Tripadvisor just released its Travelers Choice list of best national parks in the world, and Serengeti National Park tops the list at number 1. A celebration of the views, lakes, trees, trails, beaches, and mountains that got travelers outside and into nature, Serengeti edged out other famous parks, such as USA’s Grand Teton, Costa Rica’s Arenal, Chile’s Torres Del Paine and New Zealand’s Fiordland.
Two other Tanzanian parks also made the list; Kilimanjaro National Park and Tarangire National Park came in at 12th and 14th, respectively.
The Serengeti ecosystem has always been a huge tourist draw for its wildebeest migration – dubbed the greatest show on earth – and its diverse wildlife that changes dramatically with the presence or absence of the migration. But did you know the Serengeti ecosystem has so much more to offer beyond the migration? Here are just a few other reasons why the Serengeti is not to be missed.
The park is full of hills, valleys, and rivers. Most unique are the plains dotted with several gneiss and granite outcroppings called kopjes (pronounced ‘copies’). These are huge boulders of sparkling, coarse, granite rock outcrops, often called islands in a sea of grass. The famous ‘pride rock’ in Disney’s The Lion King is a very realistic portrayal of the kopjes of the Serengeti. These serve as a refuge for life to various plants and animals; you can often spot lion prides resting on their flat tops. The weathered, cracked, and round surfaces harbor various insects, birds, lizards – like the colorful agama lizard – and mammals – like rock hyraxes.
Serengeti is a bird paradise, one of Africa’s endemic bird areas, with more than 500 bird species recorded. It hosts three endemic species found only in Tanzania – Fischer’s lovebird, Grey Breasted Spurfowl, and Rufous Tailed Weaver. It is also host to migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa. Serengeti offers good bird watching year-round, but the highlight is the period from November through April, when migratory birds are present and resident birds are nesting, making it easy to spot the birds in their breeding plumage.
The park can be divided into two vegetation regions, defined by dominant vegetation woodland and grassland. The grasslands include the southern, nutrient-rich plains fed by the volcanic dust blowing from the Ngorongoro Highlands. The woodlands are grassy areas, dotted with Acacia and Terminalia trees, that spread from central Serengeti into the western region and up into the northern area of the park.
Some of the best wildlife viewing in all of Africa is found here. All major animals can be spotted in Serengeti, from the popular Big Five – Lion, Leopard, Black Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant – to so many other unique creatures such as Nile Crocodile, Topi, Bat-eared Fox, Cheetahs, Hippos, Giraffe, Serval Cats and many more, including 100 varieties of the dung beetle, which can be surprisingly fun to watch!
We host custom safaris through this stunning, award-winning park year-round. Start planning an adventure with us by looking through some of our sample itineraries and contacting our travel experts now.
I think Tanzania produces the best wildlife photos. Now look at these ones, I couldn’t even read the article before seeing the pictures 3 times.
I appreciate the art exhibited.