On arrival at the Serengeti National Park, don’t miss Naabi Hill lookout. A short hike upon a tree-covered, rocky hill offers an incredible panorama to the endless plains. If you look hard enough, you can spot wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and even giraffes grazing in a distance. During the walk, you’ll get familiar with a unique ecosystem called kopjes with its distinctive flora and fauna.

If the great migration roams nearby, Naabi Hill trek is highly recommended. But it’s a lovely walk year-round since resident lizards together with colorful birds and butterflies will keep your eyes entertained. We had a lot of fun photobombing agama lizards, which lied on the scorching granite in great numbers. I made a mistake of sneaking too close and was soon reminded how quickly they can attack. We also saw some bashful Rock Hyraxes and mice.

Naabi Hill is visible on the horizon from far away, since it rises upon the otherwise flat grassland. You can see similar majestic, rocky outcrops also elsewhere in Serengeti, but Naabi Hill and the visitor center in Seronera are the only places where you are allowed to walk around. These kopjes have been created by erosion, which has slowly devoured the soft, volcanic rock from the ground exposing the ancient, metamorphic rock below. Blazing, African sunlight and harsh winds shape the surface continuously.

There are a lot of signs telling about the endemic fauna and flora. Some animal and plant species flourish only in kopjes and for the others, these rocky hills offer unbeatable vantage points and hiding places. Lions and cheetahs commonly hide their cubs in the kopjes – and Naabi Hill has a resident lioness!

Naabi Hill is located conveniently by the main gate of Serengeti and offers a welcome break from all the driving. So take a little hike while your guide is sorting out the entrance paperwork: it might take more than half an hour anyway since Naabi Gate is heavily trafficked. If you don’t feel like hiking, the benches near the gate offer interesting birding opportunities. With our limited skills, we recognized more than four species of birds. But someone told us that it’s possible to spot even 15 species in 15 minutes!


Ombeni African Safaris hosted us on a 10-day safari through Serengeti and the other the national parks of Tanzania but all the views presented here remain our own.