Animal Encounters 5 — Beyond Big Cats in Serengeti Plains

A safari in the Serengeti National Park is an experience of a lifetime, a true African dream trip that will remain in our memories forever.

Roughly the size of Northern Ireland (or the Bahamas) at 15,000 km², the Serengeti gets its name from the Maasai word 'siringet' meaning "endless plains". One glimpse of the park and you'll know why it has been named so.

While endless, almost treeless, open plains filled with thousands of wild animals is the most characteristic scenery of the park, Serengeti has diverse terrain that ranges from vast savannas to woodlands, riverine areas to hilltops with panoramic vistas. This makes for unmatched variety on the game drives, and here are some pictures that prove that the Serengeti is a majestic game park.

SERENGETI - The Wild Theater

Front row seats are awaiting you in the Serengeti to observe lion prides and other big cats in their natural environment. On our first morning game drive there, we encountered a group of lionesses having a feast on a dead hippo, whose alive friends nearby had nothing to fear on the given day.

Check out my previous blogpost to see more of the daily dramas in a grand theater with big cats playing the main role!

SERENGETI - The Giraffe

The tallest animal in the world towers over the Serengeti plains in full elegance, and that in abundance! In the Tarangire park we had seen only a few hidden behind the bushes, and in the Ngorongoro crater there are no giraffes, as it's too steep for them to get down into the crater floor. Thus, apart from the big cats, the giraffe was the key actor of our game drives in the Serengeti.

SERENGETI - The Great Migration

The great migration is the annual movement of nearly two millions of wildebeest and zebra, in search of fresh grazing and water. Since zebras have better eyesight and wildebeests have better hearing, both of the species migrate together and benefit from each others company. Although it was not the migration season, we saw more wildebeest than we could count, accompanied by small groups of zebra.

SERENGETI - Other Mammals and Birds

It's a no-brainer that the Serengeti National Park is home to many other animals, like elephants, buffaloes, gazelles, primates, marabu storks, ostriches to name some. Since we had seen these species in the Tarangire and Ngorongoro in close quarters, we obviously didn't pay much attention to them in the Serengeti. Nevertheless, here are some not-so-spectacular snapshots.

SERENGETI - The Scenery

Serengeti with its stunning and diverse landscape is a wonderful place deep in the heart of the African bush. Even if you don't spot any animals for a while, the drive through the park is simply amazing. Need some evidence? Take a look at the snapshots below for a moment. Then close your eyes, listen to the sound of tall grass in the gentle wind, and feel the soft breeze sweep over your face.

SERENGETI - Sunrises and Sunsets

Being obsessed with chasing the elusive sunset (I usually cannot make it for sunrise), both the morning and evening twilight sky in the Serengeti was one of the most strikingly beautiful I had ever witnessed. Instead of gambling with words, I'm just going to let the light shine on you. Enjoy!

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About Maho

Nature lover, diving and travel enthusiast, Asian looking, Russian sounding, Turkish raised, Munich based stranger on Earth.


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