Destination Highlights: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Migrating Thomson's gazelles dot the Serengeti plains.

The title of largest and most famous Tanzanian national park goes to the Serengeti.  Designated in 1951 and spanning more than 14,750 km2, the Serengeti is home to the largest number of migratory mammals anywhere on the planet.   From the wildlife point of view, Serengeti may be the most unique park in the world.

Central Serengeti

The migration is a continuous event controlled by rainfall.  Water equals sustenance, and where there’s rain, there’s grass.  Wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles move from the south after birthing young, to the  west and north, all the way to the Masai Mara in Kenya and back again.  This annual cycle is predictable with wildebeest leading the way.  Their grazing habits prepare the grasses for the animals to follow.  Predators also move with the massive herds. 

Endless plains in the south give way to acacia woodlands as you move north.  Kopjes (granite rock formations) dot the landscape and provide important vantage points for both predator and prey.  Seeing the Big 5 — virtually guaranteed. 

Lion cubs at Moru Kopjes

As a child dreaming of travelling to Africa one day, it was the Serengeti that captured my imagination.  Travel there and you’re sure to see why.

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For more photos from a recent Reefs to Rockies scouting trip to the Serengeti, check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/reefstorockies/sets/72157627061632988/.