The Serengeti is the oldest National Park in Tanzania and one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in the world. It is designated as a World Heritage Site and hosts one of the Seven Wonders of Africa.
Man and wildlife have shared this magical place for centuries. The plains were formed 3-4 Million years ago when ash blown from Volcanic mountains of Ngorongoro highlands. The thick layer of ash preserved traces of early man, and established the rich soil which supports the growth of short grasses in Southern plains.
Driving from the Ngorongoro Crater through the short grasses that lead up to the park entrance at Naabi Hill gives you an idea where the park gets its name of Serengeti – Maasai for ‘endless plains’.
The park itself covers 5700 square miles and adjoins other reserves, such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the south and the Masai Mara (in Kenya) to the north, making a huge total area in which the wildlife can continue its age old cycles of life and survival, protected and undisturbed.
Taking full advantage of this protection are the millions of wildebeest and zebras that make up The Great Migration. Their year round migratory cycle starts from the birthing grounds in the Ndutu area in the southern part of the Serengeti/Ngorongoro region.
The terrain of the park varies from the short and long grass, open plains in the south, the acacia savannah in the central area, the hilly, more densely wooded northern section, and the extensive woodland and black clay plains, dominated by the central ranges of mountains in the western corridor. The plains are dotted with rocky outcrops known as “kopjes”, and there are several rivers running through the park, notably the Seronera River in the central area, the Grumeti River in the Western corridor and the Mara River in the north.
Apart from the wildebeest and zebra, you can expect to see a large variety of animals. Smaller antelope varieties include the tiny Dik Dik, Thompsons gazelle, Grants gazelle and impala. Larger antelope include topi, waterbuck, hartebeest and the very large Eland to name a few. Hippos will be found in their pools at any time of year. Elephant will frequently be seen but the population here is migratory, and the numbers in different areas will vary from season to season.There are large herds of buffalo and a significant population of giraffe. The rhino, once close to extinction, is making a comeback in Serengeti National Park, and are seen more and more especially in the Moru Kopje area.
Larger predators such as lion and hyena are regularly spotted during your stay in the Serengeti. Enchanting smaller creatures such as mongoose, bat eared fox and rock hyrax are also seen. The rest of the famous larger predators such as Cheetah, Leopard and Crocodile may be found with some diligence.
The birds of the Serengeti are just as spectacular and varied as the mammals as there have been over 500 species recorded. There are several types of eagles and vultures, ostrich, secretary birds, Kori bustards, hornbills, guinea fowl as well as a host of smaller birds.
Let the magic of the Serengeti dazzle you with an astonishing journey.
World Heritage Site. Great Migration (seasonal), Big Five, cheetah, small cats, many other carnivores, abundance of wildlife and over 500 species of birds. Large area of plains spotted with kopjes (rocky outcrops).