The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest national park. It is the flagship of the country’s tourism industry, drawing in over ninety thousand tourists each year. The National Park is located in the Serengeti ecosystem which has attracted a number of famous visitors over the years including Ernest Hemmingway, Peter Matthiessen and Hugo van Lawick, as well as many famous photographers and scientists. Here we will provide you with information about the park’s history, details about its wildlife and the reasons why you should include a tour of the National Park in your African holiday plans.
We are certain that you will fall in love with the natural beauty of the Serengeti National Park.
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History of Serengeti National Park
Serengeti was virtually unknown to the world until 1913 when an American Hunter called Stewart Edward White went on an excursion south of Nairobi. He walked for miles and miles until he saw ‘the green trees of the river’ which he claimed was ‘paradise.’ It was in fact Serengeti, known to the Maasai people residing there at the time as ‘siringet, the place where the land runs on forever.’
Over the years numerous lions were killed by hunters, making them very scarce. This influenced the British colonial administration to create a partial game reserve of 3.2 kilometres in 1921. The area later became a full game reserve in 1929, before going onto become Serengeti National Park in the nineteen fifties. In order to preserve the wildlife, the British colonial administration made the decision to evict the Maasai people from the park in the late nineteen fifties. This caused a considerable amount of controversy.
It is thought that the popularity of the area was largely down to the work of Bernhard and Michael Grzimek who produced a book and film titled ‘Serengeti Shall Not Die.’
Serengeti National Park wildlife
Serengeti National Park protects some of the most spectacular creatures on earth. It is famous for its annual migration of over one and a half million white bearded wildebeests and two hundred and fifty thousand zebra. It is also home to creatures known as the ‘big five’ including lions, African leopards, African elephants, black rhinoceroses and African buffalos. These species were known as the big five as in the past they were the most prized trophies of hunters.
If you visit the park you are also likely to see many other animals, including cheetahs, gazelles, waterbucks, hyenas, baboons, impalas, African wild dogs and giraffes. There are also numerous bird species including ostriches, marabou storks, martial eagles, vultures and lovebirds.
Touring Serengeti National Park
If you want to make the most of your trip to Tanzania, it is definitely worth doing a tour of Serengeti National Park. Even if you spend just a couple of days there, you will likely encounter an abundance of animals in their natural habitat. Whilst looking out for the African animals, you can also take in the amazing views of the vast landscapes which include grasslands, savannahs, forests and woodlands. Going on an organised tour is the best way to travel around the National Park as the African tour operators have the expert knowledge and experience of the best places to view particular types of animals and the hidden gems that the average tourist would miss.
Serengeti National Park is home to over five hundred species of birds.
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Serengeti National Park is the best place to view animals in their natural African habitat. You will be in awe at the stunning landscapes and will find it hard not to fall in love with the wilderness. If we could single it down to just one place you must visit on your trip to Tanzania, it would have to be the Serengeti National Park.