Serengeti & Grumeti Reserve
In the vast plains of Serengeti National Park, comprising 1.5 million hectares of savannah, the annual migration of two million wildebeests plus hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebras – followed by their predators in their annual migration in search of pasture and water – is one of the most impressive nature spectacles in the world. The biological diversity of the park is very high with at least four globally threatened or endangered animal species: black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah.
Serengeti National Park is at the heart the larger Serengeti ecosystem, which is defined by the area covered by the annual migration. The property is contiguous with Ngorongoro Conservation Unit, an area of 528,000ha declared a World Heritage Site in 1979. The entire ecosystem also includes the Maswa Game Reserve (2,200km2) in the south, Grumeti and Ikorongo Game Reserves in the east, Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya (1,672km2) to the north, and Loliondo Game Controlled Area in the west. This entire ecosystem is intact and no barriers hamper the migration.
Protected area since 1940. In 1929, 228,600ha of central Serengeti was declared a game reserve. National park status in 1951 with extensive boundary modifications in 1959. Included with the adjoining Maswa Game Reserve as part of Serengeti-Ngorongoro Biosphere Reserve in 1981. Accepted as part of a World Heritage Site in 1981.
Singita Grumeti, situated adjacent to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, is an integral part of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, the home of the Great Migration. The reserve was created by the Tanzanian government in 1994 in order to protect the path of the annual wildebeest migration and the indigenous biodiversity of this vast and important ecosystem. In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit organisation, was granted the right to manage and conserve these 350,000 acres, for the benefit of Tanzania, Africa and the world. Four years later, Singita took over the management of the property, at the request of the concessionaire and began the task of generating, via low impact tourism, the funds necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve through conservation and community partnerships.
Maswa Game Reserve borders the famed Serengeti National Park on the south-western boundary. The 60,000 acre reserve is an extension of the Serengeti ecosystem and a dry season refuge, with four rivers providing water for wildlife. The wildebeest migration occurs in January-February and resident game include buffalo, leopard, lion, roan, hartebeest and much more.
The Serengeti’s Climate is usually warm and dry. The main rainy season is from March to May, with short rains falling from October to November. The amount of rainfall increases from about 508mm on the plains in the lee of the Ngorongoro Highlands to about 1,200mm 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 920 to 1,850 metres – higher than most of Europe – mean temperatures vary from 15 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius. It is coldest from June to October, particularly in the evenings.