Serengeti Big 5
Serengeti Big 5 : Serengeti national park is a remarkable Tanzania safari destination, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the great wildlife viewing destinations in the world. Serengeti national park is known for its annual great wildebeest migration. The annual wildebeest migration involves migration of tens nof thousands of zebras, gazelles and wildebeests migrate to and from Masai Mara national reserve in Kenya. Serengeti national park is located in the northwestern Tanzania bordering Kenya border to the north, Ngorongoro conservation area to the southeast and Maswa game reserve to the southwest.
Serengeti national park covers an area of 14,763 square kilometers comprising of rolling grasslands, savannah, riverine forests and woodlands, Serengeti national park is a home to a wide range of wildlife species including the big five.
The big five in Serengeti national park include Masai lion, African leopard, African bush leopard, eastern black rhinoceros and Cape buffalo. The big game five get their name from big game hunters in reference to these animals as the five most difficult animals to hunt in Africa on foot, the big five in Serengeti national park are as explained below.
Serengeti national park is belied to be a home to the largest population of lions in Africa recorded to be over 35,000 individuals living in 300 prides, lions are attracted to Serengeti national park because of the vast savannah and plenty of prey they can feed on. Since 2005 Serengeti national park together with Masai Mara national reserve making up the Mara ecosystem were declared a Lion Conservation Unit, and the two of them are the strong holds of lions in East Africa.
Masai Lions in Serengeti national park are easily sighted while on a game drive, these beautiful creatures are seen in prides relaxing on large granite outcrops famously known as Kopjes. Lions in Serengeti national park are usually in prides comprising of 22 members and they specially occupancy an area referred to as the lion territory occupying the open plains between Seronera River and the Naabi Gate.
African leopard are elusive solitude predators though difficult to find in nature, African leopards are present in Serengeti national park, African leopards in Serengeti national park have been recorded to be over 1,000 individuals and they present throughout the park but specifically seen in the Seronera region of the park. In Seronera region also known as Seronera valley, the African leopards are spotted resting on the acacia trees (the Kigelia).
African bush elephant are very much residents of Serengeti national park and the extensive Serengeti-Mara ecosystem at large, African bush elephants in Serengeti national park mainly live in the northern regions of the park and they are have been noticed to move in large herds consisting of up to 24 members. According to the latest aerial survey of Serengeti-Mara ecosystem carried out in 2014 by the Tanzania National Parks, 7,535 elephant individuals are present in the area. This survey shows that the elephant population has increased when compared to elephant population of 3,419 in 2006, 109,000 in 2009 and 51,000 in 2015.
Eastern black rhinoceros are rare species of rhinos but present in Serengeti national park, Eastern black rhinoceros are the most endangered subspecies of the black rhino and they are few in the world due to rampant poaching activities. 700 Eastern black rhinos have been recorded to be present in the whole world and 70 individuals are found in Serengeti national park, Eastern black rhinoceros in Serengeti national park are mainly found around the Kopjes in the centre of the park and at times some eastern black rhinoceros cross over from Masai Mara national reserve to Serengeti national park. Spotting Eastern black rhinos in Serengeti national park is a bit challenging but with a help of an experienced game ranger they can be spotted on a Tanzania game viewing safari.
Cape buffalo also known as African buffalo are one of the big five found in Serengeti national park, cape buffaloes are the most intimidating and aggressive of animals in Africa and the big five as well and they are considered to be one of the Africa’s most dangerous animals especially when wounded. Over 62,000 Cape buffalo individuals are present in Serengeti national park according to the census of 2014 carried out by the Tanzania Park Authorities, Cape buffaloes are huge animals in size with a male cape buffaloes weighing up to a ton with a pair of horns measuring to 42 inches across.
Best time to view the big five in Serengeti national park
The big five in Serengeti national park are viewed on a game viewing safari and they are best viewed in the period of June – October, this period is generally the best time for game viewing safaris in Serengeti national park though game viewing safaris cam be done in Serengeti national park all year around.