SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
|# Excl Vagrants:||671|
|# Near Endemics:||16|
|Habitat: Grassland, woodland, wetlands, lakes, kopjes|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Serengeti National Park protects a large region of about 5700 SqMi in northern Tanzania bordering Kenya. Much of the park is open savanna and is famed for the large concentrations of wildlife, including migratory Wildebeest and a variety of predators. Human habitation is not allowed in the park, and the main settlement is Seronera where the park headquarters is located and where park staff reside. The park is usually divided into 3 regions, the expansive nearly treeless plains of the south, the western corridor which is mostly swampy savanna, and the northern landscape which is mostly open woodland and hills. The western region is in the Grumeti Game Reserve, which is adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and is really an extension of it. The Ndutu area is actually within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, but it's outside the crater itself and is an extension of the southern Serengeti plains. The rocky landscape of the north essentially begins around Seronera.
The park is considered by many to be the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world, with the Wildebeest migration being perhaps the best known of the park's many attractions. The Wildebeest move almost constantly in search of new grass, with most of the population migrating into the northern Serengeti and Kenya from July-September. Predators such as Lions follow the movements of the Wildebeest. The Wildebeest and Plains Zebra populations congregate in the Serengeti during the rainy seasons from November, when the short rains occur, through May, when the long rains end. Calving season is January-February, and this is a period of intense territorial and mating behavior of many of the game species. It's also a period of intense hunting behavior by the predator populations.
Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including a number of specialty species. Nearly 100 species found in the Serengeti have restricted ranges in the country, and of these 11 are endemic or near-endemic. Some 50 species are restricted to the western Grumeti area, which is less visited because it's more remote than other parts of the Serengeti.
LOCATION OF SITE
Serengeti National Park is located 325 km from Arusha and is about an 8 hour drive. The main access road passes the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park, goes up the Rift Valley escarpment, passes through communal farming lands withing Ngorongoro Conservation Area, descends onto the plains passing Olduvai Gorge, and eventually reaches the Naabi Hills gate.