The Serengeti is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, known for its game reserves, large lion population, diverse habitats, and the second-largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world.
Home to a world of beauty and wonder its no surprise that thousands of visitor flock to this destination each year. Here visitors tackle bucket list items such as witnessing the great migration, experiencing a ballon Safari over the national park or spotting the big 5! But as with any travel destination, there are certain factors visitors need to be cognisant of before their visit.
Elephants roaming savanna in the Serengeti
Tripindigo's Cheat Sheet To Navigating The Serengeti
The Serengeti is one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the world, but there are some things travellers must keep in mind before planning their vacation.
Serengeti is safe as long as a few precautions are taken. Visitors should abide by park rules; they should not try to feed the animals, shout or wander off alone, and should keep their arms and heads inside the protected vehicles.
The destination is accessible through many routes. Tourists could drive from Karatu, Tarangire, or Manyara. Through Maasai Mara, Arusha, or Zanzibar, the region can be reached by flights which land at a number of airstrips within Serengeti National Park. Arusha is the primary centre for flights to the Serengeti. Flights are preferred because drives can be long, uneventful, and tiring.
From March to May are the ‘big rains’ and the least favourable time, November to mid-December are the ‘little’ rains which do not hamper outdoor activity nor game viewing, Generally, the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. From June to October, the dry season is the most favourable for a wildlife viewing trip.
Tourists should ensure that less skin is exposed so they are protected from the sun and insects such as Tsetse flies and mosquitoes. They should also have comfortable hiking shoes and sneakers for walking. Safaris at dawn can be chilly so it is recommended to carry an extra warm layer, like a sweater or long pants. Generally, lighter colours are preferred as many insects are attracted to dark colours.
Tourists should plan their visit according to their sightseeing plans. The Southern Plains, and the Ndutu region can be explored from December to March when it is calving season and big cats can be seen in Seronera. The Great Wildebeest Migration occurs in April and May. Those who want to avert crowds should avoid the peak season in June and July.
Two Million Wildebeests Migrate to the Serengeti Each Year
6. Entrance Fee
Travellers should keep in mind that Serengeti National Park has a daily fee of $60 (US) for adults, and $20 (US) for children over 5, and students. Park fees are paid via card at the main entrance gates, and cannot be paid in cash. Residents pay $30 USD per day per adult and $10 USD per child between 10 and 16 years of age.
7. Health risks
A visit to the Serengeti comes with the risk of malaria. Visitors should wear repellants, cover exposed skin, take antimalarial medication, and get vaccinations as a precaution from mosquito-related diseases.
Tourists could plan a trip to a Serengeti village to visit the local Maasai tribe which still practices its ancient traditions. Cultural interactions with the resident Maasai people is an enriching experience. Tourists should show respect for local customs and try to learn from them.
Masaai warriors captured doing their famous jump.
Travellers must always carry their passports, travel documents, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, clean water, extra batteries and battery packs for phones and cameras, packed lunches, and first aid medicine.
Leopards, lions, buffaloes, rhinoceros, elephants, wildebeests, antelopes, and zebras can be found. However, visitors should know that some animals are only found at specific times, and some, like the rhinoceros, are rare to spot. They should also ensure that they do not disturb the wildlife in any way.
A trip to Serengeti can be an exciting, enriching, and unforgettable experience for those who love nature, travelling, exploring, and learning!