My favorite photo location in the World! Nature photography being my primary photographic quest, there is no better venue to capture such a diversity of wildlife. The drama which unfolds hour by hour, is truly fascinating, and it is my hope that I have done it justice through my photos…. Enjoy
The diversity and abundance of wildlife in the Serengeti is unequalled anywhere on the planet. The name Serengeti comes from the Maasai language and means “endless plains”. The park covers an ares of 5000 square miles and is bordered by numerous conservation areas including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Its landscape, originally formed by volcanic activity, has been sculptured by the concerted action of wind, rain and sun. For centuries, the vast wilderness of the Serengeti Plains remained virtually uninhabited, but in the 1800′s, the Maasai migrated from the north and settled in with their cattle. The first European to set foot in the area was the German explorer and naturalist Dr. Oscar Baumann, in the early 1900′s. In the open grass plains, the first hunters came in 1913, where they found the wildlife plentiful, especially the lions. The Serengeti first became a Game Reserve in 1929 and was expanded and upgraded to a national park in 1951. In 1981, the park was accepted as part of a World Heritage Site.
The largest terrestrial animal migration occurs here, with upwards of 3 million Wildebeest migrating through the park annually. It is home to the largest, tallest and fastest land mammals, the elephant, giraffe and cheetah, respectively. There are approximately 250,000 zebra, 400,000 Thompson’s gazelle, 3000 lions, 9000 hyena, 500 cheetah, and 1000 leopard within the park boundaries. And for the bird lovers, there are over 500 species of birds ranging from the delicate humming bird to the voracious, and often frowned upon, vulture.
The Serengeti’s climate is usually warm and dry. The rainy season is from January to May, with short rains falling from October to November. The amount of rainfall increases from about 20 inches on the plains in the lee of the Ngorongoro Highlands, to about 47 inches on the shores of Lake Victoria. All is lush and green after the rains, but a gradual drying up follows which restricts plant growth and encourages the animals to migrate in search of permanent waters. With altitudes ranging from 3000 to 6000 feet, the temperature varies from 60F to 80F degrees. It is coldest from June to October, particularly in the evenings.