The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular National Park. Although most people automatically associate the Serengeti with the Great Migration, there is much more to see when the migration is not passing through.
The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
It is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.
The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. Join us to explore the different forms of vegetation and landscapes of the Serengeti ecosystem and meet some of their most fascinating inhabitants.
The Park has a permanent animal population that provides some of the best game viewing in Africa. The open plains are home to herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and thousands of antelope species. Of course, where there is prey, there are predators. Lions feast on the abundance of plains game, solitary leopards prowl in the acacia wooded areas and cheetah roam the South-eastern plains. Other predatory species include all three African jackal species, Spotted hyena and smaller predators such as the Serval cat and Insectivorous aardwolf.
Other than the game viewing, the Serengeti is characterised by space. The name, ‘Serengeti’ is from a Masai word meaning ‘endless plain’, and it’s easy to see how the Masai came to know it as such. The grass plains, studded with acacia and thorn trees seem go on for an eternity in every direction. After the rains, these sweeping golden plains are transformed into a lush green carpet flecked with wildflowers. It is a truly awe-inspiring.