Let’s start from the fact that the Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.
That’s a good point to take your camera and go to visit this place. Located in the northern part of Tanzania, around 6h from the nearest city (Arusha) and 7h from the nearest airport (Kilimanjaro International – JRO), it is an item for your bucket list. Check this out:
Yes, do you think it can get more Safari than this? It can!
So, few things to consider before approaching Tanzania.
- It is strongly advised to go through a reputable safari company (we went through Safari Makers, found on Lonely planet) for different aspects like dealing with all the paperwork involved for booking campsites, entrance fees, difficult roads and some car mechanics knowledge if anything in your car breaks down. Oh by the way, they also get stuck in the mud (and that is kind of a relief, considering the Botswana adventure)
- If you are on a budget, it can bring you out of your comfort zone. Sleeping in tents with hyenas and zebras roaming around freely in your campsite is an experience indeed!
- It costs a lot, even if it’s a budget safari (1200+ USD). We did a 5 days, 4 nights safari passing through 3 areas and sleeping at Jambo public campsite, 2 nights at Seronera and 1 at Simba public campsite.
- If you decide to stay some more time in the main cities (Moshi or Arusha), that will be definitely a real african experience. Living in those places will not be super easy, but ask to a local where/when to go and you will not regret it 🙂
Said that, back to Safari. The three areas we explored were Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Tarangire, the elephant retreat
The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Baobabs seem dead during the dry season because they lose all the leaves to retain water. But they are alive and ready to recover as soon as the wet season will start again. The one in the photo below is around 500-600 years old.
Serengeti, the real Savannah
Spanning around 30,000 km2 from Northern Tanzania, the Serengeti is the place where the second mammal terrestrial migration happen.
It is also renowned for its large lion population as one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. And also of other big cats like Mr. Leopard below.
Each year around the same time, the circular great wildebeest migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. The initial phase lasts from approximately January to March, when the calving season begins – a time when there is plenty of rain-ripened grass available for the 260,000 zebra that precede 1.7 million wildebeest and the following hundreds of thousands of other plains game, including around 470,000 gazelles.
Although big cats may be shy enough to be seen, the wonderful nature around you, that’s not possible to miss.
Ngorongoro Crater, the incredibly photogenic reserve
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 metres deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometres.
This is one of the most wonderful places on Earth, hence please understand me if the pics are not showing the entire beauty of this area.
In conclusion, a little mention is worth for the Mount Meru, a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania. at a height of 4,562.13 metres, it is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the fifth-highest mountain in Africa.
If you want to have more info on any of these aspects I mentioned, do not hesitate to contact me! Hope it was as fun for you to read this as it was for us writing it!