Explore Serengeti Game Reserve
Covering tens of thousands of square kilometers, this is one of Tanzania’s largest parks, a symbol of African wildlife and primeval beauty. In the Masai language, the name Serengeti means “endless plains”. Huge herds of Wildebeests and Zebra dominate the park and their seasonal migration to and from Masai Mara in Kenya provides an unequaled wildlife spectacle. The predator population cannot be overlooked. Naturally, with such a big number of the plains game providing a sufficient food supply, the predators thrive here. It is not unusual to see 40 or more lions in a day’s game viewing.The larger area of Serengeti is covered by vast open plains with lofty rocky outcrops, called Kopjes.
The other areas are covered by acacia, Savannah woodland, scrub, forested and mature treed rivers, an occasional swamp and small lakes “here and there”. The park ranges in altitude from 910 meters up to 1,820 meters. True eye-catching beauty, immortalized in the film Serengeti Shall Not Die.
Unrivaled photographic opportunities exist when the great animal migration is on. There is a wealth of bird life in the area where the larger species of birds of prey, game birds and water fowl are well represented. Here also a unique historical find revealed a settlement site of people dating from 1000 to 100 B.C.
The Great Migration
The great trek usually begins in Tanzania and the Serengeti in January after the herds have exhausted the available pastures.
The migration involves well over a million animals and approximately 500 miles of travel. The true migrants are the Wildebeest or White bearded gnu and Zebra. Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles participate but only partially while the predators only trail the herds for obvious reasons; easy prey! It is questionable whether the Zebra make the full journey and it is certain that the gazelles do not leave the Serengeti.
What you’ll see
At this time of the year the wildebeests are scattered across the medium and short grass plains south of Serengeti depending on the water and grazing. They criss-cross the plains with large concentrations remaining around Lake Ndutu and Olduvai gorge. Many travel onto Ngorongoro crater increasing the numbers of animals in the crater considerably.
At this time, there are scattered thunderstorms on the plains, the surface waterholes are full and the grazing is good. Wildebeest calving occurs in February and there are literally hundreds of calves. Predatory activity is high with an abundance of Lion, Cheetah, spotted Hyena with frequent sighting of Leopard.