While seeing one, two or even five animals at a time are exciting, nothing beats seeing them in a pack and in their natural habitat. This is one reason why people from all over the globe travel to Africa for the out-of-this-world experience. And where else to experience the ultimate safari adventure than in Serengeti, right? At almost 15,000 square kilometers, the Serengeti is an immense park with distinct regions, each featuring a unique game. With a massive land area that stretches beyond our eyes can see, one would immediately wonder, “Where in Serengeti should I go?”
The best places to go in Serengeti varies depending on the time of your visit, especially if you’re after the Great Wildebeest Migration. Sure, the entire park is amazingly wildlife-ridden (it houses the highest concentration of large mammals including large predators in the world!) but you should know that certain spots in the Serengeti really stand out. Here are the top 5 spots in Serengeti:
Seronera River Valley
Popularly known as Central Serengeti or simply, Seronera, Seronera River Valley is the heart of Serengeti. It is teeming with wildlife all throughout the year, and it features a classic African landscape made up of endless grasslands and a valley river.
Wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, giraffes, elephants, waterbucks, mongoose, and many other animals can be easily spotted in this part of Serengeti. Naturally, where herds of preys reside, opportunistic predators arrive. Wildlife viewing opportunities and action-packed game are both guaranteed to be intense and astounding in Seronera River Valley.
Luckily, we have a camp that sits right in the heart of it all: Central Camp – an intimate, permanent camp that offers phenomenal views ad experiences in the wild.
When you tire of gazing at grazers, head to Moru Kopjes for stunning scenery and a meet-and-greet with the black rhinos. Located in the southwestern plains of the Central Serengeti, Moru Kopjes feature miniature mountains, bushes, trees and enormous rock formations – like a mini Lion King setting. It also features small pools of water which attract an incredible amount of wildlife, which is why predators like lions and cheetahs usually position themselves up in the kopjes so they could see the activities of their target prey.
Serengeti holds several kopjes around the area but the Moru Kopjes is the most visited of all. Maasai people also go into this area to tend to their cattle. It is also home to the black rhinos, one of the enda29ngered animals of the world. You can learn more about conservation techniques by visiting the Serengeti Rhino Project’s visitor center.
Another focal point in the Moru is the amazing Gong Rock. The rock looks incredible and also has a path leading to a series of Maasai paintings. On the east side of Moru Kopjes, you can find Lake Magadi, a saline lake inhabited by many pink flamingoes.
Retina Hippo Pool
Did you know that hippos weigh tons and they can submerge into the river bed for about 5 minutes? They are highly territorial animals and are considered one of the most dangerous of all.
In Central Serengeti, you will find a deep puddle of water created by Seronera and Orangi rivers. This puddle of water hosts over 200 hippos sloshing and playing around – definitely a sight to behold! But be warned, the stench of the Hippo Pool is overwhelming! So keep your distance as you snapshots or observe these large creatures along with some herons and enormous Nile crocodiles.
The best time to visit Retina Hippo Pool is during the dry season between June and October. This is because the pool is not that deep and it’s going to be easier for you to spot the hippos.
One of the spots that provide surreal Serengeti views, Naabi Hill is an acacia-covered hill located in the east of Serengeti, just near the park’s entrance. It is home to many prides of lions and also welcomes migratory hooves sometime between December and early June. At any given time, though, the view from the top of Naabi Hill is breathtaking.
Naabi Hill offers great facilities for visitors to enjoy. They have restrooms, a convenience store, a free parking lot and a gift shop. It is also very near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, another World Wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lobo Valley sits in Northern Serengeti, one of the major spots in Serengeti National Park. It is one of the only two places in Serengeti where you can spot three of the fiercest predators on Earth: lions, cheetahs, and leopards. In fact, the Lobo Valley is considered to have the best cat viewing opportunities in the Serengeti.
Featuring hills, woodlands, and open plains dotted with awe-inspiring granite kopjes and some of the world’s most ancient rock formations, Lobo Valley provides remarkable beauty and solitude. Apart from the big cats, you can easily spot impalas, giraffes, warthogs, buffalos, baboons, vervet monkeys, topi, hartebeests, dik-diks, rocky hyraxes and elephants among other animals in here.
For the best times to visit, the dry season, in particular, provides optimum wildlife viewing in Lobo Valley. During this time, animals congregate around water sources in the area including Lobo Springs and Graboti River. The hooves of the Wildebeest Migration also stampede around Lobo twice a year: July and August (on their way to Kogatende and Mara River) and September to November (when they head back to the south).