Loliondo could perhaps be described as the Serengeti with fewer rules, offering as it does excellent walking safaris, night drives and for much of the year rewarding game viewing. Spanning the entire eastern edge of the Serengeti National Park, it's a critical part of the whole ecosystem - yet visited by remarkably few tourists.
Loliondo is actually a huge Maasai community area but in our opinion is worth treating as a separate park because the range of safari activities on offer here is significantly greater than those within the Serengeti National Park boundaries. For much of the year, you'll find that we recommend that you divide your stay in both the Serengeti and Loliondo, staying at camps like Nomad's Nduara Loliondo. The intention here is that you get to see the wildebeest migration whilst also experiencing the wilder side of this stunning area.
The area of Loliondo abutting the Park, comprises six vibrant Maasai communities, with Olosokwan running north to the Kenya border down to Piyaya in the far south, wrapping around the border of the Serengeti to the Gol Mountains and the start of the Ngorongoro Highlands themselves.
The north eastern area (at its best from June to Nov) is contiguous with Lobo, with the same hills and ridges, rising to over 7000ft, dominating close to the park gate at Klein's . Here one is slightly more in amongst the hills and valleys than in the park. There are belts of thick acacia woodland, river lines with rich riverine forest, and as you move further east, rolling, partially wooded hills with numerous kopjes. Towards the end of the dry season (October) pressure in the area builds as increasing numbers of Maasai bring their herds into the area in pursuit of the last of the grass and best available water.
In the south towards Piyaya (best between Dec to May) you emerge into much more open country with vast plains, cut through by the Alamana River and dramatically framed by the distant Gol mountains. Further south still, there are a number of deep narrow gorges including Sanjan & Olkarien, home to hundreds of nesting Ruppells Griffon Vultures and the rare Lammergeyers. The Selai Plains run all the way to the edge of the Great Rift Valley at Lake Natron.