How many animals are there in Serengeti?

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    The Serengeti ecosystem is vast, comprising several game reserves and parks. There are also countless animals in the Serengeti that you should watch out for!

    This part of Africa is situated in Northern Tanzania and advances to South Western Kenya.

    On top of that, the wildlife found lazing across the Serengeti plains is very diverse, with endless lists of wildlife that will blow your mind. You may have seen the wildlife books, but nothing prepares you for the REAL DEAL

    At this stunning African Safari destination, you can leisurely view several animals in the Serengeti such as big cats, wild dogs, spotted hyenas, grant’s gazelle, black rhino, and other animals in the open plains of Serengeti.

    Furthermore, this world-renowned ecoregion is the location for some of the world’s most breathtaking mass game migrations. An estimated 1.3 million blue wildebeest, 200,000 plains zebra, and 400,000 Thomson’s gazelle migrate between the Serengeti and the Southern Acacia-Commiphora Bushlands ecoregion per year.

    The great migration continues despite a devastating rinderpest outbreak in the late 19th century and the nonselective hunting of the European settlers in the early 20th century.

    The area depicts the last remnant of a large mammal-dominated ecosystem in Africa since the Pleistocene. It is relatively well protected within game reserves and national parks, but the black rhinoceros populations have decreased significantly to the point of being endangered due to illegal hunting.

    However, there are still small populations of black rhinos, which are among the animals in the Serengeti National Park today, so don’t get discouraged when hoping to witness these special creatures.

    So hold on to your seat as we delve deeper into the wildlife that can be witnessed in the Serengeti, and why this is one of the most amazing places in the world for an African Safari.

    The animals in the Serengeti

    Many animals are there in the serengeti

    As you might already know, the Serengeti or its enclosed Serengeti national park is rich in wildlife and various birdlife.

    The park itself is spectacular all year round, however during the dry season expect to witness  animals, such as giraffes, elephants, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wildebeests, and many more!

    Nonetheless, the Serengeti is active all year long, so you can visit whenever you want. If you’re planning to take on a Serengeti adventure, it’s best to have an experienced guide to help and guide you during your Serengeti exploration.

    Now, let’s move on to the animals you can witness at the Serengeti, and don’t forget to check out our Serengeti Tours.

    What is the big 5?

    The big five

    The big five—comprising of Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, and Rhinoceros can be found within the Serengeti ecosystem, particularly in the Serengeti national park. The Big Five illustrates the ultimate African safari experience: seeing these remarkable animals roaming freely in the open grasslands.

    However, you might be wondering why those particular animals are part of the Big Five?

    To explain this briefly, big—game hunters coined the term ‘Big Five’ and are not derived from animal size.

    Those animals proved to be the most challenging to hunt, mainly due to their ferocity when cornered. It’s delightful to know that these Big Five in the Serengeti are now ONLY allowed to be ‘shot’ by a camera. You’ll get many opportunities to take pictures of these incredible animals with the help of your driver guide.



    An incredible experience surely awaits you when you visit the Serengeti in Tanzania! This is due to the diverse animals you can see in protected areas, including the African Buffalo.

    The Buffalo is among the most dangerous species of animals in Africa, with only a few predators, like Lions. But, a lion doesn’t usually prey on matured buffalo. Usually it focuses only on their calves with a price to pay later when angry herds strike for revenge.

    These animals are often found in a waterhole as they need to drink water every day. In the Serengeti, Buffalo come in immense numbers, and there’s a good possibility you’ll witness hundreds of thousands of them among other wildebeest if you visit for the annual migration.

    It is believed, that there are over 30,000 Buffalo in the Serengeti and over 1.2 million Wildebeest.

    Looking to witness these magnificent beasts yourself? Browse our Serengeti Tours.


    Tanzania - lions - how many animals are there in serengeti?

    The lion is the king of the African savannah—so seeing these animals in their habitat will leave you with memories you will be telling for years! The Serengeti is home to some enormous pride of lions, and they’re relatively easy to spot.

    Lions live in a pride, comprising of two to 40 lions since they are remarkably social animals. The females hunt more than the males in a group but scavenge if they get the chance since they like napping under a tree.

    The lion population in Serengeti is now over 3000.


    Tanzania - leopard 1 - how many animals are there in serengeti?

