Migration of Wildebeest & Zebra
THE GREAT MIGRATION
Every year around October, nearly two million herbivores migrate from the northern hills to the southern plains, crossing the Mara River in search of water and pasturage. Six months later, every April, they make their way back north via a western route, once again crossing the Mara River. This occurrence is sometimes referred to as Circular Migration.
The Great Migration is the top of the 10 natural travel wonders of the world.
HISTORY AND ECOLOGY
The Serengeti is located in northern Tanzania and extends into south-western Kenya, covering an area of some 12,000 sq miles (30,000 km2). In 1940 it was declared a protected area, and in 1951, the park was given National Park status. Years later in 1959, extensive boundary modifications took place. Today the government of Tanzania and Kenya give legal protection to over 80% of the Serengeti.
The Serengeti ecosystem is contiguous with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), both awarded Serengeti-Ngorongoro International Biosphere Reserve Status and World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. The Site includes the adjoining Maswa Game Reserve.
The name Serengeti translates into “Endless Plains” (Serengit), originating in the language Maa spoken by the Maasai, who lived alongside wild animals surviving entirely from their cattle.
The high diversity of habitats, ranging from forests, rivers, grass- and woodlands as well as the Doinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in the area of the Serengeti, sustains many different animal species. From approximately 70 larger mammals to some 500 bird species, it is host to millions of animal altogether.