Serengeti National Park is arguably the most famous game park in Africa. The name Serengeti is virtually synonymous with mind-boggingly immense herds of animals migrating across the African plains. The first national park established in Tanzania, it is that country’s number one tourist draw. Serengeti is contiguous with Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and together these are by far the most visited game parks in East Africa.
The Serengeti plains were largely dominated by the Maasai people before Europeans showed up in the late 19th century. British explorers arrived in 1913, and within a decade had hunted out many of the area’s lions. In the 1920s the colonial government established part of the area as a game reserve in order to protect the lions and other rare animals. The area became a poster child for ecological conservation after its appearance in the environmental film Serengeti Shall Not Die. It became a full-fledged national park in 1951 and has been greatly expanded in the decades since.
Serengeti is one of the great game reserves of the African continent. The Big Five are all here, including large numbers of Lions, Leopards and African Buffalo, the latter a rarity in other parts of Africa. By far the big draw here is the massive herd migrations which take place during the summer and November. These routinely count over a quarter of a million Zebra and a staggering one and a half million Wildebeest, not to mention the huge numbers of Nile Crocodile that hunt them.
Serengeti National Park occupies nearly 15,000 square km along the northern border of Tanzania just east of Lake Victoria, 350 miles northwest of Dar es Salaam. It is adjacent to Maasai Mara across the border in Kenya, to which it is connected by road. Serengeti National Park is open year round. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.serengeti.org (official website).