What Animals Live in The Serengeti Plains


The Serengeti national park is a large ecosystem in North West Tanzania that covers an area of 14,763 km2 (5,700 sq mi). 

The Serengeti is best known for the annual wildebeest migration. More than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti into the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. It is also world renowned for its large lion population.

This makes the Serengeti the best place in the world to view prides in their natural habitats. In addition to Lions, the park is also home to a growing number of elephants, buffalos, giraffes and hundreds of bird species. 

In this article, we will look into detail the various types of animals that live in the serengeti plains. 

What animals live in the Serengeti plains? 

The Serengeti national park is home to hundreds of animal and bird species. In this post, we will focus on the most common animals in the Serengeti which also includes the big 5. Here’s a summary of the animals that live in the serengeti;

  • Lions 
  • African bush elephants 
  • Rhinos 
  • Wildebeests 
  • Buffalos 
  • Cheetahs 
  • Giraffes 
  • Hyenas 
  • Birds 


 There are approximately 3000 lions in the Serengeti which live in groups called prides. This makes the Serengeti National park one of the best places in the world to view large prides of lions.

African Bush Elephants 

The African bush elephant population in the Serengeti plummeted to only 500 in the 1980s. This was the result of poaching fuelled by a high demand for ivory in the far east. As a result, the elephants were given endangered status and Ivory trade outlawed. 

This led to an increase in elephant population in the serengeti from 500 in the 1980s to more than 7000 in 2020. 

Thanks to the intervention more than 30 years ago, it is fairly common now to view large herds of elephants in the serengeti. 

Black Rhinos 

Rhinos are one of the most endangered animals in the world. They were almost wiped out in the Serengeti in the 1980s. Only 10 rhinos survived and today, there are only about 100 black rhinos in the ecosystem. 

This makes the rhino one of the rarest animals to see in the serengeti. However, if you’re lucky, your tour guide might know where recent sightings have been and try your luck there. 


There are about 1.5 million wildebeests in the Serengeti. This makes the wildebeest the most commonly sighted mammal in the Serengeti plains.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles migrate north into the Masai mara. This spectacle makes the serengeti and the masai mara 2 of the most famous parks in the world. 


There are about 28,000 buffalos in the Serengeti per the latest census in 2008. Buffalos graze in herds of hundreds and they can be easily seen in the serengeti. They often gang up together to chase predators such as lions. In some cases, they can kill lions with their sharp horns. 


There are about 400 cheetahs in the serengeti. The main reason for the low number of cheetahs is destruction of their habitats by humans. All hope is not lost though as there are efforts to increase their populations in the wild. 


There are more than 100,000 giraffes in the Serengeti. Unlike the wildebeests, giraffes do not migrate north into the masai mara because their long necks allow them to eat acacia tree leaves with ease. 


There are thousands of hyenas in the Serengeti. Hyenas are scavengers and they hunt in packs from time to time. Their strong teeth allow them to eat almost any carcass they come across. 


There are more than 500 species of birds in the serengeti. Most of the birds in the serengeti are easy to locate. The most common bird types in the serengeti are;

  • Fischer’s lovebird
  • Secretary bird
  • Rufous-tailed weaver
  • Grey-breasted spurfowl
  • Kori bustard

Other animals in the serengeti 

The animals listed above are the most common in the serengeti. Other animals you can expect to see in the serengeti are;

  • Zebras
  • Wild dogs 
  • Leopards 
  • Hippos 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>