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The SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK is a Tanzanian national park in the Serengeti
Serengeti
ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions. It is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile
Nile crocodile
and honey badger .

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Geography * 3 Wildlife * 4 Administration and protection * 5 Proposed road across the northern Serengeti
Serengeti
* 6 Proposed extension of park boundaries to Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria
* 7 In popular culture * 8 Properties and lodges * 9 Gallery * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links

HISTORY

A group of lions in a tree on the Serengeti
Serengeti
prairies.

The Maasai people
Maasai people
had been grazing their livestock in the open plains of eastern Mara Region
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 name "Serengeti" is an approximation of the word used by the Maasai to describe the area, siringet, which means "the place where the land runs on forever".

The first American to enter the Serengeti, Stewart Edward White , recorded his explorations in the northern Serengeti
Serengeti
in 1913. He returned to the Serengeti
Serengeti
in the 1920s and camped in the area around Seronera for three months. During this time, he and his companions shot 50 lions.

Because the hunting of lions made them scarce, the British colonial administration made a partial game reserve of 800 acres (3.2 km2) in the area in 1921 and a full one in 1929. These actions were the basis for Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park, which was established in 1951.

The Serengeti
Serengeti
gained more fame after the initial work of Bernhard Grzimek and his son Michael in the 1950s. Together, they produced the book and film Serengeti
Serengeti
Shall Not Die , widely recognized as one of the most important early pieces of nature conservation documentary.

To preserve wildlife, the British evicted the resident Maasai from the park in 1959 and moved them to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
. There is still considerable controversy surrounding this move, with claims made of coercion and deceit on the part of the colonial authorities.

The park is Tanzania's oldest national park and remains the flagship of the country's tourism industry, providing a major draw to the Northern Safari Circuit encompassing Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
, Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park
, Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park
and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area . It has over 2,500 lions and more than 1 million wildebeest.

GEOGRAPHY

The park covers 14,750 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi) of grassland plains, savanna , riverine forest, and woodlands. The park lies in northwestern Tanzania, bordered to the north by the Kenyan border, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara
Maasai Mara
National Reserve . To the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve , to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves , and to the northeast and east lies the Loliondo Game Control Area . Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti
Serengeti
ecosystem .

The park is usually described as divided into three regions-

* Serengeti
Serengeti
plains: the almost treeless grassland of the south is the most emblematic scenery of the park. This is where the wildebeest breed, as they remain in the plains from December to May. Other hoofed animals - zebra, gazelle, impala, hartebeest , topi , buffalo, waterbuck - also occur in huge numbers during the wet season. "Kopjes" are granite florations that are very common in the region, and they are great observation posts for predators, as well as a refuge for hyrax and pythons . * Western corridor: the black clay soil covers the savannah of this region. The Grumeti River and its gallery forests is home to Nile crocodiles , patas monkeys , hippopotamus , and martial eagles . The migration passes through from May to July. * Wildebeest
Wildebeest
on the main highway of the Western Corridor Northern Serengeti: the landscape is dominated by open woodlands (predominantly Commiphora
Commiphora
) and hills, ranging from Seronera in the south to the Mara River on the Kenyan border. Apart from the migratory wildebeest and zebra (which occur from July to August, and in November), this is the best place to find elephant , giraffe , and dik dik .

Human habitation is forbidden in the park with the exception of staff for the Tanzania
Tanzania
National Parks Authority , researchers and staff of the Frankfurt Zoological Society , and staff of the various lodges, campsites and hotels. The main settlement is Seronera, which houses the majority of research staff and the park's main headquarters, including its primary airstrip . A group of flamingo in a small lake inside Serengeti
Serengeti
plain

WILDLIFE

An African leopardess and her cub in a tree on the Serengeti Plain. A Tanzanian cheetah in the Serengeti
Serengeti
prairies. Grey crowned crane
Grey crowned crane
in Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park, Tanzania
Tanzania
A herd of elephants in the morning in Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park A Superb starling in the Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park

The park is worldwide known for its incredible scenery and magnificent wildlife. Some of the most popular animals among tourists include:

