Serengeti National Park is located on the Tanzania‘s northern border with Kenya. It is one of the most important African tourism circuits and an extension of the Kenyan Maasai Mara National Park and Simiyu regions.
- It was first established in the 1920’s and was made a National Park in 1951 and covers 14,750 square kilometers (5,700 square miles) of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands.
- The Serengeti National Park eco-system is the oldest on the planet. It boasts a diversity of flora and fauna that is unavailable anywhere else on the globe.
- In more than 1 million years, little has changed in the park. The wild animals, the plants and waterways are still largely intact as they were one million years ago. Amazingly, the oldest remains of man (2 million years ago) were discovered here by the famous East Africa archaeologist, Dr. Leakey.
- The Expanse of Serengeti is home to the only active volcano in the area – the Ol Doinyo Lengai. It ejects mineral rich carbonate lava that is washed down to the plains of Serengeti to fertilize the land.
- The Serengeti is famed for its annual wildebeest migration, one of the (2006) world’s seven natural wonders – when some six million hooves cross the open plains, as more than 1,000,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the trek for fresh grazing. This is one of the most impressive natural events in the world.
- Serengeti is one of the cheapest National Parks in Tanzania. For the variety you will see, the park entrance fee is a bargain.
- Great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle are resident at any time of the year.
- All three big cats are easily seen. Lions are everywhere and are often found on a kill. Cheetahs are very common on the southeastern plains, while leopards can often be found lazing in one of the big trees along the Seronera River.
- In the 1890s, droughts and a rinderpest epidemic (also known as cattle plague or steppe murrain) took a serious toll on the animal population of the Serengeti, in particular the wildebeest. By the mid-1970s the wildebeest and the buffalo populations had recovered.
- Some 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Tanzania to Maasai Mara Reserve in lower Kenya, a total of 500 miles (800 km), according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. Death is usually from thirst, hunger, exhaustion, or predators.
- The Maasai people had been grazing their livestock in the open plains for around 200 years when the first European explorers visited the area. German geographer and explorer Dr. Oscar Baumann entered the area in 1892. The first Brit to enter the Serengeti, Stewart Edward White, recorded his explorations in the northern Serengeti in 1913.
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