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The Serengeti, specifically Serengit, is derived from the Maasai language, meaning ‘endless plains’. This long span of ecosystem is a beautiful stretch of 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) that crosses most of Northern Tanzania, dipping briefly into Southwestern Kenya. The region residing in Kenya is more often referred to as Maasai Mara.

With such varied terrain, including grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, swamps, and forests, there is much biodiversity. The Serengeti holds the largest terrestrial mammal migration known to earth. The largest lion population resides within this region; gazelles, buffalo, zebras, and wildebeests are other wildlife that can be found here, just to name a few. Most of us will automatically think, Lion King, when we think of the Serengeti, as this fictional film took inspiration from this piece of land.

Between the months of January and March, the great migrations occur as plain-fed animals make a journey from Tanzania into Kenya in order to find more grass for feed. During the first leg of the journey, they are preparing for calving season, which ultimately takes place in mid-February. They are in search of food and water for sustenance, in the lands driest, coldest months. After March, the rain begins to fall again and they are able to exist as they were before. During this time though, nearly 250,000 wildebeest will meet death from dehydration and hunger. As quoted in Disney’s homage to African, “In the circle, the circle of life….”

Africa is filled with magnificence, but The Serengeti in particular is considered one of its seven wonders.

Cultural Education on the Serengeti

Most people come to meander around in jeeps driven by natives, to see lions, zebras, gazelles, and wildebeests. Understandably so, this region of land is like none other in the entire world. All the same, there is a deep need for cultural advocacy in this part of the world, to sustain the beauty of the Serengeti and to educate people beyond the fascinating animals who reside on its land. It is imminent that travelers be just as interested in the humans of the land, as well.

As we tour around the world, we have a responsibility, an obligation to give back to a culture just as we are receiving. The Serengeti cultural tourism festival is a unique annual cultural cerebration, recognized every third week of July at Mugumu town in Western Tanzania. If you are visiting during this time, enjoy the open-air event filled with traditional dance and music. Meet with the people of tribes between what is known as Lake Zone and Serengeti National Park. This will give travelers a chance to supplement their game-observing safari with experience of African tradition, dance, history, culture and art.

For more information or to give a small donation of appreciation, visit them online.

Interesting facts

  • The Serengeti National Park eco-system is the oldest on earth. It boasts a biodiversity that is unavailable anywhere else on the globe, including 500 dif bird species.
  • Incredibly, people have resided on this piece of land for over 2 million years according to famous East African archaeologist, Dr. Leakey, who found evidence through remains.
  • The Serengeti National Park fee per car is only $30 per day; it is an absolute steal for the wonder you will observe!

Good to know

Travelers from 14 specific countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Switzerland, Japan, and Ghana do not require visas for admission.

To check and see if your country is on the list and for further details about how to apply for a visa. visit here.

Culture and History of the Serengeti

The Maasai people gave to the land. They were known as tenacious warriors, who live alongside most wild animals with an aversion to eating game and birds, surviving exclusively on their cattle. The Maasai people were nearly never bothered by many explorers and visitors as their fierce culture and tribal knowledge made them quite intimidating to those who were undereducated by the landmass, experiencing most of these conditions for the very first time

As the earth became dry, a drought was responsible for wiping out many animals and Massai people. From this point, The Serengeti was subsidized to a poaching ground, for hunting game, specifically big cats. Brought by glutenous European explorers back in the 1800s, many African natives felt disappointed by the current state of Serengeti. Because of the mishandling of freedom, the government had to acquire new laws and regulations in the 1900s.

Now, The Serengeti is starting to see industrialization through rabies vaccination. This has unexpectedly saved many people from a preventable; it is also helping to sustain the Wild African Dog population. Although it is still considered a land untouched and untamed by humans, the Tanzanian government is finding ways to make it a more approachable place, for locals and travelers alike.

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