Rush to the Lush Serengeti. The name SERENGETI is derived from the word “Serengeti”, which when translated from the Maasai language refers to “Endless Plains”, and true to the description, these plains span an
astounding 12,000 square miles in approximation. This region hosts one of the largest migrations
on the planet, rendered as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Therefore, I can’t help
but wonder: What are some of the wondrous aspects of the Serengeti? When is it best to visit?
What is the great migration? And what fun activities await us in this park? Let’s dive right into the Rush to the Lush Serengeti.
The Great Migration is perhaps the most spectacular safari event, during which, around 1.5
a million wildebeests, around 250,000 zebras, 500,000 gazelles, and tens of thousands
of elands, topis, and Coke’s Hartebeests, gallop over 500 km on a trip from the Southern part of
Serengeti to its northern edge in the Maasai Mara of Kenya, and then back. This is in search of
greener pastures, as is the norm today. This happens between July and October of every year.
During this trip, the lions and crocodiles feast on the unwary and weary migrators. Let’s focus on
the dominant traveler, the amazing Wildebeest.
The Wildebeest is one of the largest antelopes, weighing around 600 pounds and with an
impressive stature of about 4.5 ft. and an amazing 8 ft. in length. The males look darker than the
females, and both males and females have curved horns. They are greatly preyed on by lions and
crocodiles as they migrate, but their numbers are stabilized by their high reproducing rates. For
example, in early January and February, they birth some 500,000 calves, which are able to run
within a few days, thus joining the migratory herds as newly born Marathoners. Imagine being
born, only to join a great marathon spanning hundreds of miles.
In a bid to impress females during mating seasons, the male wildebeests fight each other in order to steal as many females as they
can from each other. This is one of the antics they pull off in order to woo the females, with a
burning desire to sire calves. These can go on to live for 20 years in the wild.
With a head resembling a buffalo’s, a tail resembling a horse’s, and a body like that of an antelope,
the wildebeest is listed as one of the Ugly Five, alongside the Marabou Stork, Warthog, Hyena,
and the Vulture. Migrating in vast numbers, these beasts move single-mindedly by intuition,
protecting each other from predators. They do not travel alone but are accompanied by tens to
hundreds of thousands of zebras and elands, among others.
Unfortunately, for many of these migrators, this great journey is their last. Approximately 250,000 wildebeests and 30,000 zebras die en route, either in stampedes, or as prey to the carnivores
along the way, such as the lions, leopards, cheetahs, and the predators lurking in the Mara River, a
fast-moving crocodile-infested river. Others die due to exhaustion, thirst or hunger, or even a
combination of all. As for the rest, the long and arduous journey across the vast plains of the
Serengeti must continue. It is indeed, survival of the fittest, as thousands of these
wildebeests migrate for food, only to serve as food to opportunistic predators. To predators, they
are Food-seeking Food!
Besides the wildebeests, there are other beasts, and birds to see. This park has a wide variety of
wildlife and high biodiversity. With about 500 bird species, such as the Secretary bird, Martial
Eagles, Crowned Cranes, Helmeted Guinea fowls, and Lions, Leopards, Elephants,
Rhinoceros, the African Buffalo, Impalas, duikers, Roan Antelopes, and many others, Serengeti
National Park is a place to come and see. Come and experience the thrills and chills that run up your
spines as you watch this marvelous migration, as millions of animals speed like steeds across the
It is advised to avoid clothing that can be misconstrued as camouflage, especially brown and
green-colored styles that are peculiar to army wear. This is because many host countries, such as
Tanzania has regimented restrictions on army wear, which is strictly restricted to the army.
From December to March, the Southern plains of Serengeti are easily accessible, and the
highlight of this period was the birth of the calves in January and February. Rush to the Lush Serengeti Western Serengeti or Western Corridor of the Serengeti is good for a visit all year
round, with the migrators reaching the Grumeti River around May or June where you can
see Crocodiles and hippos, whose jaws have great power.
The Central region of the Serengeti and the Seronera area is also good all year round, and
being the most crowded section of the park, it has the most lodging options from which
you can choose according to your budget and tastes in luxury.
The Northern region is the least visited but still has many luxurious lodging options. In a
nutshell, the choice is yours, when you come.
So, come and you will be spoilt for choice in the serenity of this vast Serengeti.