Yellowstone: The Serengeti of North America

When you go to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, it's almost a requirement to visit the Serengeti; which I did and was blown away.  So I was a bit surprised as I was researching for my big camping trip to Yellowstone to learn that some call it the "Serengeti of North America." Really, the Serengeti? I've been to the Serengeti and it's pretty damn impressive; trip-of-a-lifetime impressive, see-things-you-never-imagined impressive. Can Yellowstone really compare?
Yellowstone, the Serengeti of North America

Yellowstone, instead of a pride of lions we have a herd of buffalo

The short answer is yes, it really can. After spending over a week in Yellowstone driving around its massive figure "8" roadway and exploring all four corners, I can honestly say, Yellowstone IS the Serengeti of North America. Here are three major ways the two are alike, and why you should definitely check out Yellowstone.
  1. Amazing wildlife - The first time I entered the Serengeti we drove for only about 20 minutes before the car pulled up to a pride of lion! A pride of real, live, wild lions just outside my window. In Yellowstone we drove for 20 minutes before the road and several cars we engulfed by a herd of bison. Sure, I'd seen bison in "Dances with Wolves" and the zoo, but these guys were just outside my window and some were even bigger than the VW Bug we had rented. And that wasn't the end of it. We saw a fox, coyotes, big horn sheep, grizzly and black bears, and TONS of bison, elk, and prong-horn dear. In most cases we could see all this wildlife right from the comfort of our car, just like the Serengeti.
  2. Lots of driving and cars - A wildlife safari in the Serengeti means lots of driving. There's nothing you can do about it. The park is massive and different areas have different personalities and views well worth exploring. It was the same in Yellowstone. The northeast corner held wolves, the southeast corner bison herd. On the west you could see massive geological formations in the northern corner or Old Faithful and other geysers in the southern corner. All were worth driving to and explore.       But they also required a bit of patience to get to. They weren't as close as you might expect.
  3. Lovely people from all over the world - Coming down for dinner the first night in the Serengeti I was shocked to hear almost every accent from the great wide world except for my own American accent.       Standing waiting for Old Faithful I was surrounded by tourist from Japan, China, Korea, France, Germany and the UK. They had flown from the corners of the globe to see the beauty that America had to share.
The Serengeti is REALLY far away. If you're not sure it's worth it, take a detour to Yellowstone. If you like Yellowstone, you'll love the Serengeti!
Yellowstone offers amazing wildlife

Yellowstone offers amazing wildlife

Yellowstone, get up closer and personal with the animals

Yellowstone, get up closer and personal with the animals

Yellowstone, gorgeous landscape

Yellowstone, gorgeous landscape

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