Serengeti: The Jewel of Africa
One of the most famous national parks in the east African region is the Serengeti park. It is known for its high concentration of wild animals together with breathtaking physical sceneries and it is also home to the world’s largest migration of wild animals.
It occupies about 30,000 square kilometers extending from the southern areas of Kenya towards northern Tanzania and is adjacent to the Ngorongoro conservation, the Muswa reservation Maasai Mara and the Grumeti National Reservations. It is also a part of Tanzania’s the Northern Safari Circuit comprising of the Tarangire National Park, the Lake Manyara National Park, and the Arusha National park. It was also listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage list in the year 1981.
The Serengeti is home to over two million zebras and wildebeests that roam freely all over the southern grasslands in search of new pasture and water. This makes it the world’s most impressive animal migration pattern in present time. During this time the migrating animals experience numerous challenges, and dangers but they never fall back or stop their migration and this is a trait that they have continued for millions of years. Apart from the wildebeests the park also plays host to over 70 species of animals such as rhinos, wild dogs, hippos, impalas, elands, topi antelopes, gemsboks, waterbucks, hartebeests, Maasai giraffes, Jackals, caracals, mongooses, warthogs, buffalos, servals genets honey badgers, rhinos and many more.
In addition, the park is also home to more than 500 species of birds, making it the second highest region with a dense ornithological concentration in Tanzania, the area with the highest concentration is the Tarangire National Park.
Besides the great migration that entails the movement of zebras and wildebeests, the migration of Thomson gazelles is another spectacular event that is observed within this national park; even though it may not be as big as the great migration it is still an amazing experience.
Over 250,000 gazelles usually move towards the central Serengeti and the Seronera during the dry season in search of pasture and clean water after grazing in the eastern Serengeti during the rainfall season. Consequently, some lions and cheetahs usually follow them to hunt them down.
The park’s vegetation cover is very diverse and can be used to predict the type of animal you are likely to come across. Towards the south of the park, the low grassland is the most predominant type of vegetation and this is what has given the park its name since it is called “serengit” which in the Maasai language stands for “endless grass”. This area usually has very few tree cover due to the fact that the soil is made up volcanic rocks that hinder roots from absorbing water.Nonetheless, the soil is very nutritious making the herbs very nourishing to the zebras and wildebeests.
The lack of trees creates a vast open area that promotes easy sightings of animals especially during the months of April and December when the migration attracts the numerous predators.
The areas North to the park usually have the scrub savannah or what is called the bush savannah characterized with scattered Acacia trees which are as a result of the ability of the plants to root easily.
The park also hosts the indigenous Maasai community that is world renowned for their beautiful culture and jewelry.
The Serengeti is indeed an amazing place to visit if you are interested in seeing wild game. The migration itself is an amazing spectacle whereby the law of the jungle is observed on site when the predators hunt their prey as the ecosystem is maintained and preserved naturally without human interference.