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10 Things to Know About Serengeti National Park

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10 Things to Know About Serengeti National Park

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Serengeti National Park: It’s Africa’s most popular national park and a dream destination for animal lovers worldwide.

However, how well do you know the magnificent Serengeti National Park in Tanzania? Are you planning a trip to check off the Big Five from your must-do list or witness the Great Migration in action?

If so, keep reading to discover more with our ten fascinating facts about the Serengeti.

Related read: Serengeti Balloon Safari in Tanzania

Zebras in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Home to Nature’s Most Noteworthy Exhibition

The Serengeti National Park is widely known for hosting the Great Migration, one of the world’s most prominent natural spectacles. Over 1.5 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebras, and countless other prey species migrate between the Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara in an annual cyclical movement in search of greener grazing grounds.

They are closely followed by lions, leopards, cheetahs, and other predators that roam these grasslands. The most breathtaking sight to witness is when the herds cross rivers like the Mara River while battling crocodiles and strong currents. The best time to observe this migration at the Serengeti National Park is June to August.

Related read: Top 10 Things to Do in Tanzania

The Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park

2. Around 250,000 Wildebeest Die Each Year in the Migration

One of the most astonishing facts about the Serengeti is that it is estimated that approximately 250,000 wildebeest die each year during migration. These animals’ main causes of death are usually starvation, drought, or predation. Although these losses are significant, they are sustainable due to the large number of creatures that survive the journey.

Additionally, these deaths nourish the rest of the food chain, sustaining the entire ecosystem.

3. The Serengeti Public Park was first safeguarded in 1940, yet the public park wasn’t officially settled until 1951

The boundaries of the recreational space have been altered from that moment onwards. For instance, in 1959, an area measuring 8,200 square kilometers was designated as the Ngorongoro Preservation Region. The Serengeti Public Park is vast, covering over 14,700 square kilometers. However, the recreational space actually protects less than half of the Serengeti habitat, which spans approximately 30,000 square kilometers.

4. The Serengeti is home to numerous kopjes

These stone formations are made from exposed granite. They emerge from the lush meadows, having been shaped over thousands of years. Kopjes serve as a popular resting place for lions and are said to have inspired Pride Rock in the 1994 Disney classic The Lion King.

Specifically, the Simba Kopjes, which are the tallest kopjes in the park and are named after the main character in the movie.

5. For quite a long time, the Tanzanian government had been arranging a significant expressway through the Serengeti Public Park to interface rustic networks

However, the construction of this road would have blocked off the Great Migration and destroyed the perfect ecosystem. Despite opposition from the United Nations, the US government, Tanzanian tourism, and conservationists, the East African Court ultimately halted the road in 2014.

To this day, there has been no progress on constructing the road. We hope it stays this way, so wildlife can continue to thrive and bring tourism revenue to Tanzania. There are alternative routes to connect these rural communities as well. In fact, even the German government proposed partially funding such a project!

6. In the 1890s, a severe drought and an epidemic among cattle plagued the area that would later become Serengeti Public Park

Unfortunately, this disease also spread through the wild populations of prey animals. Wildlife was devastated, but it wasn’t until around the mid-1970s that wildlife populations had fully recovered.

Protecting Wildlife

7. Preserving Serengeti involves significant contributions from the Maasai clan since it holds deep historical significance as their native land

Besides being resettled mainly to protect wildlife, the clan still grazes its cattle near this sanctuary, maintaining close harmony with natural surroundings. Tourists visiting Serengeti Public Park frequently explore a traditional settlement inhabited by Maasai tribespeople.

Here, cultural richness transcends monetary value, and prosperity lies within herds—a collection exceeding 50 cows exemplifying dignity.

Maasai clan in Tanzania

8. Today, the Serengeti has a steady lion populace of around 3,000 people

Lion populations are falling across Africa, so the Serengeti population is a higher priority than at any other time to shield the species.

9. Elephants are native to the Serengeti, however, there were none present when the national park was established

It’s believed that they were completely hunted for their ivory during the 1800s. However, in the 1900s, elephants started returning to the park. Their populations have fluctuated due to natural factors and poaching activities.

Nevertheless, today, there is a thriving population of over 7,000 elephants throughout the entire Serengeti ecosystem. This represents an increase from approximately 6,000 in 2014 – fantastic news!

Related read: Top Places to See African Elephants

Reasons to visit Kenya
10 Things to Know About Serengeti National Park

10. The buffalo population is also increasing

The good news continues in the rest of our world regarding the Serengeti. Another member of the Big Five, the buffalo, is also thriving in this area. In 2020, there were approximately 60,100 individuals, an increase from 50,000 in 2014.

See the Serengeti National Park for Yourself

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the Serengeti National Park. Now that you are well informed about the wonders of the Serengeti, it’s time to start planning your trip!

Tourism is crucial in preserving and protecting precious natural habitats like the Serengeti. It shows that these places hold more value for local economies when left untouched rather than being destroyed for development purposes.

If you’re interested in visiting the magnificent Serengeti yourself, take a look at our range of Tanzania safaris.

5 Days (North Serengeti Migration) – Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Discover the three most popular destinations in Tanzania – Central Serengeti (2 nights), North Serengeti (1 night), and Ngorongoro Crater (1 night) on a journey that starts and ends in Arusha, with experienced driver guides leading the way.

Itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Arusha to Central Serengeti
  • Day 2 – Central Serengeti to North Serengeti
  • Day 3 – North Serengeti to Central Serengeti
  • Day 4 – Central Serengeti to Ngorongoro
  • Day 5 – Ngorongoro Crater Tour to Arusha

Meals:

  • Day 1: Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 5: Breakfast & Lunch

Included:

  • Park fees (For non-residents)
  • All activities (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation (Unless listed as an upgrade)
  • Professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)

Excluded:

  • International flights (From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (Tipping guideline US$15.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)

Book this tour directly with the operator!

3 Days – Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Embark on a journey covering the two most popular destinations in Tanzania – Central Serengeti (1 night) and Ngorongoro Crater (1 night), beginning and ending in Arusha, guided by experienced driver guides for a trip of a lifetime.

Itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Arusha to Central Serengeti
  • Day 2 – Central Serengeti to Ngorongoro
  • Day 3 – Ngorongoro Crater Tour (5 hours) to Arusha

Meals:

  • Day 1: Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 3: Breakfast & Lunch

Included:

  • Park fees (For non-residents)
  • All activities (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation (Unless listed as an upgrade)
  • Professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)

Excluded:

  • International flights (From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (Tipping guideline US$15.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)

Book this tour directly with the operator!

  • Travel Dudes

    I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You’re in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.



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