The Serengeti, specifically Serengit, is derived from the Maasai language, meaning ‘endless plains’. This long span of ecosystem is a beautiful stretch of 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) that crosses most of Northern Tanzania, dipping briefly into Southwestern Kenya. The region residing in Kenya is more often referred to as Maasai Mara.
With such varied terrain, including grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, swamps, and forests, there is much biodiversity. The Serengeti holds the largest terrestrial mammal migration known to earth. The largest lion population resides within this region; gazelles, buffalo, zebras, and wildebeests are other wildlife that can be found here, just to name a few. Most of us will automatically think, Lion King, when we think of the Serengeti, as this fictional film took inspiration from this piece of land.
Between the months of January and March, the great migrations occur as plain-fed animals make a journey from Tanzania into Kenya in order to find more grass for feed. During the first leg of the journey, they are preparing for calving season, which ultimately takes place in mid-February. They are in search of food and water for sustenance, in the lands driest, coldest months. After March, the rain begins to fall again and they are able to exist as they were before. During this time though, nearly 250,000 wildebeest will meet death from dehydration and hunger. As quoted in Disney’s homage to African, “In the circle, the circle of life….”
Africa is filled with magnificence, but The Serengeti in particular is considered one of its seven wonders.