Serengeti National Park Tanzania

by | Feb 15, 2017 |

Serengeti National is Park the unique place on the planet where one can acquire enough experience about the African Wilderness safaris. Known as the world famous wildlife sanctuary Serengeti National Park is the home to about 35 species of plain African wild animals including so-called “big five” lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino. There are also cheetahs and African wild dogs in this park. The spectacular event of the annual animals migration which involve more than 1.5 million herbivores can also observed in the Serengeti National Park for long duration that somewhere also on Earth.

The Serengeti National Park has an area of 12,950 square kilometers and the ecosystem, which includes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maswa Game Reserve, Gurumeti Game Reserve, Ikorongo Game Reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve (in Kenya).

Serengeti National park lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, Lake Eyasi in the south, and the Great Rift Valley to the east. As such, it offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth.

 

Serengeti National Park Topography

A unique combination of diverse habitats enables Serengeti National park to support more than 30 species of wild animal and nearly 500 species of birds. Its landscape, originally formed by volcanic activity, has been sculptured by the concerted action of wind, rain and sun.

 

It now varies from open grass plains in the south, savannah with scattered acacia trees in the centre, hilly, wooded grassland in the north, to extensive woodland and black clay plains to the west. Small rivers, lakes and swamps are scattered throughout. In the south-east rise the gresoutheastc massifs and craters of the Ngorongoro Highlands. Each area has its own particular atmosphere and wildlife.

Heading north into the Park, the grass becomes noticeably longer, and it is usual to see Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, as well as the occasional small groups of topi and kongoni. Ostriches and secretary birds stalk the grass, while a family of warthog often scurries away. Out of the vast sea of grass also rise great granite outcrops, known as ‘kopjes’, which have their own range of vegetation and wildlife.

Towards Seronera, the Serengeti National Park headquarters, the landscape becomes more varied. Hills rise out of plains crisscrossed by small rivers. Umbrella acacia trees appear, elegant and serene, contrasting with the twisted Commiphora trees. Then at Seronera a beautiful lodge is built on a kopje, a sculpture of wood and stone set in a tranquil garden. Nearby camping sites offer an opportunity to share the experience of the early explorers.

 

Serengeti National Park Climate

The Serengeti’s climate is usually warm and dry. The main rainy season is from March to May, with short rains falling from October to November. The amount of rainfall in Serengeti National Park increases from about 508mm on the plains in the lee of the Ngorongoro Highlands to about 1,200mm on the shores of Lake Victoria. All is lush and green after the rains, but a gradual drying up follows which restricts plant growth and encourages the animals to migrate in search of permanent waters. With altitudes ranging from 920 to 1,850 metres – higher than most of Europe – mean temperatures vary from 15 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius. It is coldest from June to October, particularly in the evenings.

 

Animals in Serengeti National Park

In the open grass plains during the rainy months from November to May hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and Burchell’s zebra congregate. The area is the starting point for one of the great wonders of the world: the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Towards the end of May when the grass becomes dry and exhausted, the wildebeest start to mass in huge armies. All is far from peaceful, for it is the rutting season and each male tries to establish a stamping ground. Eventually, after several dummy runs, the animals begin their trek in a column several miles long to the permanent waters in the north of the Park. After moving westwards, the migration divides by some uncanny instinct, one group turning north-east and the other due north. Once started, little stops the stampede: hundreds often drown at a time in the broad Mara River in the north.

 

Although outnumbered eight to one, the zebra join in the migration maintaining their family units of about a dozen members, each with a dominant stallion. Their yelping bark combines with the bleating of the wildebeest to give the typical sound of the migration. Lion, cheetah, hyena and hunting dog follow the wildebeest and zebra, making sure that only the fittest survive. In November, when the grazing is finished in the North, this army of animals surges back to the now green pastures of the south, where they calve and mate before starting the entire cycle again. Normally, the best time to see the animals here is during January and February.

 

Cheeky hyraxes and lizards play on the rocks and a profusion of birds – superb starlings, lilac-breasted rollers, barbets and ring-necked doves to name but a few – fill the air with their songs. But all around is some of the wildest bush in Africa. Giraffes nibble the tender leaves of the thorny acacias, buffalo lumber along, and all manner of game – Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impala, topi and kongoni – graze nervously. At night the soaring cough of the leopard and the whooping laugh of the hyena interrupt the incessant ticking of the cicadas in the Serengeti National Park. And then there are famous black-maned lions of Seronera. No longer hunted like vermin, a pride of up to twenty can often be seen in a tawny heap.

From Seronera, the road to the west runs parallel to the Grumeti river, crossing extensive cotton soil plains. The riverine wood along its banks supports many black and white colobus monkeys while exceptionally large crocodiles take to its waters. In open clearings and on hills, a herd of roan antelope or Patterson’s eland sometimes appear.

 

To the north of the Serengeti National Park, the landscape gradually becomes more hilly and wooded. Damaged trees show that this is becoming elephant country, while buffalo, zebra, giraffe and gazelles abound. Another beautiful lodge built on a kopje takes its name from nearby Lobo hill, which appropriately means in Maasai the ‘place belonging to one man’. With magnificent views over rolling plains, it must be one of the most haunting and remote places on earth.

 

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

Serengeti National ParkSerengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelles, eland and impala. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. They migrating throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year – here we explain how the broad pattern works.

The wildebeest and buffalo populations have multiplied, benefitting the main predators – lion, cheetah, and hyena. But the ecosystem is delicate and volatile, easily affected by drought, disease or overgrazing. Every effort is therefore being made by the Tanzanian government to conserve this unique heritage for all mankind. For the time being at least, the ‘Serengeti Shall Not Die’.

This migration, month by month, is shown on the map on the right side of this page – the moving yellow ball represents the main herds.

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration September – October

The Wildebeest Migration herds are normaly in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya enjoying the short grass. In the end of October the wildebeest migration start moving to the south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration November – April

The short rains begin around early November a little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The short rains begin around early November a little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Depending with the rain condition of the year in this month the wildebeest migration tend to move towards the Maswa Game Reserve border but once the long rains start the herds return to the Ndutu area and complete calving and start moving to central area in March and April.

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration in May – June

The Serengeti’s wildebeest all seem to be moving north, migrating to seek fresh grazing and water. The area around Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera is then hectic with a series of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals – joined by many zebra, and a scattering of Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles.

Some of the wildebeest migration herds head due to north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

Some of the wildebeest migration herds head due to north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

 

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration in July – October

The wildebeest migration continues moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front: some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.

The Migration sees the herds spread out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frantic herds of the Serengeti wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.

By October the wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.

 

Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelles, eland and impala. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. They migrating throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year – here we explain how the broad pattern works.

This migration, month by month, is shown on the map on the right side of this page – the moving yelow ball represents the main herds.

9 days Students Travel to Tanzania

9 days Students Travel to Tanzania

Students Travel in Tanzania; This is a special itineraries for student and school education trips, visits, excursions, safaris and holidays from all over the world to Tanzania. This Student safari gives students an opportunity to experience the African wildlife safari...

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