Serengeti comes from the Maasai chat “Siring” acceptation “Endless Plain”, which absolutely is what it means: hundreds of kilometers of collapsed apparent land, more good termed “The Sea of Grass On Plains”
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.. Below are a few interesting facts about the park.
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.
- The Maasai people had been grazing their livestock in the open plains of eastern Mara Region, which they named “endless plains”, for around 200 years when the first European explorer, Austrian Oscar Baumann, visited the area in 1892.
- The park also boasts about 500 bird species, including ostrich, secretary bird, kori bustard, crowned crane, marabou stork, martial eagle, lovebirds, and many species of
- 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.
- All three big cats are easily seen. Lions are everywhere, 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.
- Thousands of the migrating animals will never make it back to Maasai Mara national park as African crocodiles and other carnivores have a feast waylaying the herbivores as they cross the Mara River.
- The Serengeti National Park is nestled at 3,020 feet to 6,070 feet above the sea level. Its climate is generally dry but gets a lot of rainfall in the months of June and July.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serengeti is largely savannah grassland with scattered pieces of Shrub land that is ideal for the herbivores to graze and good for the carnivores to hunt. Among the herbivores found here include, zebras, elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, antelopes, gazelles and buffaloes. Among the carnivores found include lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals, etc.
- 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
- The Serengeti is the ancestral land of the Maa Community. The Maasai are one of the African communities that still practice their ancient cultural rituals such as circumcision, dances and sacrifices.
- As part of the creation of the park and in order to preserve its wildlife, the Maasai were relocated to the Ngorongoro highlands, a move that still elicits much controversy.
- Serengeti is one of the cheapest National Parks in Tanzania. For the variety you will see, the park entrance fee is a bargain.
- More than 90,000 people from around the world visit the park every year. This number does not include locals who visit the park, just tourists from other places.
Tanzania is one of the Eastern African countries and has a Swahili culture. If you plan to visit the country, be sure to sample the Swahili cultural dishes and lifestyle over and above the jungle safari.
[Header image] – Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) Flickr / Feans