The Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti, an incredible area of savannah and open woodland – a World Heritage Site – comprises some 1.5 million hectares and contains the largest herds of grazing animals in the world – and the carnivores that prey on them, providing a wildlife spectacle that is second to none.
- The great migrating herds especially in May and June, when the animals travel from the central plains to the permanent water holes on the western side of the park.
- Migration is dominated by wildebeest in enormous numbers - also by Burchell’s zebra (some 200,000), Thomson’s gazelle, with some eland and topi, each harvesting the grass most suited to it.
- Herds are followed by groups of lion numbering up to 2,000 individuals, spotted hyena, striped hyena, golden jackal, side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal.
- Nile crocodile - famous-or infamous – for the feeding frenzy when the migrations cross the rivers.
- Huge range of other mammals.
- Over 500 bird species including some 20,000 waterbirds occur in the area.
The Serengeti ecosystem contains much more than these dominant species.
On the grasslands are eland, lesser kudu, roan antelope, oribi, Grant’s gazelle, hartebeest, steenbock, topi and oryx, as well as buffalo.
In the woodlands are grimmia, impala and Kirk’s dikdik. In the swamps are reedbuck and waterbuck. Among the kopjes are klipspringer, as well as giraffe and olive baboon; and on the mountains, mountain reedbuck.
Other characteristic larger mammals are leopard, cheetah, caracal, African elephant (endangered), black rhinoceros (critically endangered: there are very few left), hippopotamus and giraffe.
Smaller mammals include – among others bushbaby, vervet monkey, patas monkey, black and white colobus monkey and olive baboon, aardvark, ground pangolin, cape hare, porcupine, three species of hyrax and many other rodents, bat-eared fox, two species of otter, ratel, zorilla, common genet, large spotted genet, African civet, seven species of mongoose, aardwolf, serval, golden cat, African wildcat and bushpig.
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