The Barafu Gorge is located on the East of the Serengeti national park, it divides the Easternmost part of the great Serengeti National Park and ecosystem. A visit to Barafu Gorge gives you a glimpse of one of the best views you could ever imagine. The scenery itself is breathtaking and serene. The view is complete by scattered views of wildebeests here and there grazing the fields.
Barafu Gorge and Kopjes are two fascinating geological features in the Serengeti National Park that attract a lot of tourists. Here’s a closer look at what they are and why you should consider visiting them during your next trip to Serengeti.
The Barafu kopjes which is made up of seven pinkish granite kopjes that stand erected at the eastern border of the Serengeti national park near the Ngorongoro conservation area. It is also a few kilometers south not far from the Ngare Nanyuki River.
Around the Barafu Kopjes, the endless Serengeti Plains vanish into the horizon, and beyond, so do the wildebeest and zebra herds which can be seen quite clearly during the great migration.
Barafu Gorge is a unique formation found in the northern Serengeti. It is a narrow, deep gorge that has been carved into the rock by water over the centuries. The walls of the gorge are smooth and polished, and in some places, they rise as high as 100 meters.
The name “Barafu” means “ice” in Swahili, but there is no ice in the gorge. The name probably comes from the fact that the gorge is so deep and narrow that it is always in the shade, even in the hottest part of the day. As a result, the temperature inside the gorge is several degrees cooler than the surrounding area, giving it a somewhat icy feel.
The Barafu Kopjes is a destination frequented for game drives, and a habitat for wildlife and plants that seek refuge from the harsh conditions of the Serengeti, like drought droughts and raging wildfires.
The rocky kopjes of Barafu are favourable spots to find lions, that prefer basking on top of the rocks early mornings and late evenings or under the shade of the rocks when the sun’s too hot.
Kopjes are another interesting geological feature found in the Serengeti. They are large, rocky outcrops that rise up out of the plains like islands. Kopjes are made of granite and other types of rock that are more resistant to erosion than the surrounding soil.
Kopjes are important habitats for a wide variety of animals, including rock hyraxes, lizards, snakes, and birds of prey. The rocks provide shelter and a source of food for these animals, and they also serve as a vantage point for predators looking for prey.
Why Visit Barafu Gorge and Kopjes?
There are several reasons why you should consider visiting Barafu Gorge and Kopjes during your next trip to Serengeti:
- Unique geological features: Barafu Gorge and Kopjes are both fascinating geological formations that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. They offer a unique opportunity to explore the natural history of the Serengeti.
- Wildlife viewing: Both Barafu Gorge and Kopjes are important habitats for a wide variety of animals, including some that are difficult to spot elsewhere in the park. If you’re interested in wildlife photography or just enjoy watching animals in their natural habitat, a visit to these sites is a must.
- Scenic beauty: The rugged beauty of Barafu Gorge and the rocky outcrops of Kopjes are both visually stunning. They offer a unique perspective on the landscape of the Serengeti and are a great place to take photographs.
How to Visit Barafu Gorge and Kopjes
Both Barafu Gorge and Kopjes can be visited as part of a guided tour or on your own. If you choose to explore these sites on your own, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the sun can be intense in the Serengeti.
If you’re interested in joining a guided tour, there are several tour operators that offer trips to Barafu Gorge and Kopjes. Your guide will be able to provide you with additional information about the history and geology of these sites, as well as help you spot wildlife and take great photographs.
How to get there
Getting there by air would require use of the larger Seronera airstrip then connecting the rest of the remaining distance by road from the airstrip.
Inorder to reach to Barafu Gorge and Kopjes by road, you must take the journey from the Gol kopjes, which is rather long and takes approximately 3 hours to get there, but in the end, rewarding in the sense that the views cannot be matched by the distance taken.
What to see at the Barafu Gorge & Kopjes
Apart from the wildebeest, the other resident wildlife includes the big cats of the Serengeti that constitute lions, cheetahs, and other animals like gazelles, gemsboks, honey badgers, golden jackals, and African hares.
Frequently Asked Questions About Barafu Gorge and Kopjes
Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about Barafu Gorge and Kopjes in Serengeti National Park:
- What are Barafu Gorge and Kopjes in Serengeti National Park? Barafu Gorge is a deep ravine located in the central part of Serengeti National Park, while Kopjes are large rock formations that are scattered throughout the park.
- Can visitors explore Barafu Gorge and Kopjes on their own? It is not recommended to explore Barafu Gorge and Kopjes on your own as they can be dangerous, especially during the rainy season. It is best to go with an experienced guide or as part of an organized tour.
- What can visitors expect to see at Barafu Gorge and Kopjes? Barafu Gorge offers stunning views of the surrounding plains and the chance to spot some of Serengeti’s wildlife, such as elephants, giraffes, and baboons. Kopjes are home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, hyenas, and leopards. Visitors can also find ancient rock art on some of the larger kopjes.
- When is the best time to visit Barafu Gorge and Kopjes? The best time to visit Barafu Gorge and Kopjes is during the dry season, from June to October when the weather is cooler and the wildlife is easier to spot.
- Are there any accommodations near Barafu Gorge and Kopjes? There are several lodges and campsites located near Barafu Gorge and Kopjes, including Seronera Wildlife Lodge, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, and Serengeti Sopa Lodge.
- What should visitors bring with them when visiting Barafu Gorge and Kopjes? Visitors should bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water. It is also recommended to bring a camera and binoculars to spot wildlife from a distance.
Barafu Gorge and Kopjes are two unique and fascinating geological features that are well worth a visit during your next trip to Serengeti National Park. Whether you’re interested in natural history, wildlife viewing, or just taking in the scenic beauty of the park, these sites offer something for everyone. So, be sure to add Barafu Gorge and Kopjes to your itinerary and experience the wonder of the Serengeti for yourself.