Serengeti National Park

The world famous Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's oldest park, and one of the world's last great wildlife refuges and it covers an area of 5700 sq miles (14,763 sq km). It is contiguous with the much smaller Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and stretches as far as Lake Victoria to the West. Its name comes from the Masai word Siringet, meaning ‘endless plains'. The park's vegetation ranges from the short and long grass plains in the south, to the acacia savannah in the center and wooded grasslands concentrated around the tributaries of the Grumenti and the Mara rivers in the park. The western corridor is a region of wooded highland and extensive plains reaching the edge of Lake Victoria.

The Serengeti ecosystem supports the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, including more than three million large mammals. It is the sanctuary of an estimated four million different animals and birds. The animals roam the park freely and in the spectacular migrations, huge herds of wild animals move to other areas of the park in search of greener grazing grounds and water. The annual migration into Kenya (in a continuous search of water and pasture) of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle is triggered by the rains and usually starts in May, at the end of the wet season. Called the Great Migration, this constitutes the most breathtaking event in the animal kingdom ever known to humans. As the dry season intensifies, the herds drift out towards the west, one group to the north, the other northeast heading for the permanent waters of the northern rivers and the Mara.

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