But a safari into the adventurous heart of Serengeti is like absolutely no other safari you’ll ever experience. Discover the Serengeti National Park for yourself on our Golden Trails of Africa itinerary.
Millions on Migration
A World Heritage Site listed as one of the 7 National Wonders of Africa, the Serengeti is teeming with exotic and magnificent wildlife. Through the seemingly endless grassy plains -- dotted with rich flora and fauna -- more than two million wildebeest, gazelles and zebras charge past on their famed migration of over 1,800 miles. It’s a powerful sight to behold (assuming, of course, you’re not directly in their path!) But it’s also quite a laborious trek which, according to archaeologist’s fossil excavations, has been occurring for over a million years despite all the inherent associated dangers. Crocodile-infested waters, prides of lions, herds of buffalo all are potential predators.
A Sure-Footed Newborn Calf
The constant migration in search of food and water may be ever-constant throughout the year– but the one thing that remains the same is the birthing of new wildebeest calves. In January and February, some 300,000-500,000 calves are born in a nearly synchronized birthing that all takes place within a few weeks of each other. This birthing occurs on the short-grass plains at the southern point of the park. It may seem like an unusual location to choose as it is teeming with hyenas and lions nearby. But with so many calves being born, the predators have a much more limited impact on the newborn population that with those born outside of the peak season (and there are indeed wildebeest calves born afterwards). Also, newborn wildebeests find their co-ordination faster than other hoofed mammals and are usually on their feet within two to three minutes after birth. It can run with the herd within five minutes and can outrun a lioness soon after that.
The Wildlife of Serengeti
Wildebeests (and gazelles and zebras, oh my!) migrate because they are seeking fresh grazing and better quality water. But the timing of migrations vary widely and it is not possible to precisely predict as no two years are ever the same -- although every effort is taken to maximize the opportunity. Still, the land is never entirely quiet as the Serengeti always offers exciting and unrivaled game-viewing in Africa. Lions, buffalo, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, spotted hyenas, insectivorous aardwolves, ostriches, marabou storks, eland antelopes, topi antelopes, hartebeests, impalas, porcupines, bat-eared foxes, hares, lizards, colobus monkeys, serval cats, all three of Africa’s jackal species and over one hundred varieties of the dung beetle – these are just some of the millions of animals that populate the rich grounds of the Serengeti.
Whether witnessing the herd of your gaming safari or tracing their steps amid other majestic wildlife, the power of the Serengeti is not to be missed! Explore the Serengeti on our Golden Trails of Africa itinerary.