Serengeti... Simply sensational!



Serengeti... Simply sensational!




Nimali Africa


May 2024

Explore this legendary safari destination with us

Hundreds of years ago, when the Maasai migrated south from the lower Nile valley, they came upon a vast expanse of apparently endless savannah stretching as far as the eye can see from horizon to horizon. They called it "Siringit", which loosely translated means "endless plains". Today, we know it as the Serengeti - one of Africa's most iconic national parks and a legendary safari destination. Let's find out more...

Centuries later early European explorers and missionaries visited and described the Serengeti, committing it to the pages of written history, detailing huge wildebeest migrations and the rich diversity of wildlife that calls it home. The first photographs of the area appeared in the late 1920s and conservation efforts began in 1930, when a 2,286 square kilometre reserve was established in what is now the southern and eastern part of the Serengeti. Trophy hunting was banned in 1937 and in 1940 it was upgraded to a Protected Area, becoming a fully fledged national park in 1951.

Originally, the park encompassed both the southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro highlands, with park headquarters at the Ngorongoro Crater rim. This area included what is now the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, but this became a separate entity in 1959. Across the border in Kenya, the Maasai Mara National Reserve was established in 1961, helping to complete the protection of the wildebeest migration route.

The Serengeti was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 and since then has become one of the most revered eco tourism destinations in the world.Spanning almost 15,000 square kilometres, it's home to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, boosted by the annual Great Wildebeest Migration. Renowned for its predators, the park is home to some 4,000 lions, 1,000 leopards and some 500 cheetahs, as well as around 7,500 hyena. More than 500 species of bird have been recorded.

Capturing the imagination

The numbers are impressive, as are the countless facts. But the Serengeti is much more than an impressive collection of statistics. It's secret is not in how big it is or how many animals and plants call it home but rather in the way it captures the imagination of everyone who experiences it.

A safari in the Serengeti is an experience that transcends sightseeing. It's a chance to witness the intricate dance of life unfold, a story written in the movements of the creatures that call it home.

For us, of course, the Serengeti is also our home. With Nimali Serengeti located in the central region of the park and Nimali Mara located in the northern section close to the Mara River and the border with neighbouring Kenya and the Maasai Mara, this incredible place is the beating heart of our safari offering. It offers a true kaleidoscope of landscapes, all of which are breathtaking, evoking awe and wonder at every turn.

Taking centre stage...

The central Serengeti is home to seemingly boundless grassy plains that stretch towards distant horizons. Shimmering green in the rainy season and gloriously golden in the dry season, this open savannah is dotted with acacia trees and rocky outcrops and is effectively the Serengeti's larder, serving up a buffet for herbivores, of which there are an abundance, even outside the migration season. Zebra, wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle, eland, topi and giraffe are all plentiful here, as are buffalo.This abundance attracts a whole host of predators. Huge prides of lions compete for prey with leopards and cheetah, as well as hyena.

The sense of space is often overwhelming, as your eyes struggle to take in the scope of the landscapes around you. You get a sense of the infinite as you gaze across the plains and you feel at once humbled and awestruck by the magnitude of it all.

The remote north

The northern Serengeti around the perennial Mara and Grumeti Rivers holds its secrets close to its chest. This is where you'll find hidden beauty among rolling hills, acacia woodlands and riparian forests, all teeming with life all year long. The Mara forms a natural border with Kenya but is so much more than just a geographical marker. Lush riverine vegetation flourishes along its banks, making it a haven for primates like playful vervet monkeys and the black-and-white colobus.

The vibrant birdlife adds to the smorgasbord of natural splendour, with turacos flashing their colourful wings, while kingfishers dart for their prey and fish eagles scan the waters below. The same can be said for the Grumeti which spans what's known as the Western Corridor of the Serengeti, flowing westwards to meet its end in Lake Victoria.

Remote and offering a sense of being off the beaten track, the northern Serengeti is wonderfully wild and begs to be explored and its secrets revealed, offering exceptional safari experiences all year round.

No matter which part of it you choose to spend time in, the Serengeti is a place that leaves a lasting impression. It's a reminder of the power and fragility of nature, and a call to be responsible stewards of our planet and keep our wilderness areas safe for generations to come. Whether you witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Wildebeest Migration or simply stand humbled by the vastness of the landscape, the Serengeti will stay with you long after you depart.

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