Serengeti National Park

Serengeti: a national park in the heart of Africa.

The African Maasai tribe calls this territory “endless plains”. The Serengeti Park has a length of about 15 km2 and it is home to hundreds of animal species.

The first European who visited the Serengeti was the Austrian explorer Oscar Bauman. In 1892, the area had not become yet a national park and seemed like an ideal hunting ground. At the beginning of the 20th century, the American scientist Stuart Edward White arrived to the Serengeti. He left a detailed description of his stay there and came back to Africa in 1920. White hunted lions with his colleagues: as a result, about 50 animals died. Uncontrolled hunting for predators led to a decrease in their population. In 1929 the British colonial administration allowed hunting only on an area of ​​about 3 km2 to prevent a catastrophe. It was the beginning of the creation of the Serengeti National Park. It got the status of a protected area in the early 40s.

The popularity of the park began to grow after the German animal rights activist Bernhard Grzimek and his son Michael released the documentary “The Serengeti Must Not Die”. The picture attracted public attention to the problems of African nature. In the center of the plot is the annual migration of ungulates. This film is still considered one of the most important documentaries about respect for wildlife.

What is the Serengeti now? The national park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the border of Tanzania and Kenya and borders two other reserves – Ngorongoro and Masai Mara. 

The fauna of the national park is incredibly rich. Almost all African animals and birds live here, and most important – the famous “big five”: lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. There is a lion pride settled in the Serengeti – more than 40 predators of different ages. 

Other predatory inhabitants of the Serengeti are cheetahs. Male cheetahs prefer to form so-called “coalitions”, while females tend to choose solitude.

The migration of ungulates takes place in the Serengeti every year.  Antelopes, zebras and gazelles set the tone for this monumental process, followed by predators and scavengers. Each group follows its own goals, but their common goal is to survive. During the dry season, herbivores travel colossal distances in search of new pastures with fresh and lush grass. In fact, they go beyond the Serengeti and move to the territory of the Masai Mara park. Not everyone can endure such a journey: many ungulates die on the way because of fatigue, lack of food, or predators.

Today, the Serengeti has become one of the most visited parks in the world by tourists. Tripety travelers enjoy this place and come here all year round. But, the best time to visit the Serengeti is in autumn and spring. The aforementioned migrations take place from October to November. Guests of the park can personally observe the movement of thousands of animals that risk their lives every day. March in the Serengeti is not a dramatic time, but a joyful one: the cubs of large mammals – tigers and lions – are born. You may take a lot of photos there and upload them to the Tripety travel blog

Plan your visit to this place with the Tripety travel app.

  • The Serengeti is one of the oldest and most scientifically significant ecosystems on the planet. Its weather patterns, fauna and flora are believed to have changed very little over a million years, giving the area a prehistoric feel.
  • The greater Serengeti ecosystem includes Serengeti National Park proper; Ngorongoro Conservation Area; Maswa Game Reserve; Loliondo, Grumeti, and Ikorongo Game Controlled Areas; and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
  • The name, Serengeti, is derived from the Maasai word siringit, meaning “endless plains.” An accurate description considering the whole ecosystem stretches over 12,000 square miles (30,000 square kilometers)!
  • The Serengeti is home to the world’s largest movement of animals, often called the “Great Migration.”
  • The Great Migration of the Serengeti was selected in 2013 as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
  • The Maasai tribe had been grazing their cattle in the Serengeti plains for around 200 years when the first European explorers arrived. 
  •  In the 1890s, droughts and a cattle disease wreaked havoc on the Serengeti wildlife population – in particular to wildebeest. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the wildebeest and buffalo populations had fully recovered.
  •  It is the best place in East Africa to see predators in action – because of the open grass plains where the grazing animals gather, predators are numerous and easily visible to the safari-goer.
  • Spread throughout the south-central Serengeti, kopjes (pronounced like “copy”) are geologic wonders comprised of exposed gneiss and granite shaped by the wind and temperature fluctuations. With sun-warmed rocks, vegetation for shade, and their elevation several meters above the plains, kopjes are a favorite resting spot for lions. It seems that one particular Serengeti kopje, known as Simba Kopje, was the inspiration for Pride Rock in Disney’s The Lion King.
  • In 2010, the government of Tanzania announced plans to build a 53 km commercial highway across the northern section of Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti is popular for the great variety of animals and birds that inhabit its territory. The world’s largest population of hoofed animals in the park has more than three million heads, and the number of bird species living here exceeds five hundred. Moreover, some species of animals and birds can be found only here, in other parts of the world you will not find them anywhere else. The most interesting time for Tripety travelers is the period of migration of animals to the west during the drought period (October-November) and to the north during the tropical rainy season (April-June). For some animals – wildebeest, gazelles and zebras – migration is associated with deadly risk – predators such as lions, cheetahs or crocodiles hunt in the park.

At the end of the 20th century, in the territory of the Serengeti Park near the Olduvai gorge, the remains and traces of the vital activity of ancient people were found. This part of the park is now closed to the public in order to avoid uncontrolled access of tourists, interfering with the research of archaeologists.

The geographical location of the Serengeti National Park is interesting:

  • in the north, it borders on the Masai Mara Park in Kenya;
  • Lake Victoria (Nyanza) is located on the northwest side of the park;
  • in the northeast there is another national park – Kilimanjaro – with the highest point in Africa, 5895 m;
  • in the southeast, the park becomes the Ngorongoro Nature Reserve.


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