Tanzania plains of the sErengeti

The vast grass plains of the Serengeti support the world's largest concentration of grazing animals. Some, like the Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, find enough food all year 'round to stay in one general vicinity.

Gazelle on the plains.

There are also many smaller antelope that occupy niches of habitat including long grass, forest and rocky outcrops known as kopje.

Klipspringer inhabit the rocky outcrops that rise from the plains.

The gazelle and other smaller antelope are prey for the cheetah that is agile enough to tackle these fast movers. Cheetah thrive in their family territory all throughout the tear.

Cheetah on the lookout.

Bigger cats roam the Serengeti. The lion establish a territory for their pride. They hunt, breed and raise their young on this land. The lionesses shoulder much of the child rearing and hunting duties while the dominant males protect the pride lands.

Lioness watching the cubs play on the kopje.
A caring mum.

The gazelle are too small and nimble to sustain a decent population of lion. They depend on larger prey... Wildebeest, accompanied by zebra move across the Serengeti in massive numbers.

But the wildebeest and zebra are always on the move. There isn't enough feed to sustain them in one place all year... Instead they migrate huge distances, following the rains and the fresh growth it encourages.

Wildebeest and zebra on the move.

Other animals follow the herds to ensure themselves a constant food source.

Ruppell's vulture follows the herds.

Life is good while the migration is in a pride's territory, but as the plains dry and the grazers move on, life gets tough. A few months later and the pride is struggling for survival.

A gaunt pair of lions await the return of the herds

The Serengeti supports a huge diversity of life, hunters and grazers alike.

'Goliath" the bull elephant makes the fever tree forest his home.

Primates include the olive baboon (left) and vervet monkey (below).

Still under threat from poachers, a small population of rhinoceros is watched over by rangers and tour guides.

The bat-eared fox is an insectivore, hunting mainly termites.

The heaviest flying bird in the world, the kori bustard, also makes the Serengeti its home.

Hippopotamus ob the banks of the Mara.

Eventually the migration returns to the pride lands, and with it a time of plenty for the hungry lion pride.

Crossing the Mara River, the wildebeest return to the Serengeti

The circle of life is complex and eternal on the plains of the Serengeti.

Serengeti Sunrise.

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Created By
James Robins
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