Serengeti National Park


Origin of the name: from Maasai word Siringeti which means wide endless plains.

Background history:

  • A UNESCO’s world heritage site and biosphere reserve since 1981.
  • One of the oldest, largest and best national parks in Africa with the greatest concentration of wild animals.
  • One of the 7 natural wonders of Africa and the World. World Heritage site, Man and Biosphere Reserve.
  • The Southern endless plains were formed 3 – 4 million years ago when ash blown from volcanic
  • mountains of Ngorongoro highlands, the thick layer of as preserved traces of early man and
  • supports the rich soil for the growth of short grasses in Southern plains. To preserve this it was
  • declared a Game Reserve in 1929 and in 1951 the reserve became the 1st Tanganyika National Park, including Ngorongoro Crater.
  • In 1959 resulted in today’s boundaries.
  • In the past, it was inhabited by hunter-gatherers and later by Maasai pastoralists as evidenced by the Maasai rock paintings visible at Moru Kopjes

Location: Located in 3 regions of Arusha, Mara and Simiyu.

Year of establishment: the current boundaries were officially started in 1959

Size: 14,763Km square. Roughly the size of Northern Ireland.

Altitude from the sea level: It lies around 920m to 1850m above sea level.


  • 272Km from Arusha to Naabi Hill Gate
  • 420Km from Arusha to Kleins Gate
  • 141Km from Mwanza to Ndabaka Gate
  • 253Km from Mwanza to Ikoma via Mugumu district
  • 158Km from Serari Border to Ikoma Gate via Kiabakari, Butiama and Mugumu
  • 138Km from Serari to Ikoma via Nyamongo – Mugumu
  • 67Km from Serari to Lamai via Nyamongo

Geographical features/Landscape:

Main attractions:

It is the African Paradise with colourful topography of mountains, rolling hills, rivers, plains, high

concentration of wildlife species.

Unique biodiversity and physical features from plains to rolling hills, valleys and mountains, with several tourism products.

Well known worldwide as a heart of the only great wildebeest migration to date.

A heart of Serengeti Mara Ecosystem that includes:

  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Loliondo Game Controlled
  • Maasai Mara National Park
  • Ikorongo Game Reserve
  • Grumeti Game Reserve
  • Kijereshi Game Reserve
  • Maswa Game Reserve

Attractions in the Serengeti are vast, diverse and spread into several zones, corridors and habitats.

They provide cultural value, historical significance, natural beauty, recreations, leisure, adventure

and enjoyment.

The great annual migration of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across Serengeti-Mara

Ecosystem which involves about 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 Zebras, 500,000 Thompson’s

gazelle and others

Mara and Grumeti crossing which is a circular migration crossing of Mara and Kirawira Rivers while

crocodiles feed on the crossing migration

Kopjes (Little head in Dutch) is the beautiful rock outcrops of ancient granite rocks resulting from

cracking and erosion from exposure to sun, wind and rain. They provide shelter for the wildlife and

plants. The main groups of Kopjes are Barafu, Gol, Wogakurya, Maasai, Loliondo, Simba and Moru

The endangered species like Black Rhino and Wild Dogs

A big number of predators including 3,000 lions, 7,500 hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, serval

cats, caracals, crocodiles, etc.

Southern plains of grass which are the most productive and nutritious natural grasslands in the

world. Grass starts to grow with short rains of November. They are rich in minerals and provide

grazing to migratory zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, topi, hartebeest, migratory birds (white stork, black

stork, pallid, harrier, peregrine, falcon, etc). When rains stop the plains dry out rapidly. In February

and March for 3 to 4 weeks the plains become the most wildlife’s amazing spectacles with 90% of

female wildebeest giving birth and flooding the plains with thousands of calves for the migratory

and resident’s wildlife.

Seronera valley.

oSupports many resident wildlife (giraffe, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, waterbuck, impala,

reedbuck, bushbuck, dikdik, hippopotamus, serval, caracal, crocodile, warthog, and diverse


Retima Hippo Pool – the famous refuge of hippos and crocodiles during dry season.

Kopjes in Serengeti National Park

  • River Mara where crocodiles heavily kill the crossing migrant’s preys.
  • Western Corridor which stretches to the shores of Lake Victoria (the migration arrives here around
  • June/July escaping the dry plains in the South). Migrants mix with many residents herbivores like
  • topi, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest
  • Grumeti River
  • owith lush riverine forest which hosts black and white colobus monkey,
  • ogiant Nile Crocodiles at Kirawira (they grow up to 6m long with very thick set jaws)
  • Picnicking and viewpoints
  • oDesigned for taking short break and stretching after long drives and taking packed meals.
  • oSuch as the picnic sites at MaweMeupe, Retima, Kirawira A, Seronera Visitors’ Centre and
  • at Park entrance points

Tourism activities:

Game viewing. Main activity with circuits connecting the main roads from Naabi Hill Gate that

connects NCA and Serengeti. Other gates are Ikoma, Ndabaka, Kleins.

  • Walking safaris
  • Hot air balloon
  • Filming
  • Photographic safaris


  • More than 530 species of birds (¼ of them migratory)
  • Home to the richest large predators and prey interactions worldwide. Its plant and animal diversity is equally rich.

Means of transport/access:

  • Serengeti is accessible by air and road through 15 entry points
  • There are 7 air strips
  • 8 entry gates (Naabi Hill, Ikoma, Ndabaka, Kleins, Tabora B, Lamai, Handajega, Ndutu Gate)

Rain and dry season:

  • Short rains start in early November – December
  • Long or heavy rains in January – March

Best time to visit:

  • Serengeti can be visited any time throughout the year
  • The best time is between mid-May to mid-October