21 Common Animals in Serengeti National Park

These are 21 Animals in Serengeti Worth Viewing

If there’s a single wildlife park in the world that has consistently stood out as the best for viewing animals then it’s Serengeti.

And people loves this park.

Here is the proof, can you guess how many people shows interest in Serengeti each month

Any ideas?

Well, in Canada alone 5,400 searches for Serengeti were recorded by Google last month. That comes out to 180 searches every day.

That means, people who are interested with Serengeti in Canada have searched at least 7 to 8 times in the past hour.

And that’s only counting Canada searches. If we were to count all people interested in a thing or two about Serengeti, let’s say Animals in Serengeti for example, that number would surely be even higher.

This makes it kind of tough to ignore the Serengeti national park. But you have to if you don’t want your safari in Tanzania to be of an unforgettable experience.

While I normally spend 5-6 hours writing these blog posts, the 90-120 minutes I spend collecting the stats for the particular subject are easily the most important.

And here is why I think they are the most important,

There are those moments that you think about doing an African safari but you’re still unsure whether to go or not, let alone where to go.

The real proof that other people like you searched for the destination you were curious about and eventually ended up paying a visit may well catalyse your travel decisions.

Isn’t that helpful?

Well, I hope so. Travelling to new destinations when you already have the informed details increases the satisfaction odds in your arsenal than when you have to travel with less or no clue about where you’re paying a visit.

For that matter, today I am going to expose to you this legendary Serengeti national park.

At the end of this post, you will be able to make a very informed decision about Serengeti national park as you will have clear knowledge on what is Serengeti like, its history and above all, the 21 best known unique animals in Serengeti National Park.

Here we go.

Serengeti NP Location from Arusha

Have you ever heard something like Geneva of Africa?

Yes, you read it right, not the Switzerland Geneva you know. This is another one, Tanzania’s Arusha.

In 2010 when the former US President Bill Clinton visited Tanzania, the cool weather that welcomed him in the country was simply amazing that he couldn’t differentiate it to the weather in Geneva.

And here is what Clinton did,

He named the City ‘Geneva of Africa’. Until today the name has continued to gain fame and most people know Arusha by Geneva of Africa.

However, today’s topic doesn’t focus on Arusha, but a stunning wonderland spanning just 208 miles away from Arusha city.

That is Serengeti National Park

In Serengeti National Park, many safari makers and safari expertise tend to differ very little or not at all when it comes to its beauty.

They all agree that the animals in Serengeti can never be seen somewhere else under the sun with the same spectacular and astound.

No wonder more than 350,000 people visit Serengeti every year.

The park is just unique and simply incomparable.

Not just for its vastness, but an array of animals in Serengeti will blow your mind away.

If you haven’t yet visited Serengeti, there is nothing wrong with that, myself had not visited the park until after 2012 when I came across the Disney nature documentary ‘African Cats’

This must-watch documentary which is majestically narrated by Samuel Jackson has some parts recorded in Serengeti national park.

Serengeti national park is currently the winner of the best safari park in Africa beating the likes of Masai Mara and Okavango Delta.

History of Serengeti

More than 200 years ago, when Maasai societies were migrating from Central Africa for the search of water and greener pasture something happened.

They found the land that in their whole journey from central Africa to the Eastern parts of Africa they had never seen something similar.

They had just found the land of Serengeti.

To their amazement, failing to see the end of this vast land, they shouted ‘Siringeti, Siringeti’ meaning the area where the land runs on forever.

The size of Serengeti land was absolutely incredible that Maasai tribe decided to term it as an endless plain.

Just like that, Serengeti was born and today I feel humbled to take you through the common animals in Serengeti National Park.

Oops! Not yet now!

You may first need to know this unique story about how the Serengeti national park was formed before we explore the best animals in Serengeti, Shall we?

Stewart White, a Famous American Author Visits Serengeti in the 1910’s

Now here is where Serengeti history gets more amusing.

