Serengeti National Park

See map of Serengeti location

Serengeti National Park is unique among the world’s wilderness areas because of the abundance, approachability and diversity of its wildlife.

This Park has a vast expanse of land with a large concentration of plains animals. It also contains a wide variety of bird life inhabiting a diversity of habitat and vegetation.

The most amazing event on the Serengeti is the annual migration of the wildebeest, zebras and other plains animals. As the herds move to new grazing ground they are followed by predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and hunting dogs waiting for weak preys, while vultures soar overhead waiting for their share of the kill.

Serengeti’s low vegetation means that game viewing is relative easy. It varies from grass plains in the south savannah with scattered acacia trees in the center, hilly wooded grassland in the north to extensive woodland and black clay to the west. There are many small rivers, lakes, swamps and kopjes scattered about. Animals live in absolute freedom in endless plains.

Serengeti migration

The endless plains of east Africa are the setting for the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle, the 1.5 million animals’ migrations. From the vast Serengeti plains to Maasai Mara, over 1.4 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and gazelles, tracked by Africa’s great predators, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.

The migration puts the park in a league of its own. It is quite simply the greatest wildlife show on earth. Even discounting migration, the Serengeti is superb. For example, calving season is a sight to be hold. Between late January and mid- March an estimated 400,000 are born as the huge herds wander the plains. About 80% of the pregnant females give birth within three weeks, collectively producing 8,000 babies each day. The large predators, of course, are on hand to take advantage of this glut.

Between June and August the migrating animals drink from and eventually cross the Grumeti River. But for some, it would be their last drink or their last river crossing. For here in the Grumeti River there are crocodiles that grow to over five meters in length and weigh more than three quarters of a ton. They have jaws so powerful they can crush a wildebeest head like a watermelon, then violently tear the body into bloody pieces, usually after yanking a victim into the water.

The great majority of wildebeest survive to cross the Ikoma controlled area outside the park, then pass through the Serengeti northern extension, crossing the next challenging river, the Mara River in July or August. Most, but not all, the wildebeest and zebras also cross the Kenyan border a little way beyond to remain in the Maasai Mara reserve until about mid–October. Then they begin the return journey, down the eastern boundary of the northern extension, in and out of the park, and eventually back to the short-grass plains. The 1,000 km trek for those which made it is complete!

Serengeti is one of the crown jewels of Africa, but it’s certainly not the only option for incredible safari adventures. Many people group different parks on their trip so they can experience different environments. Read about our other parks to visit!