More About The Serengeti

More about More About The Serengeti

About the Serengeti

Since its early beginnings in 1921 when the first steps were made to protect this area, the Serengeti has become arguably the most famous National Park in the world, a World Heritage Site and one of the most important areas of biodiversity on our planet. Gazetted in 1951, the now 14,750kmsq of the Serengeti National Park forms part of the wider Serengeti eco-system comprising the Masai Mara, Grumeti and Maswa Game Reserves and contiguous with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Loliondo Game Controlled Area. The diverse landscape, ranging from the quintessential plains in the south to the gallery forest of the west and the hilly woodland to the north define a park that is plentiful in bird and animal life. A typical day on safari can be as varied as the topography, with surprises around every corner.

The Migration

Since 1989 we have flown on the warm coastal winds that feed the richly nutritious grass plains of the south with ash from volcanoes. This is where animals in their millions choose to have their young. Much of the attention is on this, “the largest ungulate migration on earth” and indeed the sight of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle and zebra in synchrony, driven by the common instincts to seek food and reproduce, is something that is hard to crystallise into words. It is about the vast scale of nature and yet it is also the story of each individual as it traces its journey across the grassland towards that far horizon. The wildebeest migration is a year round phenomenon, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to see it.

So much more

So much, and yet so much more if you look a little closer. A vulture sheltering a single marble-white egg in an acacia-top eyrie. The broad, twitching ears and masked-face of a bat-eared fox crouching in the warm early morning sun. Ambling groups of elephant pacing along the riverbank, pausing to feed or to bath in the muddy shallows. Beyond the grand spectacle of the wildebeest migration there are constant small vignettes as wild animals go about their own lives and we have the privilege to observe them and be part of the scene. Amongst the many things to see on safari are the interactions between the wildlife and their environment; ecology played out in front of your very eyes.


We are proud to be part of the ongoing efforts to conserve this remarkable part of our heritage, and our future. We support the critical anti-poaching work of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Bernhard Gzrimek (President of FZS for over 40 years) was instrumental in the formation of the Serengeti back in the 1950s and the organisation maintains his commitment to the Park to this day. We also feel that it is through education that adjacent communities will know the importance, and feel the value of, conservation and to this end we support specific projects at the Robanda Secondary School through Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC). A Tanzanian safari directly contributes to the sustainability of this great eco-system, and to the engagement of its people in managing it for future generations.

More about: Ndutu

This area of southern Serengeti is where the gently rolling short-grass plains meet the vast sky at the far horizon. Humbling spaces, ever shifting arrangements of light, cloud and wildlife on an epic scale make this ideal ballooning country. A million wildebeest amass to feed on grass made rich by the volcanic ash that settles here on warm coastal winds, and remain to bear their young. From above, the patterns of the herds as they spread and regroup can be mesmerizing and you can see for miles – from the Ngorongoro Highlands and Gol Mountains right across the endless plains of the greater Serengeti. Predators too are always present here, and a cohort of herbivores and birds, great and small, all playing their own roles in this vital ecosystem.

More about: Central Serengeti

The waters of the Seronera River, along which our flight path most often lies, feeds the Central Serengeti and its resident wildlife. The year-round water and grazing means a dependable game experience, where crocodile and great pods of hippo bask in the shallows and fish eagles glide between the acacia trees on the banks. Lion are regular visitors here as is the odd leopard, draped soporifically over a gnarly bough. The migration of wildebeest and zebra moves through here in search of fresh grazing between March and June, dispersing and re-grouping as they wend their way gently north. They return in November & December on their way to breed in the south. Whether viewing the action from just above the treetops or from 500 feet above, the feeling of being in a balloon is one of unbounded freedom.

More about: Western Serengeti

A unique ecosystem defined by an ancient pocket of Central African forest and the Grumeti River makes for an extraordinary balloon flight. On a clear day, it is possible to spot a ship on the inland sea of Lake Victoria 20miles (30km) away while floating several hundred feet above the Serengeti. On the ground below reside unusual birds, colobus monkeys, some of the largest crocodiles you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting, and a good concentration of giraffe, elephant, topi and lion to mention but a few. It is a quieter area of the Serengeti with very much its own particular flavour. During May to July, the wildebeest migration must cross the river, weaving between the giant crocs and trying to avoid the predators on the banks. It makes for exciting viewing.

More about: Northern Serengeti

Between June/July and November, a million and a half ungulates arrive to feed on the rain-fed grass of the northern plains around the Mara River near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. They cloud-chase back and forth, seeking the most succulent grazing, braving the crocodiles that lie in wait in the river and the lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena that prowl the wooded streambeds. Lone acacias and mesa-topped hills dot the waving grassy plains of this quintessentially African landscape. It’s a beautiful area to soar above with plenty to see and photograph. Untethered by roads, it’s possible to escape some of the more popular areas and enjoy the peace of the endless skies, making ballooning one of the most rewarding activities on safari in the Serengeti.

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