You’ve probably seen this week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site in numerous nature shows. The Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous national parks not only in Tanzania, but in all of Africa. You know all of those “Trials of Life” type specials that show wildebeests, antelopes and zebras as they migrate in search of water? Yup, that happens here.
The “Great Migration” happens twice a year, in October and then again in April. More than 2 million animals participate, and herds of wildebeests, eland, gazelles and zebra literally fill the horizon. Naturally, lions and other predators fallow the herds, looking for stragglers. It’s an amazing, unforgettable event.
Of course, even if you aren’t there for the Great Migration, there’s still plenty of wildlife to see in the Serengeti National Park. The park is home to around 3,000 lions, a population which is believed to the largest in all of Africa. There are also about 1,000 leopards, a small but recovering population of African elephant and many African buffalo. Plus, the park is home to a precious few black rhinos, survivors of decades of poaching. And of course, there are countless antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, hyenas and other animals.
The Serengeti National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. Even at 5,700 square miles, the park only encompasses a small fragment of the Serengeti ecosystem. For a more complete experience, you could also visit Ngorongoro Conservation Unit, also in Tanzania, and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
Tanzanian Visa Requirements
To visit Tanzania, US citizens need a valid passport and a Tanzanian visa. While Tanzania does issue visas on arrival, the State Department recommends you apply ahead of time as the wait for one can be almost interminable.
To learn more about getting a Tanzanian visa to visit the Serengeti, see Tanzanian Visa Requirements for Tourists.
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