Migrating animals in the Serengeti park

country : Tanzania
place : north of the country, east of Victoria lake"Serengeti is the last place in Africa where there are still large herds of game roaming across the grassy plains, as bison once did in untold numbers across the American prairies. Its lions are the most numerous and most handsome in Africa". Dr. Bernhard and Michael Grzimek - Serengeti Shall Not Die - May 1968.
In the 1950s, Dr. Grzimek, a Director of the Frankfurt Zoo and Professor of Veterinary Science and his son Michael were so worried that Serengeti will be used for agriculture if not controlled. They learnt how to fly a plane and followed the migration route hence know where to make the park boundary and convince the then British government to make Serengeti into a National Park to protect the animals. They succeeded.
Today, the migration is one of the many reason to come spend time in Serengeti. The animals are constantly moving between the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem.
The name "Serengeti" comes from a Maasai word "Siringit" for "endless plains". National Geographic Magazine describes the Serengeti National Park as a "destination of a lifetime- the must-see spot for the complete traveller", one of the "last bastions of Eden". The Serengeti extends over some 5,700 sq. miles and supports over four million mammals and birds. The Serengeti has the greatest concentration of wildlife on the planet.
Migration movement:
This mass exodus of 1.5 million wildebeest together with 0.5 million zebra and gazelle on their eternal search for water and greener pastures is one of the greatest natural spectacles on Earth. The Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration pattern follows a 500 mile circuit from Kenya's Masai Mara to Serengeti.
Together with the migratory animals, the migrating carnivorous lions, leopards, hyenas shadow them. Be ready for the prey and predator game. The hunt for animals is half the fun besides watching them.
In Southern Serengeti, the Wildebeest and Zebra are calving - lots of babies from December to March. The weak, the crippled, and the young wildebeest, form an easy target for the numerous predators that famously roam the Serengeti. The casual ease with which the lions, leopard, cheetah, and hyenas pick off the vulnerable members of the herds is as much a part of the migration spectacle as the endless grunting masses of the wildebeest and zebra. Sightings of kills are common on game drives. Resident wildlife is plentiful in Southern Serengeti. Lake Ndutu provides a good water source year round.
The largest pride of resident lions and cheetahs are found in Central Serengeti and reside along the Seronera River year round. Kopjes (rock outcrops) homes many of the cats hence Central Serengeti is sometimes called Cat Central. The short grass of the Seronera area is where you find the kopje outcrops, the small granite rock formations that loom out of the seas of grass to form a distinct habitat for several species. The kopje outcrops provide a perfect viewing point for the big cats that populate these predator-rich plains. The migratory animals will pass through Central Serengeti on the way to the Southern Serengeti
in December as well as May when they are going to Western Serengeti. During the dry season July to November, the Seronera River provides refugee to the resident wildlife making this a high concentration area.
The migration moves towards the Mbalageti River and Grumeti River in Western Serengeti from Central Serengeti. The animals will be here from May to July until they have exhausted their food supply and time comes for them to move towards Northern Serengeti and Masai Mara in Southern Kenya. It is here that the animals will cross Grumeti River, one of the most treacherous rivers as many wildebeest and zebra lives are lost to crocodiles, some of the largest in the world. The crocodiles are eagerly anticipating the animals arrival as their last feast was a year ago around the same time.
Northern Serengeti is an area that offers a wooded and hilly landscape making wildlife viewing very interesting - keep your eyes peeled. This is the area where the Serengeti meets the Kenyan Maasai Mara. The Grumeti River and the Mara River which rarely dry up keeps the migratory animals in the Northern Serengeti and Masai Mara region during the dry season.
Besides the migratory animals, large elephant concentrations are found in the regions as well as many predators such as the shy leopards that enjoy the anonymity as there are many hiding spots in the woody area of Northern Serengeti.

To understand the true majesty of the Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration and the many other animals and birds of Serengeti National Park, you must experience the phenomenon firsthand. Serengeti National Park never disappoints and no one leaves without having their expectations surpassed by the beauty, the wildlife and the sheer scale of one of the last untouched stretches of Africa.
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