10 Best Things to do in Serengeti

25.08.22

We've had such a lot of interest from our blog on ‘what are the best things to do in Serengeti?' that I feel the need to expand it a bit! The whole experience of being on safari in this amazing national park is absolutely full of wonder and couldn't be more highly recommended, so here are some ideas about how to really make the most of your activities in Serengeti:

Of course, I am going to tell you that you definitely won't regret choosing one of our Serengeti Balloon Safaris as one of your excursions, a quick scan of our TripAdvisor reviews should convince you of that; so many people say that it was the highlight of their safari. One of the things that isn't often explicitly mentioned is that you get to see the area from above, and if you are anything like me and you like to situate yourself and know where you are, the perspective from the balloon will help you to know where you are amongst the surroundings of Serengeti for the rest of your stay. Afraid of heights? Don’t let that put you off, you can read that the vast majority of guests who are afraid of heights say that they were fine on the balloon, helped by the reassurance of our safety belt system.

The migration? Yes, that is why many people come - the sheer volume of biomass is humbling, the noises fill the air and it is an unforgettable spectacle. Not only are there nearly 2 million wildebeest and zebra but also hundreds of thousands of Thomson Gazelles and all the attendant predators that follow this merry-go-round through the ecosystem. But don't let it dominate your wildlife viewing in case you miss all the other extraordinary things that are there to be seen.

Cats! Big and small, Serengeti is blessed with plenty of cats of all shapes and sizes, the majesty of the lions, elusiveness and beauty of the leopards, sheer elegance of the cheetah, incredible to be able to see them. Also there are the smaller members of the family, serval, caracal and the wild cats, which come in all manner of colours in the southern plains and Ndutu. Ask your guides about the ways that lions and hyenas have evolved a ‘transit’ system of commuting thought other’s territories in order to be able to feed from this migration even when it isn’t in their ‘home’ area.

Which brings me to the hyena, don’t be put off by their terrible PR, these are supremely evolved carnivores with fascinating social lives. Spotted hyena are particularly successful in the Serengeti ecosystem, where they are studied by Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

The elephants of Serengeti have been well protected despite prevalent poaching in the region in the early part of this century. In fact the elephant numbers in Serengeti increased from 6,000 in 2014 to more than 7,000 by 2020 according to the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute. Spend some time just watching them, see how the matriarchal herds work, enjoy watching the babies learn to use their appendages with plenty of fumbles and stumbles along the way.

Hippo Pools. Whether in Central Serengeti, Western or Northern, the hippos are well worth a visit, in the Seronera, Grumeti or Mara rivers, stop and see, hear and smell them! These massive herbivores are significant shapers of the ecosystem, travelling great distances to eat enough grass to sustain themselves each night.

Picnic in the wilds. If you can take a picnic breakfast or lunch with you, it is worth it, ask your guide or camp manager to help arrange it and then stop in one of the many picnicing areas to enjoy the priviledge of filling your tummy and your senses at the same time.

TheScenery. Serengeti is gorgeous even without the animals! Marvel at the short grass plains, fill your horizons with the hills and mesas of central and northern serengeti, enjoy the woodland of Ndutu or the ancient forests of the Western Corridor and the acacia-studded plains and riverlines of North and Central Serengeti.

Go for a walk. Many camps and lodges can arrange walks for you, they are such a contrast from the time spent in your vehicle. You don’t need to go very far, even a short walk around camp can invigorate your senses. Take the time to look at the small things with your walking guide, maybe some safari ants on the march, or colourful ground herbs, perhaps used by local tribes as medicine and marvel at some of the interesting toilet habits of the local fauna.

The Weather. No, I'm not being funny here, when you have skies as big as this, there's almost always some spectacular weather happening somewhere in sight, usually providing an awesome backdrop to your photos and views.

There’s vastly more than this list but it is a good starting point.

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