* Masai lion
Masai lion
: the Serengeti
Serengeti
is believed to hold the largest population of lions in Africa due in part to the abundance of prey species. More than 3,000 lions live in this ecosystem. * African leopard
African leopard
: these reclusive predators are commonly seen in the Seronera region but are present throughout the national park with the population at around 1,000. * Tanzanian cheetah : the fastest running land animal can reach speeds of up to 70 mph. The ability to be so quick allows them to capture prey that no other animals can catch. It is estimated there are over 1,000 individuals living in the park. * African bush elephant
African bush elephant
: the herds have recovered successfully from population lows in the 1980s caused by poaching , numbering over 5,000 individuals, and are largely located in the northern regions of the park. * Eastern black rhinoceros : mainly found around the kopjes in the centre of the park, very few individuals remain due to rampant poaching. Individuals from the Masai Mara Reserve cross the park border and enter Serengeti
Serengeti
from the northern section at times. * African buffalo
African buffalo
: still abundant and present in healthy numbers. * Serengeti
Serengeti
wildebeest: the park is home to spectacular migration events. Large ungulates from Grant's gazelles to blue wildebeests travel across vast tracts of land as the seasons change. The population of migratory wildebeests is approximately 1.2 million.

An impala in the park

Apart from the vast herds of migratory and some resident wildebeest and zebra , the park is also densely packed with other plains game including half a million Thomson\'s and Grant\'s gazelle , over 8,000 Masai giraffe
Masai giraffe
, warthog , topi , common eland , waterbuck , grey duiker , impala , klipspringer , roan antelope , bushbuck , lesser kudu , fringe-eared oryx and coke\'s hartebeest .

Carnivores include about 4,000 spotted hyena , two species of jackals , African golden wolf , honey badger , striped hyena , serval , seven species of mongooses , two species of otters and the recently reintroduced East African wild dog
East African wild dog
(extinct since 1991). Apart from the safari staples, primates such as yellow and olive baboons and vervet monkey , patas monkey , black-and-white colobus are also seen in the gallery forests of the Grumeti River.

Other mammals are include aardvark , aardwolf , bat-eared fox , ground pangolin , crested porcupine , three species of hyraxes , cape hare .

Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park has also great ornithological interest, boasting about 500 bird species, including Masai ostrich
Masai ostrich
, secretarybird , kori bustards , helmeted guineafowls , southern ground hornbill , crowned cranes , marabou storks , yellow-billed stork , lesser flamingo , martial eagles , lovebirds , oxpeckers , and many species of vultures .

Reptiles in Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park are include Nile crocodile
Nile crocodile
, leopard tortoise , serrated hinged terrapin , rainbow agama , Nile monitor , chameleons , African python , black mamba , black-necked spitting cobra , puff adder .

ADMINISTRATION AND PROTECTION

Because of its biodiversity and ecological significance, the park has been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
. As a national park, it is designated as a Category
Category
II protected area under the system developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
International Union for Conservation of Nature
, which means that it should be managed, through either a legal instrument or another effective means, to protect the ecosystem or ecological processes as a whole.

The administrative body for all parks in Tanzania
Tanzania
is the Tanzania National Parks Authority . Myles Turner was one of the park's first game wardens and is credited with bringing its rampant poaching under control. His autobiography, My Serengeti
Serengeti
Years: The Memoirs of an African Game Warden, provides a detailed history of the park's early years.

"Snapshot Serengeti" is a science project by the University of Minnesota Lion Project, which seeks to classify over 30 species of animals within the park using 225 camera traps to better understand how they interact with each other and lions.

PROPOSED ROAD ACROSS THE NORTHERN SERENGETI

In July 2010, President Jakaya Kikwete
Jakaya Kikwete
renewed his support for an upgraded road through the northern portion of the park to link Mto wa Mbu , southeast of Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
, and Musoma
Musoma
on Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria
. While he said that the road would lead to much-needed development in poor communities, others, including conservation groups and foreign governments like Kenya
Kenya
, argued that the road could irreparably damage the great migration and the park's ecosystem.

