Why is the Serengeti grassland so important to the wildebeests?
Why is the Serengeti grassland so important to the wildebeests? : Serengeti national park is known for its endless plains and for numerous wildlife species which can be spotted during a safari around the national park. The wildebeest migration is another attraction which brings people to this destination as they tour around the northern parts of Tanzania.
The Serengeti grassland ecosystem has played an important role in the movement of the wildebeests. When the grasses are dried out in the dry season and there is water for the wildlife species is also scarce, the wildebeests move to other parts of the national park with greener grasses.
Other wildlife species like over 200,000 zebras and 400,000 gazelles move with the wildebeests around the grasslands in Serengeti national park. Predators like lions, leopards and many others also move around the national park with the wildebeests.
Where wildebeest live around Serengeti national park
The wildebeests can be seen among the grassy savannah plains and woodlands of Serengeti national park and annually about 1.5 wildebeests also migrate between destinations in Kenya and Tanzania.
At different times of the year during the wildebeest migration, the wildebeests move to destinations such as the Ndutu area, Ngorongoro conservation area, Serengeti national park and Masai Mara national reserve in south western Kenya.
What wildebeests feed on in Serengeti national park?
Wildebeests are herbivores and they feed on the savannah grasslands in Serengeti national park. Zebras which are also present during the migration of the wildebeests feed on the longer grass while the wildebeests feed on the short grass.
Serengeti landscape is made up of grasslands, woodlands and dotted trees. The area is generally flat with rock outcrops which standout from the surroundings in the national park. These rock outcrops are referred to as kopjes.
During safaris around Serengeti national park, different parts of the national park are visited and they include the Serengeti plains, the northern Serengeti and western part of Serengeti national park.
The western part of Serengeti national park consists of riverine forests and is known for the river crossings during the migration of the wildebeests around June to July which take place around the Grumeti river as herds of wildebeests struggle to cross the river.
The grasslands are in the southern part of Serengeti national park and during the wildebeest migration around December the wildebeests breed in this part of the national park which is also made up of many kopjes.
The northern part of Serengeti national park consists of woodlands and hills and is a remote part of the national park.
Annual wildebeest migration
Every year, tourists go on safari to Serengeti national park to witness the wildebeest migration and to enjoy seeing the herds of wildebeests in the open grasslands.
River crossings and the calving season are among the highlights during the wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park. The river crossings take place around Grumeti river and also across the Mara river.
Month by month of the wildebeest migration
From January to March, the calving season of the wildebeests takes place and over 8000 calves of wildebeests are born in the grassy plains. These calves are strong and can take about 1 day to walk and run around the national park. This season usually attracts predators like lions and leopards which prey on these calves.
Around April, the wildebeests move to the southern plains of Serengeti national park. Around the months of April and early June, the herds of wildebeests can also be seen around the Seronera area.
In May, the herds of wildebeests can also be seen around the Seronera area or central Serengeti and many predators can also be spotted at this time of the year.
June during the wildebeest migration the herds of wildebeests can be seen around the Grumeti river and can also be spread out around the central part of the national park. This is also during the dry season and is recommended for wildlife viewing around Serengeti national park.
The month of July the wildebeest herds can be seen around the Grumeti river in the western parts of Serengeti national park and also around the Mara river. The wildebeests also move northwards during this month.
August to September the wildebeest herds cross to Masai Mara national reserve in the south western part of Kenya through the Mara river. This is another highlight of the wildebeest migration of river crossings on the Mara river.
During the months of October and November, the wildebeest migration can be seen in Masai Mara national reserve. The herds of wildebeest also move to the lobo area during the month of November.
The wildebeests in the month of December move to the southern plains of Serengeti national park and also the northern part of Ngorongoro conservation area.
Facts about Serengeti and the wildlife
Apart from the wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park, there are also numerous wildlife and bird species which can be spotted around the grasslands during a safari.
The big 5 which include elephants, lions, rhinos, buffalos and leopards are among the wildlife species of Serengeti national park which is the oldest national park in the northern part of Tanzania covering 14750 square kilometers.
The wildlife species of Serengeti national park include zebras, gazelles, waterbucks, antelopes, impalas, hippos, giraffes, kudu, hartebeests, cheetahs and many others. There are also over 400 bird species which can be seen on safari at the destination.
There are different accommodations which are found in Serengeti national park and these include luxury camps and lodges, midrange lodges and budget lodges.
Getting to Serengeti national park
Serengeti national park can be accessed by flights to the different airstrips around the national park such as Kogatende airstrip, Seronera airstrip, Kirawira airstrip, Kusini airstrip, Fort Ikoma airstrip among others.
Another way to get to the national park is by driving from Arusha to Serengeti national park. the national park is part of the northern tourist circuit which is made up of other destinations such as Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park and the Ngorongoro conservation area.