The Serengeti National Park is a Tanzanian national park in the Serengeti ecosystem in Mara Region. It is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile.
The park covers 14,763 km2 (5,700 sq mi) of grassland plains and savanna as well as riverine forest and woodlands. The park lies in the north of Tanzania, bordered to the north by the Kenyan border, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve. To the southeast of the park is Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve, to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, and to the northeast lies the Loliondo Game Control Area. Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti ecosystem.
As well as the migration of ungulates, the park is well known for its healthy stock of other resident wildlife, particularly the “Big Five”, named for the five most prized trophies taken by hunters:
- – Lion: the Serengeti is believed to hold the largest population of lions in Africa due in part to the abundance of prey species. More than 3,000 lions live in this ecosystem.
- – African Leopard: these reclusive predators are commonly seen in the Seronera region but are present throughout the national park with the population at around 1,000.
- – African Elephant: the herds are recovering from population lows in the 1980s caused by poaching and are largely located in the northern regions of the park.
- – Black Rhinoceros: mainly found around the kopjes in the centre of the park, very few individuals remain due to rampant poaching. Individuals from the Masai Mara Reserve cross the park border and enter Serengeti from the northern section at times.
- – African Buffalo: still abundant and present in healthy numbers, but numbers have been somewhat reduced due to disease.
The park also supports many other species, including cheetah, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, topi, eland, waterbuck, hyena, baboon, impala, African wild dog, and giraffe. The park also boasts about 500 bird species, including ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, crowned crane, marabou stork, martial eagle, lovebirds, and many species of vultures.