Have you heard of a certain Stewart Edward White?

Probably yes, the late famous American Author and Conservationist.

As he visited Serengeti in 1910’s and made some explorations before returning in the 1920s, these were his words on the park.

“Never have I seen anything like that game. It covered every hill, standing in the openings, strolling in and out among groves, feeding on the bottom lands, singly, or in little groups. It did not matter in which direction I looked, there it was; as abundant one place as another.

Nor did it matter how far I went, over how many hills I walked, how many wide prospects I examined, it was always the same. During my stay at the next two camps I looked over fifty square miles. One day I counted 4,628 head! And suddenly I realized again that in this beautiful, wide, populous country, no sportsman’s rifle has ever been fired.

It is a virgin game country, and I have been the last man who will ever discover one for the sportsmen of the world. There is no other available possibility for such a game field in Africa unexplored. I moved among those hordes of unsophisticated beasts as a lord of Eden would have moved.”

Rediscovered Country (1915) by Stewart Edward White

Stewart Returns to Serengeti

Stewart’s Tanzania safari this time included his other fellas and at this time they spent about three months hunting animals in Serengeti.

Absurdly, in only 3 months at Serengeti, Stewart and his companions had at least 50 lions killed.

Due to Stewart actions to the animals in Serengeti plus the poaching actions from other hunters, lions were immediately scarce in the park.

British colonial administration didn’t take this too kind.

The whole Serengeti including Ngorongoro area was immediately enclosed and as soon as 1929 the park was made a game reserve.

In 1951 Serengeti National Park was established. The move served the animals in Serengeti. As I am writing, there are some 3,000 lions in Serengeti making it probably the world’s greatest lion sanctuary.

Animals in Serengeti

Now before I wind up with this amazing land, sure….I should find myself a way to end this post because, well  I am extremely obsessed with Serengeti that I can talk about it non stop.

I have never finished narrating about Serengeti national park and if I will one day try to finish everything about it, I bet a lot of trees will be killed to raise enough papers.

Ok, let’s get into it now;

1: Lion

With about 3,000 lions in the park, Serengeti is probably the most lion’s populated area on the planet. You will be very unlucky not to find a lion on a kill.

If you want to see the extremely large prides of these kings of savannah, Serengeti is an ideal place to pay a journey.

2: Cheetah

Tanzanian Cheetah is also common when it comes to animals in Serengeti. They are mostly found in South-eastern plains.

Unlike other cats, Cheetahs don’t afraid of people. They might well come over your safari vehicle and climb over it for a greeting or two.

3: Elephant

The peaceful animals on the planet? Probably, however, that doesn’t go without reminding you to always respect their privacy and respectfully mind your own business when encountering these largest land animals in Serengeti.

When these up to 7 tonnes giants decide that enough is enough and decide to chase you, not even your speed could help.

4: Buffalo

One of the mistake you can do when sightseeing animals in Serengeti is mistaking buffalo to the domestic cow!

Well, they might look similar but these are among dangerous, yet beautiful bush cows.

These are easily seen as they like to drink water every day. For this reason, you are likely to stunningly view herds of buffalo in waterholes.

5: Rhino.

Rhino gives birth only once in every 5 years

In additional to poaching, the odds are against their survival.

You hence need two things if you’re going to see a black rhino among animals in Serengeti National Park. With an experienced guide being second, the first thing you need is luck to find them.

A good news though is that serious measures are being taken to combat the poaching.

Again, after the reported death of the park’s oldest and the most aggressive rhino named ‘John’ his son ‘Rajab’ has raised up his game impressively and Serengeti has now about 140 rhinos thanks to Rajab’s clever work.

 6: Leopard

If there are animals in Serengeti among all of the big 5 that hate disturbance when having their meal then it’s a leopard.

In so doing, they like to put their food at the top of trees preferably on the sausage trees. The view of a leopard on the tree looking with an extreme shy will seriously make your Tanzania safari experience an everlasting.

