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south africa

national parks (back to intro)

in this section
Arusha National Park
Gombe Streams National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha National Park
Selous National Park
Tarangire National Park

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Serengeti National Park

ecosystem -
vegetation -
wildlife -

spotlight feature:
Serengeti National Park

In northern Tanzania lies the spectacular Serengeti plains home of the Serengeti National Park. The parks 5,700 square miles (14,763 sq. km) of rolling plains are covered by long and short savanna grasses and continue to serve as the home of over 35 species of plains mammals. Over 3 million animals coexist in the park, making it famous for its incredible variety of wildlife. The following can be found in the SNP - wildebeest, zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe, hyena, wild dog, hippopotamus, ratel, buffalo, waterbuck, wart hog, hyrax, rhino, baboon, dik-dik, antelope, gazelle, topi, kongoni, bat eared fox and over 200 species of birds.

The Serengeti gets its name from the Maasai, it means "endless plains" in their language and is a perfect description of the terrain. The park is situated on a high plateau with elevations that range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. It is considered to be the last of the great wildlife sanctuaries and draws visitors from all over the world who come to observe the annual migration of the wildebeest and zebra. A spectacular sight that is driven by their search for food and water.

In the 1920's safaris were conducted by professional hunters. They were followed by zoologists who came to observe the lions on the Serengeti. By 1929 the British government had established the central portion as a game reserve. Wildlife conservationists and zoologists continued their efforts to educate the government and gain their support in protecting the wildlife on the Serengeti. In 1951 the Serengeti National Park was established as a wildlife refuge.

Credit must be given to the government of Tanzania for their efforts to assist and encourage the conservation of this vital habitat. Faced with an ever growing population and its needs, the Tanzanian government has continued to support the efforts of conservationists. In order to protect the wildlife and their natural habitat from poachers and the ever increasing population along the boundaries of the park, it has taken continued effort to educate and establish cooperation among government officials, conservationist and those whose lives are affected by the annual migration and damage that can result from the animals continual search for food and water.

Move on to: Serengeti National Park Ecosystem

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