Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous parks in Africa and is certainly Tanzania’s most famous and visited park. Established in 1951 it is also Tanzania’s oldest national park. Measuring around 14,763 km² or 5700 miles², it is over six times the size of its contiguous park in Kenya – the Masai Mara. The Serengeti and Masai Mara are very similar in terrain and in the types of wildlife sightings, but off-road driving is severely limited in the Serengeti whereas it is freely allowed in the Masai Mara. By restricting where the safari vehicles can travel, the wildlife of the Serengeti are less accessible to tourist and are able to live in a more wild environment.
Probably the biggest claim to fame for the Serengeti is its annual migration of herbivores. All year-round, over three million herbivores travel throughout the Serengeti, in a clockwise fashion, in search of the most lush and nutritious grasses. While the main stars of the migration are the white-bearded wildebeest, of which there are over two million, the annual migration also includes herbivores such as zebras and various species of antelope.
The Serengeti is generally divided into four sections:
The central region of the Serengeti is a very fertile area with year-round water supplies. At the heart of the Serengeti is the Seronera Valley, with its lush green grasses and rivers. The year-round water results in resident prides of lions and other predators that do not need to follow the migration as they’ve adequate prey around the water supplies. Almost any safari to the Serengeti will include a few days in the central region as there is always ample wildlife to be seen.
The eastern and southern regions are where the short grass plains are, which makes for an excellent viewing locale for cheetahs. The area is more open here and one can see a large number of elephants and, during the migration, prides o f lions.
As one heads north, the land becomes more rolling and is dotted with trees. The migration passes through this area on its way up to Kenya and must cross two rivers in the north: the Grumeti River and the Mara River. Both rivers are home to the Nile crocodile and crossings are a sight to behold. This region is also home to the largest population of elephants.
The western corridor is the least visited but has much to offer. The Grumeti River also runs through here and makes for excellent game viewing when the migration passes through. This area tends to be more open than that of the north and central and regions.
|Month||Wildebeest location in the Serengeti|
|January||Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti|
|February||Eastern and Southern Serengeti|
|March||Eastern and Southern Serengeti|
|April||Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti|
|May||Central Serengeti. Western Serengeti|
|June||Central Serengeti. Western Serengeti|
|July||Western Serengeti, Northern Serengeti|
|November||Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti|
|December||Central Serengeti, Eastern and Southern Serengeti|
The Serengeti is often considered the best wildlife reserve in Africa, and it offers an unparalleled concentration of wildlife.