National Park is 335km from Arusha town, and is one of the
best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, it covers about 14763sq
km terrain includes various types of vegetation: grassy plains,
savannah with acacias, wooded hills and mountains are the backdrop
for an extraordinary concentration of animals which reaches its peak
during the wildebeest migration. There are said to be 2 million
wildebeest on the Serengeti - Mara plains and every year they
migrate in search of grazing within an area of about 26,000sq miles.
The best time to see the wildebeest migration is from December-July,
and the best time to see predators is from June-October.
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, vigilant 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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