African elephant The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a very large herbivore having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. The two distinct species of African elephant are: African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). Elephants are difficult to hunt because, despite their large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other species.Black rhinoceros Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a large, thick-skinned herbivore having one or two upright horns on the nasal bridge. Rhinoceros may refer to either black or white rhinoceros. Among big five game hunters, the black rhinoceros is preferred, although it is now critically endangered.
Cape buffalo African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) The African or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large horned bovid. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more hunters in Africa than any other animal. A similar claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles, but these statements include all people and not strictly hunters.
African lion Lion (Panthera leo) The lion (Panthera leo) is a large carnivorous feline of Africa and northwest India, having a short, tawny coat, a tufted tail, and in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders. Lions are desirable to hunters because of the very real danger involved. A lion may attack without provocation, and is considered by many to be the best of the big five.
African leopard Leopard (Panthera pardus) The leopard (Panthera pardus) is a large, carnivorous feline having either tawny fur with dark rosette-like markings or black fur. Of the big five, it is most difficult to acquire hunting licenses for leopards. The leopard is considered the most difficult of the big five to hunt because of their nocturnal and secretive nature. They are wary of humans and will take flight in the face of danger. The leopard is solitary by nature, and is most active between sunset and sunrise, although it may hunt during the day in some areas. Leopards can be found in the savanna grasslands, brush land and forested areas in Africa. Baiting, hounding, and stalking are the most common methods used to hunt the cat.
The park covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is flourishing with magnificent wildlife. An estimated 3 million large animals roam on the plains. People of the Maasai Tribe called it Siringet – ‘the place where the land moves on forever.’ Team Guide Africa offer affordable packages for amazing Serengeti National Park Safaris. Serengeti National Park Safaris in Tanzania is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world famous for wildebeest migration.
Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within this area. Its unique environment has enticed writers, filmmakers as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth, the main characteristics of climate; flora and fauna have hardly changed in the past million years.
Serengeti is renowned for the migration of animals. Every October and November, more than 1.5million wildebeest and about 220,000 zebras travel south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short tropical rains and then journey west and north after the long rains in April to June. The animals’ ancient instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest migrate through a number of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitats.
Tanzania Wildlife Safaris
The Serengeti boasts of abundance and a big diversity of large mammals such as Patterson’s eland, Klipspringer, Dikdik, Zebra, Gazelles, Lions, Impalas, Leopards, Cheetah, Hyenas and other larger mammals like the Rhinos, Giraffes, Elephants and Hippopotami. Nearly 500 species of birds have been recorded in the park. The Serengeti is an opportunity for one of the best game viewing in Africa.
Migration in the Serengeti
Wildebeest Migration, like a discernible thread, embraces and connects the Serengeti’s ecosystem much as it has done for at least two million years. Every year, with some seasonally dictated variations in timing and scale, over 1.5million wildebeest leave the southern Serengeti’s short grass plains in search of the grass and water they need to survive. During their annual pilgrimage they travel some 2000 miles devouring 4000 tones of grass a day. A quarter of a million will be born, many will die.
The history of human inhabitation revolves largely around the history of the African people, from the hunter-gatherers who wandered the plains, to the people of today who protect it as a main destination for travelers. The Serengeti’s history has been virtually ignored, except Olduvai Gorge, where Leakey’s family discovered fossils of human and animal ancestors. Tsetse flies in the woodlands, and sleeping sickness, guaranteed that the Serengeti was spared of European settlement, and with it the extinction of wildlife that other African countries were subjected to.
When to visit
The Serengeti’s climate is warm and dry. The tropical rainy season is from March to May, with short rains from October to November. The Serengeti is lush and green after the rains, but a steady drying up follows which inhibits plant growth and encourages animals to migrate in search of water and better pastures. With altitudes ranging from 920 to 1,830 meters average temperatures vary from 15 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius. The coldest temperatures are experienced between June to October.
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