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Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is 14,750 Km2, which to give some perspective, is larger than Ohio, Belgium or Wales. It is an UNESCO world heritage site, while the migration is lauded as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. Its unique composition and diverse habitats support over 30 species of large herbivores and close to 500 species of birds.

Typical of all wild animals, wildebeest are unpredictable and can move from area to area with no rhyme nor reason. They will often cross the rivers after much trepidation and fear, only to turn around and head back from where they have come from.

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There are also mobile camps that move position in relation to where they predict the migration will be. They do not move whilst guests are in camp, but stay in position for a number of months, waiting for the migration to pass near their area. Generally, the mobile camps are in the southern area from December to March, western area June to July and the northern area July to October.

Even after tracking the migration movements over many years, it is still completely unpredictable as to where the migration will actually be at any given time. Records show a distinct pattern of where the animals are likely to be, but the actual movement is open to the vagaries of the rain, the grass and the animals themselves. There is resident game throughout the Serengeti National Park and its conservancies, as not all the herbivores migrate.

The large cats and other predators are territorial and so take advantage of the great herds passing through their territories but do not follow them on the migration. Many permanent Serengeti safari lodges and camps offer magnificent year-round game viewing. Outside of the migration times, they also offer discounted rates.

During the migration time in each area, the tourist population increases, as does the number of vehicles all trying to see the same spectacle. Whereas out of season, there is still great game viewing without the masses of cars searching for it. With a silent signal they will all turn and gallop off, chasing the thunderstorms only to return to the same place the next day.

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