SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

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Serengeti which covers 14, 763 sq km, is Tanzania’s most famous game park and is continuous with the Masai Mara Game Reserve in neighbouring Kenya. Here you can get a glimpse of what a lot of East Africa must have looked like.

On the seemingly endless and almost treeless plains of Serengeti are literally millions of hooded animals. They are constantly on the move in search of pasture and are watched and pursued by the predators which feed off them. It is one of the most incredible sights you will ever see and the numbers are simply mind-boggling.

Nowhere else will you see wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and antelope in such concentrations. The wildebeest, of which there are up to two million, is the chief herbivore of the Serengeti and also the main prey of the large carnivores such as lions and hyenas. The wildebeest are well known for the annual migration which they undertake- a trek with many hazards, not least of which is the crossing of large rivers, which can leave hundreds drowned, maimed or taken by a crocodile.

During the rainy season, the herds are widely scattered over the eastern section of the Serengeti and Masai Mara in the north. These areas have few large rivers and streams and quickly dry out when the rain ceases. When that happens the wildebeest concentrate on the few remaining green areas and Gradually from huge herds which move off west in search of better pasture. At about the time the migration starts, the annual rut also begins. For a few days at a time while the herds’ pause, bulls establish territories, which they defend against rivals, and try to assemble as many females as they can with which they mate. As soon as the migration resumes, the female herds merge again.

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