The Serengeti (/ˌsɛrənˈɡɛti/) ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located mainly in northern Tanzania and extends into south-western Kenya between 1 and 3 degrees south (latitudes) and between 34 and 36 degrees east (longitudes). It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). The Kenyan part of the Serengeti is known as Maasai Mara.
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The name “Serengeti” derives from Maasai word “Siringiti” meaning “endless plains”. When most people think of safari and the Serengeti, they envision scenes of the Great Migration, complete with image of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest stampeding through the croc- infested waters of the Mara river. Indeed, the annual migration of millions of animals, predominately. Is the grandest spectacle of wildlife in Africa. However, the envision the true Great Migration a column of wildebeest 24 miles( 40km) long, trudging across the plains two or three abreast, all on the move is search of fresh, green grass,. Now image that it takes more than two weeks for that column of animals to cross a single spot. Image them bunched together in protective her,or giving birth , or scrambing bin panic to escape the jaws of snapping crocodile. Image lions and hyenas prowling the scene In search of the weakest animal or the lone straggler separated from its herd. Only now have you visualized the magnificent phenomenon that is the Great Serengeti Migration.
Over 2 millions migrating animals participate in this annual hourney: 1.5 millions wildebeest, 400,000 zebra and 300,000 gazelles, accompanied by a variety of goal: to find fresh, green grass. Consequently the Great Migration takes place year –around, a prey and predator follow a relatively predictable, but variable, annual cycle that is dependent on rainfall and the abudance of green grass. Depending on your location and the time of the year, safari-goers amy see the file columns, or traversing muddy rivers.
The following is a general guide to the route and timing of the annual migration. It must be stressed however that the timing is subject to rainfall patterns, and cannot be predicted. There are no fences in the Serengeti ecosystem- the herds follow ancient survival insrincts that are no match for predictability. The annual cycle begins in the southern Serengeti half million calves are born between January and March. However, when the rainds end and the land dries, the migration herds start to move in aclockwise direction towards the Maasai Mara region via western Corrido and Grument River. When the short rains arrive, the herds move into northernmost sections of the Serengeti near the Mara River and Lami wedge. It is here that fortunate safari goer might witness small herds of wildebeest , typically between 500-1500, traversing the Mara River back and forth beween its northen and southern shores. By late October into November , the herds begin to move south through the Lobo area, reaching the short grass plains near the southern plains of the Serengeti and Ndutu in late November , in time for breeding season.
Great migration, best time to visit:
June – September high densities year-round, although its peak time is during the dry season This is also when the great migration passes through the area and crosses the Grumeti River
This is also when the great migration passes through the area and crosses the Grumeti River (in the months of June or July). This spectacle could not be higher on any safari enthusiast’s bucket list. And for good reason.
Late January to February is the wildebeest calving season, which provides high excitement as lion and cheetah descend on the fragile and naive newborns. Although action-packed, these scenes are not for the faint of heart. The height of the wet season occurs in the months of March and April and causes the usually crowded Serengeti to empty, offering an intimate experience with the wildlife. Another plus of this time of year is the return of migratory bird species – a big drawcard for all the twitchers out there.
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