Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is located in Tanzania and is part of the larger Serengeti ecosystem which covers 12,000 square miles (30,000 sq km) and includes several other game reserves.  The national park itself covers an area of 5,700 square miles (14,750 sq km).  The national park is contiguous with Masai Mara park in Kenya.

The name Serengeti is derived from a similar Masai word which translates, “the place where land runs on forever.”  It is also affectionately known as the “endless plains.”  The area is comprised of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands.

In general, the park is often described as three regions with boundaries of the national park.  The primary area is the Serengeti plains where is where the wildebeest breed.  A second area is the western corridor featuring black clay covered savannahs.  This area is home to crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

The third area is the northern Serengeti which is where the majority of hills and woodlands occur.  This is the best place to find elephant and giraffe.

The Serengeti National Park is globally renowned for its abundance and variety of wildlife as well as a high biodiversity.  The Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) can all be experienced in the park.  Except for the mountain gorilla, all of Africa’s Big 7 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, hippo, and crocodile) can be found in the national park.

Predators beyond the lion and leopard include cheetah, hyena, jackals, African golden wolf, honey badger, serval, and the African wild dog.

The largest remaining unaltered mammalian migration in the world is the pinnacle wildlife experience of the Serengeti.  The migration features over 1.3 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebra, 500,000 gazelles, and tens of thousands of topi, hartebeest, and impala.

Highlights:

  • Ballooning over the Serengeti plains and ideally the migration herd
  • Sighting of the Big 5: lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant
  • Seeing a thunderstorm roll across the Serengeti plains
  • Watching the migration herd cross the Mara River into Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park is one of the most coveted safari destinations in the world.  There is no question of “if” you will see anything but rather how many of which ones.   Speaking of the Big 5, there are approximately 3,000 lions, 1,000 leopards, and 5,000 elephants.  The most abundant is the buffalo with approximately 53,000 of them.  Unfortunately, there are only 31 individual rhinoceroses left in the park because of poaching.

The expanse of the Serengeti National Park creates the opportunity for endless roaming as safari goers pursue their ultimate wildlife encounters.

 

Sources: 

Frankfurt Zoological Society, Serengeti Conservation Project, https://fzs.org/en/projects/serengeti-conservation/, Retrieved July 2019.

Serengeti National Park, https://www.serengetinationalpark.com/,retrieved July 2019.

Tanzania Tourist Board, Serengeti National Park, https://www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz/en/destination/serengeti-national-park, retrieved July 2019.

UNESCO, Serengeti National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/156, retrieved July 2019