Varying tourist attractions are domicile in Tanzania but only few radiates the natural beauty and splendour like the Serengeti National Park. Well-known for its annual migration of several animals like the zebra, lions, Nile crocodiles, honey badgers etc.
Established in 1951, The Serengeti National Park was named after the word used by the Massai people to describe the area “siringet” connotting “the place where the land runs on forever”. The Serengeti became even more popular after the efforts of Bernhard and Micheal Grzimek after successfully producing a book & film titled Serengeti Shall Not Die, which is still identified as one of the foremost pieces of nature conversation documentary.
The Serengeti Park is undoubtedly Tanzania’s oldest national park and is the leading site of the country’s tourism industry, The Serengeti park is reputed to have over 2,500 lions and over a million wildebeest.
With over 14,750 square kilometres consisting of savanna, riverine forest, grassland plains, and woodlands, the Serengeti National Park is bounded to the north by the Kenyan border, to the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, another exciting natural conservation center which is located in North western Tanzania.
As a result of the significant role it plays in conservation ecology, and biodiversity, the Serengeti National park has been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site.
The park is known all over the world for its implausible scenery and outstanding wildlife. Some of the most popular animals include:
Masai lion: The Serengeti Park is believed to hold the largest population of lions in Africa due in part to the abundance of prey species. More than 3,000 lions live in this ecosystem!
African leopard: These isolated predators are present in the national park with the population of about 1,000.
Tanzanian cheetah: The fastest running land animal can also be found in the Serengeti National Park. It is estimated there are over 1,000 cheetahs living in the park.
African bush elephant: There is a dominant increase in the number of bush elephants in the park numbering over 5,000 but they are largely located in the northern regions of the park.
Eastern black rhinoceros: Black rhinoceros are mainly found around the kopjes in the centre of the park, but only very few rhinoceros remain due to massive stealing.
African buffalo: The African buffalo is still abundant and also present in large numbers.
Reptiles in Serengeti National Park include Nile crocodile, leopard tortoise, serrated hinged terrapin, black mamba, black-necked spitting cobra, , rainbow agama, Nile monitor, chameleons, African python, puff adder. Other animals that could be found include aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, three species of hyraxes, cape hare.
The Serengeti National Park has also great ornithological interest, boasting about 500 bird species, including Masai ostrich, secretary bird, kori bustards, helmeted guinea fowls, southern ground hornbill, crowned cranes, marabou storks, yellow-billed stork, lesser flamingo, martial eagles, lovebirds, oxpeckers, and varying species of vultures.
The Serengeti National park is divided into three major regions-
1. Serengeti plains:
This is the grassland of the south that is almost without trees but its also the most emblematic scene of the park. This is where the wildebeest breed remain in the plains from December to May. Other hoofed animals – zebra, gazelle, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, topi, waterbuck – also occur in large numbers during the wet season.
2. Western corridor:
Regrettably, black clay soil covers the savannah in this region. The Grumeti River as well as its gallery forests is an abode to Nile crocodiles, monkeys, hippopotamus, patas, and martial eagles. The migration happens from May to July.
3. Northern Serengeti:
The landscape is dominated by woodlands and hills, which ranges from Seronera in the south to the Mara River that lies on the Kenyan border. Asides the migratory wildebeest and zebra (that occurs from July to August, and also in November), this is one of the best places to find elephants & giraffes.
Planning to visit Tanzania? Love the sight of animals? Be sure to visit the Serengeti National Park. It’s a place to be and the beauty of the place is beyond.