|Size||14,763 km2 ( 5,700 mi2 )|
|Location||335 km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.|
|Getting There||Scheduled and charter flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza. Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.|
The oldest, largest and best known of Tanzania's National Parks, this world-famous wildlife sanctuary offers the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa and probably the world: herds of buffalo, elephant and giraffe, and thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant's gazelle. The Serengeti is most famous however as the natural ampitheatre for the annual wildebeest migration. During May and June, a million wildebeest, joined by 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle, move westward in a three week frenzied trek in search of new grazing. Long columns lunge through crocodile-infested waters and carnivores follow the herds ready to hunt the weaker stragglers.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park's isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterises the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. And there are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.
The route and timing of the wildebeest migration is unpredictable. Allow at least three days to be assured of seeing them on your visit - longer if you want to see the main predators as well.