The African Network for Animal Welfare sued the Tanzanian government in December 2010 at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha
Arusha
to prevent the road project. The court ruled in June 2014 that the plan to build the road was unlawful because it would infringe the East African Community Treaty under which member countries must respect protocols on conservation, protection, and management of natural resources. The court, therefore, restrained the government from going ahead with the project.

PROPOSED EXTENSION OF PARK BOUNDARIES TO LAKE VICTORIA

Government officials have proposed expanding the Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park to reach Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria
because increasingly intense droughts are threatening the survival of millions of animals.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

●The park was the location of filming for The Grassland Landscape Of Planet Serengeti
Serengeti
along with Masai Mara

●The Fictional Gigantogiraffa was based on the Giraffe
Giraffe
of the Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park

PROPERTIES AND LODGES

(listed alphabetically)

* Buffalo Luxury Camp * Dunia Camp * Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti * Ikoma Tented Camp * Kati Kati Camp * Kiota Camp * Kirurumu Serengeti
Serengeti
Camp * Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge * Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp * Robanda Tented Camp * Sayari Camp * Serengeti
Serengeti
Bushtops Camp * Serengeti
Serengeti
Pioneer Camp

GALLERY

*

Two zebras *

Evening skyline * * *

*

Hyena *

impalas * * * * *

*

A tree at dusk * * *

*

Elephant
Elephant
*

Stripes of zebra *

Giraffe
Giraffe
*

Human settlement *

Closer view of a human settlement *

Trees *

*

Elephant
Elephant
*

Lions

REFERENCES

* ^ "Dar registers "three wonders"". Daily News (Tanzania) . 20 August 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013. * ^ The official Map of Tanzania
Tanzania
with New Regions and Districts, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, 21 September 2012 * ^ "Simiyu Region". Retrieved 22 October 2016. * ^ "Dr. Oscar Baumann", Information about northern Tanzania: a personal scrapbook of "cuttings" from published sources * ^ A B C "Heartbreak on the Serengeti", National Geographic Magazine, reported by Robert M. Poole, February 2006 * ^ "Stewart Edward White", Information about northern Tanzania: a personal scrapbook of "cuttings" from published sources * ^ Tanzania
Tanzania
in figures 2012, National Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Finance, June 2013, page 12 * ^ Mduma H, Musyoki C, Maliti Kyale D, Nindi S, Hamza K, Ndetei R, Machoke M, Kimutai D, Muteti D, Maloba M, Bakari S, and Kohi E. "Aerial Total Count of Elephants and Buffaloes in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem" (PDF). WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (Formerly World Wildlife Fund), Nairobi, Kenya. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ " Serengeti
Serengeti
- Myles Turner". Retrieved 22 October 2016. * ^ "Snapshot Serengeti". Retrieved 12 December 2012. * ^ " Serengeti
Serengeti
Road Plan Offers Prospects and Fears", New York Times, reported by Jeffrey Gettleman, 30 October 2010 * ^ " Serengeti
Serengeti
Highway threatens great migration", Agence France-Presse, reported by Francois Ausseill, reprinted at StarAfrica.com, 29 October 2010 * ^ "Controversy over Serengeti
Serengeti
road plan deepens", Business Daily, reported by Paul Wafula, 7 October 2010 * ^ " Tanzania
Tanzania
loses Serengeti
Serengeti
road case", The Citizen, reported by Zephania Ubwani, 21 June 2014, accessed 23 November 2014 * ^ "Thirsty Serengeti
Serengeti
wildlife to get new water hole: Lake Victoria", Reuters, reported by Kizito Makoye, 15 September 2014, accessed 4 November 2014 * ^ " Serengeti
Serengeti
National Park Archives - Tanzania-Getaways". Retrieved 22 October 2016.

FURTHER READING

* Homewood, K. W. & Rodgers, W. A. (1991), Maasailand Ecology: Pastoralist Development and Wildlife Conservation in Ngorongoro, Tanzania, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-40002-3 . * Turner, Myles (1988), My Serengeti
Serengeti
Years: the Memoirs of an African Games Warden, New York: W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-02576-4