There is so much more to the Serengeti than the Great Migration. These endless plains, contain valleys, hills and woodland as well as the open plains that seem to stretch out forever. Every time of year offering something different, something special. However, the Great Migration seems to be the only thing on the itinerary. The Serengeti is more than this single spectacular event and I urge you to take time to explore as much as you can in the Serengeti. This is important in Africa, to slow down and spend some time exploring; you will be well rewarded.
The Tanzanian Parks authority claim that over six million hooves thunder across the plains during the great migration. This, sadly, is the world’s last surviving migration on such a grand scale. This is understandably why it dominates every Serengeti Safari.
Do not despair if the time of year you visit falls outside the great migration or if the migration and the rains that trigger it off fail. If you sit at the Grumeti River and not a single wildebeest attempts to cross do not feel disappointed. The Serengeti has so very much more to offer – you will never be disappointed.
The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest park and offers arguably the best game viewing in the whole of Africa. The park has great heads of buffalo, small heard of elephant, giraffe, eland, topi, impala, grants gazelle, with leopards in the acacia lining the Seronera Valley, lion prides abound especially in the Lobo hills in the north and there is a high density of cheetah’s in the south east Serengeti. There are three types of African Sachal, spotted hyena and a myriad of small predators such as the aard-wolf and the beautiful serval cat.
There are also reptiles, amazing insects including over one-hundred species of dung beetle and over five hundred bird species; from the great and ungainly ostrich to the majestic black eagle hovering over the Lobo Hills in the remote north.
The plains are scorched a rich golden color yet after the rains the Serengeti is green carpet with wild flowers everywhere. The flat pains are broken in places with deep valleys, wooded hills and rivers lined with fig trees and the flat topped acacia.
The vastness of this park translates into 5,700 square miles – figures vary as to the exact size – this however is the official size according to the Tanzania Government. The park stretches north to Kenya and west to the huge Lake Victoria.
To get to the Serengeti you can dive from Arusha passing Lake Manyara and driving across Ngorongoro Conservation Area and into the Serengeti. You are also able to fly by light aircraft into the Serengeti although these flights are expensive.
Finally I would urge you to resist the temptation to try and see as much as possible in a short a time as possible. You will end up with safari fatigue and hating your safari experience. For Africa is an experience and best done at a slow pace. To see and experience more you must slow down. Africa is an event and to rush from place to place you will simply miss Africa, all you will have to show after your safari will be some nice photographs and maybe a tee-shirt stating ‘hakuna matata’
Enjoy your safari and experience Africa you will, no doubt, return to this amazing continent and to this wonderful country – Tanzania.
About the Author: For further information on Tanzania contact Bethel Community Initiatives work from Arusha in Northern Tanzania. http://www.betheladventure.co.uk uses tourism to fund community initiatives focused on the education of the young and the medical care for the whole family.