Retina Hippo Pool (Central Serengeti)

#8 in Best Things To Do in Serengeti National Park
Retina Hippo Pool (Central Serengeti) picture
Luis Davilla/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

You're bound to stumble across hippos at other Serengeti watering holes, but nothing can compare to the spectacle of the Retina Hippo Pool in Central Serengeti. Situated where the Seronera and Orangi rivers converge, the Retina Hippo Pool consists of a deep puddle of water with roughly 200 sloshing, playing hippos.

Some former visitors noted that the smell can be somewhat overwhelming – they are animals, after all – but that's hardly a deterrent. You'll see plenty of hippos (and possibly some herons and Nile crocodiles) to snap photos of, but remember that these creatures are very large and very dangeous, so it's best to keep your distance. Also, consider visiting during the dry season (between July and November) when more hippos are exposed due to the pool's lower water levels.

You'll find the Retina Hippo Pool in the northwestern section of Central Serengeti, just north of the Seronera River Valley. Like other areas of Serengeti National Park, this body of water is free to visit 24 hours a day. A parking lot, a picnic area and restrooms are also available here. Nearby accommodations options include Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp and Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge. Check out Serengeti National Park's official website for more information about Retina Hippo Pool and area amenities.

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More Best Things To Do in Serengeti National Park

The Great Migration
Seronera River Valley (Central Serengeti)
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 The Great Migration

The primary reason to visit Serengeti National Park is to witness The Great Migration. Considered one of the world's largest animal migrations, The Great Migration involves more than one million wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and a variety of other animals traversing the Serengeti annually in search of food and breeding grounds. From December to June (the Serengeti's wet season), the animals head south to Naabi Hill and Southern Serengeti. As temperatures rise and the dry season sets in, the herd travels through the Seronera River Valley and the Western Corridor before crossing the Grumeti River and moving north to the Lobo Valley and Bologonja Springs. After several months of grazing in greener pastures, the hoofed menagerie turns around and starts the process over again.

Keep in mind the animals' whereabouts when booking Serengeti accommodations. If you're visiting in the winter, stay in the southern plains, and between July and November, set up camp in Central Serengeti, the Western Corridor or Northern Serengeti.

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