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Serengeti National Park Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park was initially inhabited by the Masai people who used to use these as graze grounds. The Park derives it name from the Masai language. The word “siringet,” which translated as a place where the land runs on, is where the park gets its name.

In the 1960s, the British realized a big reduction of the number of lions. That’s when they decided to designate this area as a protected area to protect the lions and many other animals. This made the Serengeti the first and oldest park in Tanzania. This was when the beginning of opening door of Tanzania to tourism.

The Serengeti tour will give you beautiful views to make your safari worthwhile. The endless plains as described by the Masai are home a vast number of wildlife which includes the endangered black Rhinos and many others. The plains are mostly savanna lands but have a mixture of woodlands and thickets.

The Serengeti has the largest number of herbivores in the region. This is probably due to the fact that it has very large plains that allows the animals to graze very well. The notable ones include the wildebeests, zebras and gazelles. With this number of herbivores, the predators also thrive here as they have a lot of prey to survive on. They keep following the animals the entire time even during the calving and migration season.

There are a variety of birds that thrive here with this good ecosystem.  Some of the other wild life to look out for is: Giraffes, Lions, Leopards, Warthogs, Hippos, cheetahs and many other cats. There are large herds of Elephants and Buffalos.  The bird to look out for is grey breasted spurfowl, rufous tailed weaver, Kori bustard, and Fischer’s lovebird.

Vegetation in Serengeti National Park

There are variations in vegetation in the Serengeti National Park due to variations in Altitude and land forms. The general area lies below the 1280 meters above sea level mark which is the cultivated climate and vegetation zone. The area is characterized with short grass that catches the waters form the highlands. These are also known as the savanna vegetation. They are characterized by short bushes and a lot of acacia trees. There are patches of woodlands, swamps and mashes.

The Masai people of Serengeti.

Thousands of years ago, the Masai have been known to be cattle keepers in the areas of Serengeti areas and the Ngorongoro conservation areas. The Masai are also natural warriors. They would use these warrior skills to protect their animals and also raid new grazing areas.  With their kind of life style, it has been hard for the Masai to integrate into the developing world. The gazzeting of the Ngorongoro conservation area and the Serengeti National Park in the 1960 constrained the Masai from practicing most of their norms. They were moved from Serengeti National park after it was gazzetted to the Ngorongoro conservation area.

The Calving Migration in Serengeti National park.

When one thinks about the Wildebeests great migration, pictures of large herds of wildebeest’s crossing over fields and river will come to mind. There is a smaller migration that occurs prior to this great migration. Very many people overlook this season and yet it’s very important and contributes a great deal to the bigger migration.

This is a process by which by which the Wildebeests move to the southern areas of the Serengeti National Park to spread out in the plains filled with lush vegetation to give birth. This period is usually in the Months of January to March. The routs they use to the plains are the same but the times sometimes vary but they usually prefer the rainy season. The wildebeest do not go through this process alone, the Gazelle and Zebras also follow through. They go to these areas since they have short grass that can easily be eaten by their young one and it’s also hard for predators to hide here.

Species in Serengeti

The Park boasts of a lot of wild life with over 3 million mammals that call these plains home. The Migration of the animals usually occurs between May and early June. You will see a lot of Zebras and Wildebeests as they move in search for water.

Other animals you will see here are many species of Antelopes, Buffalos, Cheetahs, Hippos, Leopards, Primates, Giraffes, and many reptiles like the crocodiles, a lot of bird species (About 500) and Leopards.

Elevation of the Serengeti

The Serengeti is at an elevation of between 1,600 and 1,800 meter above sea level. It’s a catchment area for several rivers in the area. The Mara River flows from Northern Masai Mara in Kenya all the way through the Serengeti National park. The waters of this river support the dense forested banks of this river. Other rivers in the area are Mbalaget Rivers, Duma, Simiyu and Semu rivers.

Hills & mountains

There are strings of hills that rise well from the flat surface of the Serengeti National Park.

Soils & volcanic history

There are underlying rocks west of the Mugumu-Seronera line that have been in existence for over 2.5 million years ago. The rocks are believed to be volcanic rocks and they are mineralized. The volcano in this area Ol Doinyo Lengai, is still active and last erupted in 2013. Eastern plains soils contain different salts, such as sodium, potassium and calcium.

Climate and Average Weather in Serengeti Tanzania

Average Temperature in Serengeti

During the dry months, the temperatures rise up to 62°F. The hottest month will either be July, August or September. The Coolest months are usually between March to Mid June and temperatures will drop up to 46°F.

Clouds

The cloud cover varies a lot during the year. From May until October, the clouds are usually very clear and the clouds are abit think for the rest of the year. This is however never constant.

Rainfall

The rainy season runs from March to Mid June and October to November. The average rainfall in a month in a rainy season will be about 4.7 inches.

Sun

There is sun almost throughout the year. Sometimes even when it rains, it may shine after. The sun is hotter in the dry months of Mid June to September and December to February.

Humidity

The Humidity of an area is determined by dew point. If the Dew point is low, then the area will feel drier and the higher the dew point then the more humid the area will be. Humidity is not like temperature which varies during date and night; the dew points will shift more slowly. Therefore the temperature will drop at night but a muggy day will remain muggy at night.

Wind

The winds are stronger in the months of June to November. The winds will move at an average of about 7.6 Mile per hour. The speed of the winds will also be affected by the topography of the particular area of the Serengeti.

How big is the Serengeti National park

The park covers an area of about 14,763 square Kilometers making it one of the biggest parks in Tanzania as well. The endless plains as described by the Masai are home to the wildebeests that are highly sought after animals during their calving and migrating seasons. The park is a continuation o the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya and this makes it easy for the wildebeest to move to Kenya in the dry season in search of water and greener grass.

Best Time to Visit

Any time of year is a good opportunity to visit the Serengeti National Park. However, as the paths are likewise dry, it is suggested that you go during the dry month. Though it is the rainy season, it doesn’t mean that the area is flooded or that it rains all day. You can still go during the wet months. December through February and mid-June through September are the dry months. The remaining months are precipitation-filled.


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