BEST MONTH TO TRAVEL: September
COUNTRY TO VISIT: Serengeti, Tanzania
There are plenty of things that make Serengeti unique. First, it is one of the seven wonders of the world. Housing the most unique plants, birds, and animals, this park is popular among wildlife enthusiasts. Next, the ecosystem of Serengeti is one of the largest and oldest across the earth. It is best known for its huge herds of plains animals (especially gnu [wildebeests], gazelles, and zebras), and it is the only place in Africa where vast land-animal migrations still take place. The park, an international tourist attraction, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981. The Serengeti is a vast ecosystem in east-central Africa.
CITY – SERENGETI
It is best known for its huge herds of plains animals (especially gnu [wildebeests], gazelles, and zebras), and it is the only place in Africa where vast land-animal migrations still take place. The park, an international tourist attraction, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981.
The Serengeti could very well be the mecca of all national parks. With wildlife happenings which possess a certain fanfare that could be compared to major sporting events. It’s no wonder that the area is a national treasure to the Eastern African country of Tanzania and is situated on the Kenyan border.
It has deep significance to the heritage of the area and is famous the world over not just for its natural wonders but for its world-class accommodation facilities and safari tours. Here are 10 things you may or may not have known about this iconic piece of the African legacy.
GRUMETI, SERENGETI TENTED CAMP
Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge is located in the remote western reaches of the Serengeti. Due to its far-flung location, there are very few lodges in this pristine section of the park, which means that guests can expect the ultimate in exclusivity.The lodge is perfectly situated on the banks of a tributary of the Grumeti River. Using the natural bow shape of the river, and paying homage to the circular forms of a traditional Masai manyatta, the lodge unfolds to reveal an understated sense of luxury.
LUXURY SUITE ROOM
Light, airy and generously proportioned, suite and aesthetically mirror the natural bow of the Grumeti River. Slumber in oh so comfy beds and enjoy a bath, indoor shower (with a spectacular view!). Your very own private plunge pool is the idea spot for a refreshing dip after a captivating game drive. Contemporary and authentic, dazzling natural light sweeps through the suite. There is still the sense of being under-canvas safari style with to the canvas walls and banana fibre ceilings.n.
ONE NATURE NYARUSWIGA, SERENGETI
One Nature is an ultra-luxury boutique hotel group, located in some of the world’s most thrilling and exotic destinations. Every destination offers 5-star luxury accommodations and nature-based adventures, complemented by upscale service, top-quality amenities and a commitment to sustainability.
Our goal is to offer top holiday destination camps, lodges, resorts and hotels with facilities, amenities, services and experiences that are unlike anywhere else. To achieve this, we spare no expense in procuring only the best and highest quality sustainable materials and pay meticulous attention to the smallest of details.
Located at the heart of the Serengeti, One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti is a luxury camp surrounded by breathtaking views of the endless plains and offers a sun terrace with a plunge pool and a hot tub.
With views over the savanna, this tent is equipped with a bath, firestove, a minibar, indoor and outdoor shower.
THE SIRINGIT MIGRATION CAMP
The Siringit Migration Camp has 8 luxury spacious canvas tents designed to bring you closer to the natural surroundings. The Bedouin-style tents are positioned on a raised platforms to give you a 360-degree view of the Serengeti plains.
Each of the luxury canvas tents can accommodate up to two guests, while our inter-connected family tent can accommodate up to 4 guests (2 adults & 2 children). All canvas tents have en-suite bathrooms with double vanity, hot water on demand, and eco-friendly flush toilets.
ACTIVITIES / SITE SEEING
Lion King is a classic that is loved by all. Serengeti gives you the atmosphere to live the Lion King experience in real life. You can spot Zazu(s) flying around or sounders of Pumbaa galloping. Yes, I am talking about the African red-billed hornbill and Warthogs. Whether you are a fan of birds or an animal lover, Serengeti has got it all! The best way to see them close enough is through a game drive. As much as one would like to cover the park in its entirety, it is not possible due to its massive size. You will have to choose an area to visit or make multiple visits to see a different scene each time.
A HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI
Safaris from the sky is a one of a kind experience that gives you a birds-eyes view of Serengeti. The journey is no less than a miracle! As the balloon ascends, you will marvel at the vast plain of Serengeti. Endless acres of land inhabited by countless species. And as you descend, you will be able to look at the animals exactly how a bird views them. At the end of the ride, a delicious breakfast awaits you amid the Serengeti park.
BE A PART OF THE GREAT MIGRATION
The great migration is considered one of nature’s wondrous spectacles. It is a time when hooved animals such as Wildebeest, Zebras, and Gazelles cross over the Mara river in search of food and greener pastures. Many people flock to the Serengeti to witness this breathtaking scene.
VIEW WILDLIFE AT SERONERA RIVER VALLEY
This area is considered Serengeti at its natural best. Located in the central Serengeti region, the Seronera river valley has an abundance of unique flora and fauna. This abundance attracts plenty of herbivores such as gazelles, giraffes, and other wildlife. As you know, where there is plenty of prey, predators are present. You will never miss a thing when in this valley.
EXPLORE THE RETINA HIPPO POOL
Tanzania is well known for its abundance of Hippos. Serengeti houses plenty of hippos in different regions, but none can surpass the Retina Hippo pool. Here, Hippos gather to feed, soak in warm water, and fight territorial battles. Despite being known as the Hippo pool, it houses crocodiles too !
THE GRUMETI RIVER
The Grumeti River offers one of the nail-biting moments of the Serengeti migration. Located at the border of Serengeti and Mara, it is a natural corridor to aid the migration between the two parks. It is not a place to miss for Avid nature lovers. This river is home to crocodiles, and the migration journey comes down to survival of the fittest. Due to its remote location, only a few lodges are available with a capacity of 60 guests at a time. It is the best way to enjoy the serenity from an exclusive location and service.
TINGA – TINGA PAINTING
Today, authentic Tinga Tinga African paintings can be bought from the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society which is located along Hailee Salasie Road in Oysterbay or their official website.
Nothing can be as magnificent as buying one of the rarest gem – The Tanzanite.
This jewel is a special gift to possess and is available in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and on the island of Zanzibar. Just ask your safari guide for some time off and help you locate favorable souvenir stores.
Make sure you have done good research on the stone quality or locate a store with a trustworthy and tanzanite retailer.
MAKONDE AFRICAN SCULPTURES
The Makonde sculptures are made up of the African Blackwood tree and are a fantastic souvenir available in Tanzania.
Often, when people think of African art, they are thinking of Makonde sculpture. The Makonde people traditionally lived in southeastern Tanzania and northern Mozambique.
Many Makonde sculptures are carved from a single block of wood, no matter how complex the design! The “Tree of Life” style usually depicts intricately interlocked human figures as a metaphor for unity, community, and continuity.
Early Makonde carvings were functional items – hair combs, household necessities. Later the carvings became more expressive and decorative in nature.
Also called chitenge, Kitenge is an East African, fabric similar to a sarong, often worn by women and wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling. Kitenges are colorful pieces of fabric found all over clothing shops in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Zanzibar. The kitenge fabric is flexible and can be sewn into different designs; it can be a simple top, a dress, a skirt, pants, romper, jacket, or even a headscarf among other options.
MASAI BLANKET / SHUKA
You may not be familiar with names Maasai shuka or Maasai blanket but the chances are you have seen them somewhere. Maasai shuka is similar to kitenge, but more stiff often red with black stripes. Its history goes as back as during the colonial era where it is understood Scottish missionaries are responsible for bringing the blankets to the nomadic society of Maasai. Today, Maasai blankets are in various colors and have been widely used in making other kinds of clothes like shirts and even trousers and shorts.
Tanzanian cuisine is diverse. The types of ingredients used and preparation methods vary greatly from region to region. Spicy foods are common and ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and coconut milk are used in many dishes.
This is the most commonly eaten food in Tanzania. Ugali is a Tanzanian national dish and something that the average person eats about four times a week. It’s an affordable dish that can be found on the menu of every local restaurant. In schools, particularly in public schools, it’s eaten almost every day of the week with beans, vegetables, soup, dagaa, and other types of fish.
WALI WA NAZI
Rice is a staple dish in Tanzania and one of the most delicious iterations is wali wa nazi. It refers to a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and water and seasoned simply with salt. In a sense, you can think of it as the East African version of Malaysian nasi lemak.
WALI NA MAHARAGE
This beloved rice and beans dish is commonly eaten for dinner in Tanzania. It’s frequently prepared over the holidays and for social events like weddings, religious festivals, and funerals.
One dish that’s often paired with ugali is sukuma wiki. It refers to a popular East African dish made with sukuma. Sukuma is Swahili for colewort or collared greens, a type of leafy vegetable similar to kale.
Irio is a dish native to the Kikuyu tribe of Tanzania and central Kenya. It’s a healthy and comforting dish made with mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and greens like watercress or spinach.
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
Unvaccinated visitors from India must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken within 72 hours before departing to Tanzania.
Fully vaccinated visitors with approved vaccination certificates do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test.