Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is on of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. This vast area of land supports the greatest remaining concentration of plain game in Africa, on a scale unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The name comes from the Maasai ‘Siringet’, meaning endless plains. Equal in size to Northern Ireland, the Park contains an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature’s wonders. The annual migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeests as well as hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles is triggered by the rains. The wet season starts in November and lasts until about May. Generally the herds congregate and move out at the end of May. Their movement is a continual search for grass and water – the moving mass of animals requiring over 4,000 tons of grass each day. The exodus coincides with the breeding season which causes fights among the males. As the dry season sets in the herds drift out of the West, one group to the North, the other north-east 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 Maasai 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 weak and crippled at the tail end of the procession, followed by the patient, vigilent predators. The vegetation in the Serengeti ranges from the short and long grass plains in the south, to the acacia savannah in the centre and the wooded grassland concentrated around tributaries of the Grumeti and Mara rivers. The western corridor is a region of wooded highland and extensive plains reaching to the edge of Lake Victoria. The Seronera Valley in the Serengeti is famous for the abundance lion and leopard that can usually be seen quite easily. The adult male lions of the Serengeti have characteristic black manes.

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