Each year more than six million hooves pound the legendary Serengeti’s endless plains. Triggered by the seasonal rains, more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson gazelle gather to undertake their long trek to new grazing lands. The wildebeest rutting season is a frenzied three week long bout of territorial conquests and mating, followed by survival of the fittest as the 40km long columns plunge through crocodile infested waters and the annual exodus north replenishing the species is the brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves a day before the 1000 km pilgrimage begins again.
Tanzania’s first and most famous park, the Serengeti, is renowned for its wealth of leopard and lion. The vast reaches of the park provides a protected breeding ground for the vulnerable Cheetah, alongside the Serengeti’s thousands of other diverse species, from the 600 varieties of bird to 150 different types of dung beetle. After the rains, the Serengeti’s magical golden horizon is transformed into an endless green carpet, flecked with wildflowers. The famous plains are interspersed with wooded hills, towering termite mounds, monumental rocky kopjes, and rivers lined with elegant acacia trees.
To search for the at-times elusive wildebeest migration, visit the Serengeti from September to December. To see predators, June to October are the best months.
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