Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater

Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater : Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater are among the popular safari destinations found in the northern part of Tanzania.

Wildlife viewing experiences can be done throughout the year at both the destinations which are well known safari locations in Tanzania. Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro crater are also UNESCO world heritage sites.

Both Serengeti national park and the Ngorongoro crater are home to numerous wildlife species including the big five such as elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions and leopards. The wildebeest migration also takes place in the two destinations.

Serengeti national park

Serengeti National Park is one of the largest national parks found in the northern part of Tanzania covering a distance of about 14,750 square kilometers.

The national park is known for its endless plains but also consists of acacia woodlands, riverine forests and granite rock outcrops known as kopjes. Serengeti national park was established in 1951 and is home to numerous wildlife and bird species.

Some of the attractions found in Serengeti national park include the great wildebeest migration, the Seronera valley, Mara river, Grumeti river among others. The big five are among the sought after animals found in the park.

During the great wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park, tourists get to enjoy seeing over 2 million herds of wildebeests spread across the savannah plains as they graze and continue their movement to different parts of the park during the year.

The wildebeest migration involves the calving season which takes place around December to February in the southern part of the park, river crossings along the Grumeti river in western Serengeti and along the Mara river in northern Serengeti and can also be seen in the central part of the park.

Apart from the wildebeests and the big five, other wildlife species which are found in Serengeti national park include giraffes, hyenas, warthogs, kudu, topi, waterbucks, bushbucks, impalas, cheetahs, elands, hartebeests, hippos and many others.

There are also a variety of birds in Serengeti national park to see during safari and they include African Fish eagles, Malachite Kingfishers, Grey Crowned cranes, Kori bustards, Yellow-fronted Canary, African Pied Wagtail, Rosy-throated Longclaw, African Silverbill, Purple Starling, Black-faced Waxbill, Black-winged Bishop, Rufous tailed weaver, Bronze Sunbird, Wattled Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White-headed vulture, African Spoonbill, Black Heron among others.

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is another popular wildlife viewing destination found in the northern part of the country.

During safaris in Tanzania, a variety of animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, elands, wildebeests, zebras, waterbucks, impalas, elands, bushbucks, hyenas, warthogs among others can be seen around the Ngorongoro crater.

Formed as a result of volcanic activity, the Ngorongoro crater is one of the scenic safari destinations of Tanzania where wildlife species, culture and nature beautifully blend to form the Ngorongoro conservation area.

The Ngorongoro crater is about 600 meters deep and tourists can descend into the crater to see the various wildlife species which are enclosed in the natural boundary formed by the crater walls which also protect them. It also consists of savannah plains, woodlands, a soda lake called Lake Magadi where flamingos can be seen as well as wetlands.

Attractions found in the Ngorongoro conservation area include Olduvai gorge, the big five, the Maasai people, wildlife and bird species, Empakai crater, among others. The Ngorongoro crater is also considered the eighth wonder of the world.

During safaris around the Ngorongoro crater, tourists can also enjoy interactions with the Maasai people who share the area with the wildlife species. Tourists can visit their villages and get to know more about their nomadic lifestyle and culture.

Activities to do in Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

During safaris in Tanzania, the various activities to do in Ngorongoro crater and around Serengeti national park include the following;

  • Game drives

Both Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park provide excellent game drive experiences throughout the year.

During the game drives around the destinations, tourists can explore the savannah plains in search of wildlife species such as elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos, zebras, antelopes among others and also see various bird species.

Tourists accompanied by guides explore the Ngorongoro crater area and the endless plains of Serengeti national park during game drives done in the morning and afternoon from the comfort of their 4x4safari vehicles.

  • Hot air balloon safaris

When visiting Serengeti national park tourists can engage in hot air balloon safaris and get an aerial view of the park surroundings.

Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater
Hot Air Balloon

Balloon safaris in Serengeti national park are done very early in the morning for a period of 1 hour and during the activity, tourists can see various wildlife species, other attractions and the beautiful views around the national park.

  • Guided walking safaris

Around the Ngorongoro Crater and some part of Serengeti National Park, tourists can take part in guided walking safaris conducted by ranger guides.

These guided walking safaris bring tourists closer to nature and they can also enjoy a more intimate wildlife encounter and learn more about the smaller attractions in the Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti national park while exploring the destinations on foot.

  • Bird watching

A variety of birds can be seen during bird watching tours in the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

Bird watching can be done for a half day or full day when exploring Serengeti national park and the Ngorongoro crater which are home to birds like flamingos, Ostriches, Herons, Starlings, Weavers and many others.

  • Cultural tours with the Maasai

In addition to wildlife viewing, tourists visiting the Ngorongoro Crater can also visit the Maasai people and get to experience their unique culture, try out their food, lean how to make local crafts, enjoy traditional dances and so much more.

  • Photography Safaris

The Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park offer amazing opportunities for tourists to enjoy photography safaris and capture the various wildlife and bird species.

Throughout the year, tourists can enjoy safaris in the Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park with the best time to visit the destinations being the dry seasons.

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