The Serengeti

The Endless Plains

The Maasai’s language translates the Serengeti as the “endless plains”, which features the migration of 1.3 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras from the northern hills to the south every October and November during the short rains, then move toward the west and north from April to June when the long rains progress. For the animals, the push to migrate is so strong and nothing can stop their movements, not even the river infested with crocodiles, drought or gorge can act as a barrier.

The Serengeti is located in the plains of Tanzania and extends into south-western Kenya between 1 and 3 degrees south (latitudes) and between 34 and 36 degrees east (longitudes). It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). The Kenyan part of the Serengeti is known as Maasai Mara.

Facts about the Serengeti

  1. The Serengeti National Park In 1951 to protect the area’s large numbers of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle.
  2. Although the national park is good throughout the year, the dry season (June to October) offers the best viewing of the wildebeest migration at its absolute peak
  3. Tanzania’s oldest park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  4. It is also famous for its abundant large predators with great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and many other ungulates (hooved animals) such as eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
  5. The Serengeti is found in the Savanna Biomes.
  6. It is listed as one of the seven natural wonders in Africa.
  7. The park features some common and rare plant species.
  8. There are two Wet seasons. The ‘short rains’ are from November to December, and the ‘long rains’ are from March to May. During the wet season, it rarely rains all day, but afternoon thundershowers can be expected. Dry season is from June to October.
  9. It is the longest and largest overland migration in the world
  10. The Serengeti inspired the popular animation ” The Lion King”.

 Flora

Some of the Serengeti’s most common plant species include;
  • Sausage tree (Kigelia africana)
  • Wild Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata)
  • Candelabra Euphorbia (Euphorbia candelabrum)
  • Commiphora (Commiphora africana)
  • Yellow Fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea)
  • Umbrella tree (Acacia tortilis)
  • Whistling thorn (Acacia drepanolobium) (Ant-galled Acacia)
  • Balanites (Balanites aegyptia) (Desert Date)
  • Commiphora (Commiphora africana)
  • Candelabra Euphorbia (Euphorbia candelabrum)
  • The El-Nino Flower (Hibiscus cannabinus)
  • Red Dropseed (Sporobolus festivus)
  • Red Grass (Themeda triandra)
  • Pan Dropseed (Sporobolus ioclados) (formerly marginatus)
  • The Mexican Poppy Toothbrush tree (Salvadora persica)
  • Strangle Fig (Ficus thonningii)

Fauna

While few of these animals can be seen rarely, others are seen easily.

Some of the animals in the plains include;

Buffalo are common sights in the park and you will find them in many herds.

Elephants

Giraffes

Ungulates (hooved animals) such as eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle

Lion

Cheetah

Leopard

Hippotamus

Wild dog (rare)

Hyena

Black Rhino

White Rhino

Wildebeest

Zebra

 

Bird Watching

Bird watching in the Serengeti is good all year-round, but at its very best during November through April.
The Serengeti has more than 500 bird species recorded, hosting five bird species found nowhere else, half of which are confined to the Tanzanian portion of the ecosystem.
Common Birds in Serengeti

Fischer’s lovebird
Locally common, endemic to Tanzania

 

Grey-breasted spurfowl
Locally common, endemic to Tanzania

 

Kori bustard
Common

Rufous-tailed weaver
Locally common, endemic to Tanzania

Secretary bird
Common

 

 

 

With a moderate and pleasant climate, temperatures are quite uniform throughout the year. It is consistently cool at night and cold in the early mornings but never gets very hot.
It is advisable to take warm clothing for early morning game drives.

For booking and reservation of safari tours, visit the official Serengeti Tours page https://www.safaribookings.com/tours/serengeti

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