Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

Covering an area of 14,763 square kilometres, equal in size to Northern Ireland, the world famous Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's oldest park, and one of the world's last great wildlife refuges. It is contiguous with Kenya's Masai Mara Game Reserve and stretches as far as Lake Victoria to the West. Its name comes from the Masai word Siringet, meaning 'endless plains'. The park's vegetation ranges from the short and long grass plains in the south, to the acacia savannah in the centre and wooded grasslands concentrated around the tributaries of the Grumeti and the Mara rivers in the park. The western corridor is a region of wooded highland and extensive plains reaching the edge of Lake Victoria. In the early morning and evening light, the Serengeti landscape is stunningly beautiful.

The Serengeti ecosystem supports the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, including more than three million large mammals. It is the sanctuary of an estimated four million different animals and birds. The animals roam the park freely and in the spectacular migrations, huge herds of wild animals move to other areas of the park in search of greener grazing grounds (requiring over 4,000 tons of grass each day) and water. The annual migration into Kenya (in a continuous search of water and pasture) of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle is triggered by the rains and usually starts in May, at the end of the wet season. Called the Great Migration, this constitutes the most breathtaking event in the animal kingdom ever known to humans. As the dry season intensifies, the herds drift out towards the west, one group to the north (to Lake Victoria, where there is permanent water), the other northeast heading for the permanent waters of the northern rivers and the Mara. The immigration instinct is so strong that animals die in the rivers as they dive from the banks into the raging waters to be dispatched by crocodiles. The survivors concentrate in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve until the grazing there is exhausted, when they turn south along the eastern and final stage of the migration route.

Before the main exodus, the herds are a spectacular sight, massed in huge numbers with the week and crippled at the tail end of the procession, followed by the patient vigilant predators, including lions (the adult males of Serengeti have characteristic black manes), cheetahs, hunting dogs and spotted hyena. The migration coincides with the breeding season, which causes fights among the males.

When to go:
December to February, and May to July. Accommodation is available in luxury lodges and tented camps. Budget accommodation is at designated camp sites, Also we can arrange accomodation out of town with normal hotel rates no extra charges.