Serengeti National Park(Endless Plain)

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  • The name Serengeti comes from the Maasai word “Siringet” referring to an “endless plains” As you stand on the southern grass plains, you experience thi vastness, and can witness one of the greatest concentrations of plain animals left on earth.The plains were formed 3-4 million years ago when ash blown from volcanoes in the ngorongoro highlands covered the rolling landscape.

    This thick layers of ash preserved traces of early man and established the rich soil which supports the southern grass plains. From this early beginning, man and wildlife have shared this magical place

    Serengeti is the world’s best game sanctuary,lies in northern Tanzania between Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the shores of Lake Natron, and extends southwards from the northern frontier to the periphery of Lake Eyasi.

    With an area of 14,763 sq km,its ecosystem extends beyond the park boundaries to include sections of ngorongoro conservation area(Ndutu Plains)and the adjacent game reserves.The entire ecosystem marks the limit of the annual great wildebeest migration, the most magnificent wildlife spectacles in the world.

    Every year more than one and a half million wildebeests,six hundred thousand zebras and three hundred thousand gazelles, moving in a gigantic herd, migrate from the southerneast part of the park(Ndutu Area) to the greener in western corridor supporting lush riverine forest and extending to northen woodland up to Masai Mara.Returning again to the southern serengeti in a clockwise cycle.Around the month of june after the long rains, the animals gather in large herds and begin the long march away from the southern plains of Ndutu to western and northern area of the serengeti searching for green pasture and water lefting the dry plains in the south.

    When the short rains of November and December starts the Migration start moving to southern serengeti.In their thousands, these animals travel in long moving columns that at certain points extend for 40 kilometres. Crossing dangerous rivers, tramping for many kilometres and grunting in clouds and dust,the animals move with the spirit of nomads, looking for brighter,more attractive pastures beyond.Following behind the grand multitude are the Predators families such as prides of Lion

    ,Hyenas,Leopards,Cheetahs all pursuing the matching herbivores.Above the long, noisy procession are circling vultures and other scavenging and hunting birds looking for fortune.It is truly one of the wonders of the natural world The animals spend most of their time in Serengeti national park because of the availability of food resources .

    It is also in the Serengeti national park that they ensure their species survival by calving and nurturing their young especially in Southern Plains of Serengeti

    .In February/March one of the wildlife’s most amazing spectacles occurs.For 3 to 4 weeks,90% of the female wildebeest give birth, flooding the plains with thousands of newborn calves each day, enough to compensate for the numbers lost to crocodiles
    at river crossing, land predators, tough terrain and natural causes. The southern grass plains of Serengeti are some of the most productive and nutritious natural grasslands in the world.When the short rains start in November the wildebeest move south from the northern woodlands.They move to exploit the short grass plains, where the grasses are rich in the minerals they need to rear their young.

    The wildebeest remain on the plains for several months, where they share these productive grasslands with migratory zebra,Thomson’s gazelle, and elands,as well as many residents including the Grant’s gazelle,topi and hartebeest.The plains are also used by migratory birds including the white stork, pallid harrier and peregrine falcon.

    When the rains stop, the plains dry out rapidly forcing the herds to migrate west and north once again.Their departure in May/June marks another great spectacle.The wildebeest march in long meandering lines that stretch for miles or bunch in into herds of thousands.These are the scenes that typify “the migration”.

    Kopjes Attraction in Serengeti

    A beautiful rock outcrops known as kopjes pronounced “copy” from the Dutch meaning “little head” which found in serengeti.Technically known as inselberg, the intriguing rounded shapes of these ancient granite rocks are the result of cracking and erosion from exposure to sun, wind and rain.

    They provide shelter and capture water for a wealth of wildlife and plants.In fact without such environs, lion and other large animals would be unable to survive the dry season on the plains. The main groups of kopjes are Barafu, Gol.Maasai, Loliondo, Simba

    and Moru.Each has its own individual beauty. Moru kopjes are outstanding for their size and profusion of resident wildlife including lion, leopard, serval, caracal and even rhinocerous and elephant.

    There are early Maasai paintings still visible at moru and a special rock used for making music. Gol and Barafu kopjes provide important habitat for cheetah and are used by wildebeest in the wet seasons.Maasai and Loliondo kopjes provide outlooks for resident lion and large cobras can often be seen sunning themselves on the rocks.

    Simba kopjes support a great variety of animals and birds including giraffe, baboon and lion (simba) for which they are named.


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    Rob@ Kenya Day Trips said...

    These are great pictures of the serengeti.Great picture of the migration map as well.

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