A national park in Tanzania located in the Mara and Simiyu regions. An annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded (brindled) wildebeests and 250,000 zebras traverse its plains. It is also known for its Nile crocodiles and honey badger.
The 5,700 sq.km park lies in North West Tanzania, bordered by Kenya stretching continuously into the Maasai Mara. To the South East of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation area.
The larger Serengeti ecosystem is compartmentalized into three Distinct regions:
1. Serengeti Plains
This is the almost treeless grassland of the south and most emblematic scenery of the park as this is where the wildebeest breed. They can be spotted in the park from December to May after which they migrate into Maasai Mara in Kenya. Other hoofed animals including zebra, gazelle, impala, hartebeest, topi, buffalo, waterbuck can also be spotted here in huge numbers during the wet season.
2. Western Corridor
This is the region that is covered by black clay soil. The Grumeti river is home to Nile crocodiles, patas monkeys, hippos and martial eagles. Their migration passes from May to July.
3. Northern Serengeti
Open woodlands and hills dominate this region’s landscape, ranging from Seronera in the south to the Mara river on the Kenyan border. Apart from the wildebeest migration, this is also the best place to spot elephants, giraffes and dik dik.
Carnivores including THE BIG FIVE(lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) include the cheetah - spotted hyena, jackals, African golden wolf, honey badger, striped hyena, serval, mongooses, otters and the recently reintroduced East African wild dog (locally extinct since 1991). Other mammals include aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, hyraxes and cape hare.
Serengeti National Park also hosts 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, ox peckers, and many species of vultures.
Reptiles in Serengeti National Park include Nile crocodile, leopard tortoise, serrated hinged terrapin, rainbow agama, Nile monitor, chameleons, African python, black mamba, black-necked spitting cobra, puff adder.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Serengeti for the annual wildebeest migration is December to July and to see the predators being June through October.