7: Wildebeest

Hands up to these anchors of Serengeti.

They dominate the whole number of animals in Serengeti.

They are joy to watch especially when they are chased by all kinds of predators on the land and even down in the water of Mara River.

About 1.5 million wildebeests migrate every year to and from Serengeti. A view of these ridiculously many beasts crossing the crocodiles infested river of Mara has been included in the 7 wonders of natural Africa.

8: Giraffe

In Tanzania, the giraffe is commonly known as ‘the national animal of Tanzania’

Giraffe images have featured in different Tanzania paper currencies.

Either way, nothing compares that experience of witnessing a group of up to 40 giraffes in Serengeti.

In one of my many trips to Serengeti (I found this park so addictive because every trip I did had a very different and unique experience), I was lucky to witness a group of 29 giraffes who were beautifully staring the amusing sunset that was perfectly viable away on the western Serengeti.

9: Zebra

Wildebeests usually receives the all credits in the greater Serengeti migration and rightly so due to their insanely whopping huge number!

However, there are the engineers of the whole move, the whole migration that witnesses millions of ungulates migrating from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

Zebras, these are the master plan in Serengeti migration.

While wildebeest have better hearing that can easily detect the predators’ sound from far, it’s nevertheless the extraordinary ability of Zebras to keep memory long enough to guide their long journey in the migration.

As if that wasn’t enough, Zebras are very good when it comes to sighting. Among the ungulates, Zebras are blessed with better sight. That is another important weapon in Wildebeest and Zebra’s migration arsenal.

10: Hyena

Hyenas live in communities known as clans.

A clan can consist of a good number of hyenas. Anywhere between 5 – 80 hyenas can make a clan. The more the big number, the more the dangerous the clan become and they can take down a sized ungulate to its death.

Hyenas believe in solidarity.

They have won many battles by simply attacking with a large number and this has given them the advantage sometimes vs. even large predators like lions where hyenas usually like the idea of sniffing around lions prey and try to win by numbers.

11: Hippos

I am never going to claim that all hippos live in Serengeti but, ‘oh boy!’ the insanely huge number I saw in the hippo pool was simply unique.

If you still thinking of the possible animals to see in Serengeti then the concentration of hundreds of hippos in hippo pool is a thing to pay a visit.

12: Dik-dik

Standing about 30-40 metres, Dik-dik can live up to 1o years.

Leopards of Serengeti likes to predate Dik-dik. If you won’t see them grazing around Serengeti short grasses, you may be lucky enough to see one above on the tree branch ready to be consumed by a hungry leopard.

13: Nile Crocodiles

I am lost in words.

Yes, how can I explain that astonishing scene where hundreds of crocodiles usually position themselves on Mara & Grumeti Rivers and wait for the herds of wildebeests, ready to make some their meals?

Either way, Serengeti is one of the best places to see Nile crocodiles in live predating and these are one of the most active & clever predators among animals in Serengeti National Park.

14: Monkeys

While most animals in Serengeti national park are large predators & herds, new mates are always welcome in this vast land.

Along the Grumeti River for example, you may well see the beautiful colobus, vervet monkeys, as well as Olive baboons, climbing from a branch to another along the river

15: Gazelle

If there is an animal in Serengeti national park which is loved by cheetahs then it’s gazelle!

Although faster in speed, cheetahs know how to hunt them. Their size also makes them perfect for prey, also enough for a meal by a cheetah family.

In Serengeti, you may be luckier to experience a live breath-taking sprint of a gazelle being chased by a determined cheetah.

16: Impala

This medium-sized antelope who can weigh up to 76 kg is another animal in Serengeti national park who is mainly active during the day.

If there are animals who got swags when it comes to sprinting then Impala beats all other who comes into the list

While running, Impala can jump up to 9 metres above the surface covering up to 10 metres distance in one jump. In their jumps, they would sometimes jump high above another impala.

