The Serengeti is one of the most famous and most fascinating of all the National Parks Africa has to offer. Based on the border between Kenya and Tanzania, it has been a part of the global culture for almost a century, and it’s been a National Park since the early 1950s. But how much do you actually know about the Serengeti?
Here are a few interesting facts about the Serengeti National Park which are likely to be completely new to you.
It’s thought that the Serengeti stretches for up to 5,700 square miles. In that space, visitors will find forestry, grassland, savanna and woodland.
Around 20% of the park belongs to Kenya, with 80% residing in Tanzania.
It’s here where you will likely see millions of species migrates across the plains to the South during the autumn. Around April time, herbivores will then choose to head back towards the Northern Hills.
This migration is often referred to as the circular migration, where at least a million wildebeest cross the plains. It is thought to be one of the few natural wonders of the modern world.
The name ‘Serengeti’ derives loosely from Maasai. The word ‘siringit’, which is the basis of the park’s name, roughly means ‘endless plains’.
The Serengeti was once hit by a huge drought and was at threat of disease – which is said to have ravaged the population of cattle in the area even before the park was formally established.
There have been ongoing threats to the natural habitats available to view in the Serengeti thanks to plans for a highway. Dubbed the ‘Serengeti Highway’, moves to extend roads across the Northern end of the park on numerous occasions.
The oldest human remains on record were discovered in the Serengeti. Remains dating back two million years old are still the oldest physical traces of humanity we have to go by!
The tallest peak in the park is over 6,000 feet above sea level and is just over 3,000 above sea level at its lowest point.
The park is home to a rich number of wildlife, wildebeest included. Visitors to the park can expect to see African elephants, leopards, buffalo, lions, rhinoceros, impala, hyena, gazelles, ostriches and vultures.
In fact, there are over 500 different species of bird in the Serengeti alone, a park which is commonly known for its big cats and wildebeest!
Almost 100,000 people visit the park each year, with many more visiting locally. It is thought to be one of the most reasonably-priced parks for the price.
As the name of the park derives from Maasai language, it is not uncommon for visitors to still witness the tribe at home in the park. They still reside and commit to rituals here.
There are two main regions in the Serengeti, which you will find split between grassland and woodland. There’s even an active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, which helps to fertilise the region.
Do you know any interesting, fun or strange facts about the Serengeti you’d like to share? Share them here in the comments section below!