The Serengeti National Park has probably been the subject of more books, television documentaries, pictures, photos and digital images on African wildlife animals, than any other African national park. Hosting the annual wildebeest migration across its grassy plains – arguably the world’s greatest wildlife animals spectacle – this park is without a doubt a defining image of East Africa and more specifically Tanzania.
The Serengeti Park in Tanzania covers an area of 14 763 sq km, but the greater Serengeti – roughly 30 000 sq km in extend, incorporates several other reserves, notably the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Kenya’s Masaai Mara National Park. The park is picturesque grassland of awesome beauty and size. Derived from the Masaai phrase “Siringet” meaning “endless plain”, the Serengeti Plains ecosystem is defined by an ancient migration route, followed annually by around two million animals.
The national park can be divided into 3 major wildlife animals’ vegetation areas: In the south-eastern area are the open grasslands, to the north the open woodlands and in the west a mosaic of grass- and woodlands. The lion is one of this African park’s main attractions, as there are about 2500 of these animals in the Serengeti Plains ecosystem. This is the biggest concentration in the world of Africa’s largest predators. Please refer to the map below, and images for further details and safari information guide on this awesome and picturesque wildlife national park in Tanzania.
A series of weathered granite outcrops called kopjes are scattered around the park, one that contains African rock paintings, while another features a mysterious “rock gong”. Most of these fascinating granite kopjes are miniature wildlife ecosystems, providing shade and drinking water in pools, left in the rock after the rains. The Moru Kopjes are the most frequently visited kopjes by tourists, in the park. Please refer to the map below, photos and images for further details and safari information guide in this regard.
The Serengeti African Park can be divided into four distinctive topographical areas:
- The southern park area, which features the Serengeti plains and its kopjes.
- The central park area also referred to as the Seronera area where most of the campsites and some of the lodges are located.
- The western corridor, a wedge of land along the Grumeti River, which reaches to within 8km of Lake Victoria.
- To the northern corridor, this links up with the Masaai Mara in Kenya and, which is used by most of the animals during the up and down migration periods.
Each area warrants at least a half day safari, meaning that two to three days is the ideal minimum to see a bit of everything the park has on offer.
Ndutu Lake Area Guide:
Between December and May each year, this area becomes very special, as many wildebeest calve in and start their annual migration from this area. The short grass plains also feature an abundance of gazelle, before the annual migration. A small seasonal lake, Lake Ndutu (or Lagarja) surrounded by beautiful acacia trees, is without a doubt, the main attraction of the area. A number of giraffes reside in the area around the lake, which is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, supporting a rich bird life, including a great number of pink flamingos.
Moru Kopjes Guide:
The Moru Kopjes (meaning “old” in Masaai) are set further north on the migration path. These Kopjes display some interesting geological formations made up of ancient granite, which were left standing after centuries of erosion and weathering. The area offers some good wildlife viewing year-round, due to the presence of drinking water for the African animals. The kopjes are favourites among many big cats, including lion and leopard. Rainwater gathers in the rocky clefts, providing much needed drinking water for a great variety of animals. This makes the kopjes particularly good for spotting wildlife in the dry seasons – including lions, which like to lie in wait on animals coming to drink! Look for the natural shelter used by Masaai cattle herders about half a century ago, which is daubed with rock paintings.