeti Visitor Center

If you are wondering about where to get all the information you need to know about the park, then you must visit this Visitor center. The Centre contains exhibits and other detailed information about the Serengeti, the ecosystem and its history. After touring the facility, you can also visit the gift and coffees shops. Alternatively, you can go for relaxation in the picnic area, Attractions in Serengeti national park.

Wildebeest Migration

Over 1.6 million herbivores (zebras, gazelles and wildebeest) migrate between the Serengeti National Park and the Masai mara national reserve each year. As they move, they go through great challenges and have to evade predators like lions, hyenas, leopards and wild dogs. One of their greatest challenges is crossing the Mara river as they cross to Kenya. They have to cross the crocodile infested river and deal with the high current. If they cross at the wrong point of the river, they risk drowning or stampeding on each other leading to thousands of deaths. The wildebeest migration attracts tourists to the Serengeti because it offers countless opportunities to witness the great battles between prey and predator. Travelers can also spend the whole day watching the wildebeest graze or give birth (calving).


Camping in the wilderness is also one of the popular activities while on a Tanzania wildlife safari in the Serengeti. Your hotel should provide you with all the camping gear, a chef and armed guards. Camping is even more exciting if you travel in a group. You would have fun with your group-mates as you party under the African sky. Basic tents cost about $50 per night while the luxury tents can cost $900 per night. Regardless of whether you go for the budget or luxury tents, the results are the same. You will still get to experience what it is like to sleep in the African wilderness with the beautiful sounds of birds, hungry lions and nervous herbivores, Attractions in Serengeti national park.

Night Game Drive

Ever wondered what it would feel like hearing the sound of wildlife in the night? A night game drive is the perfect answer. Whereas Night game drives are generally not permitted in the Serengeti National Park, a number of outfitters can arrange it in neighboring reserves. The Serengeti and private conservancies are home to many nocturnal animals like civets, aardvarks, nightjars and bush babies. Night game drives also offer travelers a chance to observe zebras, hyenas, impala, giraffes, jackals and foxes. Lions, hyenas and Leopards are very active at night. It is the best time to spot them take down prey.

Attractions in Serengeti national park
Night game drives

Bird Watching: The Serengeti National Park is home to 542 recorded species of birds. 100 of them are permanent residents of the park while 11 are endemic to the Serengeti. There are also migratory birds that visit the park between November and April. They come all the way from Europe and North Africa. The species to look out for are the great African Ostrich, vultures, Black-headed Heron, D’Arnaud’s barbet, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Decken-Toko Tockus, Grey-breasted spurfowl, Grey-headed sparrow, Purple Grenadier, Red-backed scrub, Rufous-tailed weaver, Secretary birds, The Kori bustard, Variable Sunbird, White-bellied go-away bird, White-crowned shrike and Yellow-throated sandgrouse.

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