The Serengeti ecosystem and protected area is located in northern Tanzania, Africa. Serengeti means “endless plains” in the Maasai language, and that’s exactly what it means. Southeastern part of Serengeti Park is bordered by the Ngorongoro Reserve, and the rest of its territory is surrounded by controlled hunting areas and reserves. Serengeti Park is one of the oldest ecosystems in the world. To see the entire Serengeti you will need at least a week, even better – a full 10 days. The Serengeti park is really big and rich. While I’ve been to many other places around the world, this park has left an indelible impression on me. It has been one of my biggest dreams since I was a child. Find a kid who doesn’t want to see a giraffe or lion in the wild. I believe many of us have this dream.
The park itself became national in 1951. The Serengeti became famous after B. and M. Grzimek published their book and one of the most significant German documentaries “The Serengeti Shall Not Die“. To protect the wildlife, the British evicted all Maasai tribes from the park in 1959 and moved them to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
People don’t live here now, with the exception of the Maasai villages in the east and the staff of the national parks. The Serengeti is one of the oldest Tanzanian National Parks, along with Lake Manjara, Taragire National Park, Arusha National Park, and Ngorongoro Reserve. There are about 3,000 lions and over 1.5 million wildebeest, also called Gnu.
The great migration in Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti became famous for the largest land animal migrations on the planet. Throughout the year, herds of antelope wildebeest and zebras roam in the park on the same paths searching for food and water. Their locations are quite seasonal. The most spectacular view is their crossing of the Mara River. We saw the migration on the way out of the park. The herds were impressive, but they couldn’t match the herds inside the park.
Everywhere you look – all the way to the edge of the horizon, everywhere you see animals… We were not used to such a large number of animals and views. In the past, large migrations were common on other continents, but today, this phenomenon can only be observed in the Serengeti.
Serengeti National Park consists of three regions:
There are almost no trees in the park. From December to May (during the wet season) antelope wildebeest, gazelles, impalas, cattle, antelopes, buffalo and water goats graze here. They are called “Kopjes”, which are loved by predators, pythons and damasks. These islands inspired the creation of the animated film “The Lion King“.
The western corridor is covered by black clay soil. Here flows the Grumeti River. It is inhabited by the Nile crocodiles and hippos, and in the forests that grow along it – the markats, the big eagles. You can watch the migrating animals here between May and July.
The northern Serengeti
You’ll see myrrh trees and hills in the northern Serengeti. There is one of the main settlements of Seronera, and everything ends in the Mara River on the border with Kenya.
Migratory animals appear there in July-November, and the culmination of crossing the Mara River is usually in August. There are also a lot of elephants, giraffes and dik-diks.
The wildebeest also called Gnu in the Serengeti make up the largest population of large mammals on the planet. There are also 200,000 ordinary zebras migrating there, 300,000 Thomson and Grant gazelles, and tens of thousands of equinox antelopes and Congolese. The most popular animals in Serengeti are the big five: lions, leopards, elephants, black rhinos, buffalo. I can’t guarantee because of the rhinos – we only saw the couple in the Ngorongoro crater and in the distance during the whole trip. The big five are the biggest animals, which was interesting to take pictures of.
We spent three days in the Serengeti, but I wish we’d stayed there for a whole month. We mostly saw antelope wildebeests, zebras, lions and hyenas. While we were looking for leopards, we found a few lions resting on the branches. Predatory cats normally rest and do not pay much attention to people in cars as they are simply busy with their own business.