The Serengeti is the most famous of Tanzania’s national parks. The name is derived from the Masai word ‘siringet’ meaning ‘extended area’ or ‘endless plains’ and it contains one of the world’s greatest concentration of plains animals. Serengeti National Park was established in 1951 and at 14,763 square kilometres is Tanzania’s second largest national park (after Selous). It rises from 920-1,850 metres above sea level and its landscape varies from the long and short grass plains in the south, to the central savannah, the more hilly wooded areas in the north and the extensive woodland in the western corridor. The Serengeti is perhaps most well known for the annual migration that takes place across the great savannah plains. This is a phenomenal sight: thousands upon thousands of animals, particularly wildebeest, as far as the eye can see.
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Spot the Great Wildebeest Migration
The Great Wildebeest Migration is an enormous year-round movement of animals in which close to 2.5 million herbivores munch their way along an 800-km route around the greater Serengeti area of north-west Tanzania, occasionally dipping into the Maasai Mara area of south-west Kenya. The main body of the migration is formed by around 1.7 million wildebeest and 500,000 zebras. This mass movement is driven by the continuous search for drinking water and quality grazing, which is in turn dictated by the seasonal pattern of rainfall and the underlying soil conditions. The migration is accessible for most of the year, although you do very much have to plan your safari to be in the right place at the right time. Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp moves three times a year, ensuring you are right in the midst of the migration. The three main highlights are the river crossings from June to October, the calving season from December to March and the rut from March to May.
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