    Leopards are among the big cats you can find in East Africa or Serengeti national park and other national parks.

    Often hard to spot, guests are always told they are fortunate when they get to witness one of these majestic felines in the wild. 

    Whilst not as fast as Cheetahs, these cats are fast runners with the potential of running 58 kilometres per hour. They move gracefully but are ferocious with their hunting techniques.

    When scouting for one during your stay, be sure to check the trees above, as they are usually found lazing around on a branch.

    There are around 5 leopards per 100 km square in Serengeti.

    African elephant

    Tanzania - african elephant 1 - how many animals are there in serengeti?

    The African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal. Having the chance to see one in its natural habitat is exciting and fulfilling. These grey gentle giants roam the Serengeti plains and vanish into the woodlands in the Serengeti.

    Female elephants live in tight-knit clans, and family bonds usually last for 50 years. Males often leave the family after 12 years and roam separately or form a herd of their own.

    Elephants frequently visit waterholes, such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, close to the lodges and can be seen by the dozen in the Serengeti. They’re pretty peaceful when left alone but can be alarmingly dangerous when they feel threatened. Imagine being chased by this gigantic animal with over 7,000 kilos in weight!

    There are over 7000 elephants in Serengeti.

    Learn more about Elephants.


    Tanzania - rhinocerous - how many animals are there in serengeti?

    The Rhino is a heavyweight animal weighing 2,500 kilos and comes in two types… The Black and White Rhino. Nonetheless, the White Rhino is not white but grey.

    The term ‘white’ was misunderstood after early Dutch settlers used the word ‘wijd’ (wide), referring to its wide lips. Moreover, the Rhino’s horn is worth more than its weight in gold.

    However, the rhino population in the Serengeti ecosystem has suffered primarily due to poaching—illegal trafficking and killing these beautiful animals. Since the female Rhino only gives birth to a calf once every five years, it can be challenging to see rhinos in the Serengeti National Park.

    However, with an experienced guide, they will help to track down Rhinos in the Serengeti.

    There are an estimated 160 rhinos left in Serengeti.

    Other animals in the Serengeti

    Tanzania - animals in the serengeti - how many animals are there in serengeti?

    The Serengeti has fantastic animal varieties due to its unique transition area. The distinct transformation from rich flat soils in the Southern plains to the destitute hilly grounds in the North leads to a remarkable diversity of habitats and vegetation across the park.

    One of its unique habitats is the riverine forests—a favourite spot for crocodiles and hippos. Other common animals that you can see in the Serengeti are giraffes and many other migrating ungulates, such:

    • Eland
    • Topi
    • Zebra
    • Kongoni
    • Grant’s Gazelle
    • Impala
    • Cheetah
    • Hyena

    In addition to that, there’s also a high possibility of seeing African Wild Dogs, Vervet Monkeys, as well as Olive Baboons through the woodlands along the Grumeti River.

    Olive baboons are particularly abundant in the Western corridor.

    In the rivers shaded by forest trees lies giant crocodiles of the Grumeti and Mara rivers, where millions of wildebeests cross in the great wildebeest migration. You can also enjoy the game reserve in the Serengeti and enjoy its wildlife viewing.

    Moreover, seeing big cats is highly possible in the southeastern plains and other parts of Serengeti. If big cats are your top priority… Then the Serengeti is best for you!

    Keen to learn more about the Serengeti? Then this is for you: What is so special about the Serengeti?

    Getting you there

    Booking a tour  to the Serengeti is a great decision, whether it’s to see witness one of the best African Safari locations, or to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, there is so much to offer. The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of millions of wildebeest, accompanied by enormous numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, zebra, elands, and impalas across the greater Masai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

    Browse our Migration Tours.

    The Serengeti is open and active all year round for wildlife viewing, including big cats and young calves during the calving season. So, whether it’s the wet season or the dry season, you can still enjoy and have an incredible experience in seeing the stunning sceneries of the Serengeti and the wild animals it has to offer.

    If you’re planning to visit the Serengeti anytime soon, it’s best to have a trusted local tour operator like Easy Travel to arrange the tour for you. We have our tailor-made tours to ensure your African expedition is certainly one to remember.

    Contact us today and talk to one of our safari experts to make your Serengeti dream tour a reality!

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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