The Serengeti-Mara biosphere in Tanzania is famous for the annual wildebeest migration, and the Kijereshi Game Reserve sits right on a tract of terrain within this migration route. During the wet season, thousands of wildebeest descend upon this western corridor of luxuriant savannah. However, it’s not only the wildebeest that thrive here. The game reserve is a refuge for a plethora of big game. Visitors can see predators prowling the short grasses of the Serengeti’s plains while out on a game drive.
Safari-goers will not be disappointed with this small protected area that forms a vital part of the Serengeti’s ecosystem. Small streams and rivers provide the main source of water for wildlife, which means a portion of the reserve has a riverine vegetation habitat.
Tanzania’s 66 square kilometres of open plains provide the perfect setting for lions, elephant and buffalo to roam freely. Located quite close to Lake Victoria, means that visitors can combine a Serengeti migration safari with boat cruises across the lake.
There are two ways of reaching Kijereshi Game Reserve, one is an adventurous and scenic route across Lake Victoria, and the other is from the domestic airports of Mwanza or Musoma.
Elephants, wildebeest, and Thomson’s gazelle are found in abundance in the reserve. There are plenty of other animals in this part of the Serengeti, but these species are the most prominent.
Kijereshi Game Reserve is home to lion, buffalo, zebra, topi, hyena, black-backed jackal and plenty of other mammals that thrive in a terrain of short grassy plains. Closer to the banks of the water sources, visitors can spot waterbuck, Agama lizards, monitor lizards and other reptiles. There are also plenty of amphibians in the reserve.
The Serengeti region is perfect for birding safaris. Ground hornbills, lovebirds, waders, ostrich and Ruppells vulture. There are over 500 species in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
The best season to visit the Serengeti is from May to October. The migration circuit follows an endless loop, with huge herds following the rains. Between May and July is when the wildebeest calves descend upon this sector of the reserve. Kijereshi is the last part of the migration route, and there is usually plenty of predator action accompanying the migration.
November/December is the start of the short rains and January to March brings the long rains.
There is a range of safari options available in Kijereshi, most of which centre around the observation of the thousands upon thousands of wildebeest making their way across the reserve. Guided game drives led by experienced park rangers introduce guests to the best game viewing areas to view these wildebeest herds and prowling predators.
Visitors who choose to stay in the park will be rewarded with exciting night drives, early morning drives to the riverbanks, and guided walks through proper safari terrain. For a taste of the safari experience, visitors are treated with bush breakfasts and picnics in the Serengeti when staying at lodges in the area.
The most exciting way of taking in the splendour of the Serengeti region is to take to the skies and book a hot-air balloon safari. An aerial safari offers a bird's eye view of the savannah below, where visitors can view hoards of wildlife thriving in their natural habitat.
There are a few traditional safari lodges and camps in the reserve, most of which offer amenities needed for a successful safari experience. The more upmarket camps offer a well-stocked bar, entertainment areas, spacious lounges and swimming pools. Most of the accommodation options offer excursions that add value, which include professional nature walks, private dining experiences and more.