The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-mined lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River,
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-mined lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serial cat.
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 characterizes the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburn 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.
Popular the Serengeti might be, but it remains so vast that you may be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focused unswervingly on its next meal.
Hot air balloon safaris, walking safari, picnicking, game drives, bush lunch/dinner can be arranged with hotels/tour operators. Maasai rock paintings and musical rocks. Walking safaris complement, rather than replace, regular game drives because large animals tend to be wary of people on foot and so the kind of close encounters you can get from a 4×4 aren’t very likely.
But, knowing they’re possible is a wonderful thrill. While walking safaris are common in southern Africa, the concept has not really caught on in east Africa. This is perhaps why so few people are aware that walking safaris are available in the Serengeti, even though they have been on offer for many years.
You can either do a multi-day trek sleeping in tents along the way or stay at a safari camp that’s allowed to lead walks in their area. Both options can be customized to your experience and expectations, so even if you aren’t normally the adventurous sort, you can still give it a try.