Now the sweet of these impalas is when they would jump and lands on their forelegs, that is simply amazing.

Impala themselves, can remind me of Serengeti and push me to plan a trip whenever necessary!

17: Hartebeest

Forming up to 300 individuals herd, Kongoni as most of the people call these antelopes are rich in Serengeti National Park

While a small herd can have about 20 individuals, hartebeests can live up to 15 years, hartebeests who are nearly as huge as wildebeests are known by using their formidable horns when attacked by predators while using their long legs to flee.

18: Topi

These are another fellas that accompany wildebeests and zebras in their annual migration.

Topi is another antelope specie weighs up to 145 kilograms with a lifespan of up to 15 years in the wild.

While the largest number of topis are found in Tanzania and Southern Sudan, it is nonetheless in the Serengeti where they can be experienced in a stunning view.

Speaking about the animals in Serengeti National Park who have a better sight and hearing, topi should clearly be on the list. They are extremely good when it comes to sight and hearing. 

19: Waterbuck

Talk about handsome antelopes!

These large antelopes who may weigh up to 250 kilograms are spectacularly beautiful. And those of Serengeti are very unique among all waterbuck species.

According to lonely planet

‘East of the Rift Valley, the waterbuck is present as the common waterbuck, while the Serengeti and Masai Mara are home to the Defassa waterbuck; the former is considered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to have a Least Concern status, but the Defassa waterbuck is classed as Near Threatened.’

Source: Lonely Planet

20: Hyrax

Can you guess who is the elephant closest relative?

5 seconds before I surprise you with an answer! I know many answered rhino, while there also others out there who answered buffalo.

Well, you both (rhino & buffalo answers) couldn’t be more wrong!

In fact, elephant relative looks nothing like them, not even close speaking about size for example.

While this study has faced some controversies but with a lot of similarities with elephants, hyrax is considered the closest elephant relative.

They share a lot of common similarities from the evolutionary path, reproductive characteristics that indicate the same origin. In other words, there is the probability these two unlike relatives, do have the common ancestors.

Either way, hyrax are among the animals in Serengeti national park that’ll make your visit there even eventful.

21: Pythons

A few years ago, a mystery thing happened

While in a Safari in a Serengeti National Park, a group of tourists in their vehicle encountered a huge rock python near the road with parts of its tail down in the bush.

With excitement, a driver-guide stopped the vehicle to give his visitors enough time to look this amazing reptile.

Within no time, a python was under the car but to their amazement, he never popped out on another side as it is customary when this happens.

They waited, and waited and waited!

A python had found a shelter to protect its back from the sun.

If wasn’t rangers’ effort which took about 2 hours to get the snake out and direct it to the bush, a game drive that day could simply end that way.

You’re going to need some luck to encounter a python though.

Among many animals in the Serengeti national park, pythons like to be away from everybody’s attention. He’s never a show-off kind of a fella.


Animals in Serengeti are amazing.

Great Wildebeest Migration and live predation are the sightseeing that will leave you overly satisfied and fill you with a desire to visit Serengeti again and again.

Greatest wildebeest migration for example,

Happens every year, in this naturally fascinating event, about 6 million hooves strike the open plains of Serengeti as 1.5 wildebeests usually get joined by some 200,000 zebra and about 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles in the long journey of searching for greener pasture.

Live predation

A plunge of wildebeest herds through crocodile-infested waters in the North is only a short brief battle between the ungulates vs. hungry and very angry crocodiles before they come face to face with even more bigger predators; the lions.

Survival for the fittest

At this point, its always a game of survival for the fittest as most of the young calves ends in the hands of superb predators.

The fact that more than 8,000 calves get born almost daily during this pilgrimage gives you the idea on the amount of these ungulates in the park.

With a carefully planned Tanzania safari, a live mating, birth and predation sessions by wildebeests can be superbly experienced in close proximity.

After reading this guide on animals in Serengeti, what will be your top preferred animal to see when you visit Serengeti?

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