Part of a vast savannah that acts as one giant ecosystem, the rolling grasslands of the Serengeti have justly become the single most famous safari destination on the planet.
With a breathtaking 70 species of mammal and around 500 species of bird, it has an incredibly rich variety of wildlife and the open scenery makes game-viewing particularly rewarding. But the real treat comes with what has been described by many as the 'greatest show on the planet', the vast circular migration route between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara.
From December to June, over 1.5 million wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson's gazelles, 200,000 zebras, buffalo and thousands of other herbivores head south with the rains as the grass turns lush and green. On their heels come snarling, snapping packs of hyenas and prides of lions, crocodiles lie in wait at river crossings to get fat on easy pickings.
The Serengeti's constantly under threat from Masai cattle herders, and having just fought off the threat of a main road, it now faces the prospect of a high speed rail link across the park, cutting the migration route.
Where is it?
In northwestern Tanzania, joining onto Kenya's Masai Mara National Park, which is also part of the Serengeti plain, and the Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge National Parks which are part of Africa's Great Rift Valley.
What is it?
One of the largest and best-known game parks in the world, covering an area of 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles). It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best time to visit?
The Serengeti is wonderful at any time of year, but the time to be there is when the great migration is on the move. The massed herds are on the plains from December to March. It is easier to see predators in the dry season (June to October) however when the grass is shorter and food is scarce.
'Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain'