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National Travel and Tourism Week - The Serengeti

Monday, May 01, 2017 7:24 PM | James Morgan

Established by congress in 1983, the National Travel and Tourism week aims to celebrate tourism within the United States. During this week, companies across the world conduct business with the united states, generating deals worth more than $4.7 billion with the United States. Of course, these countries host travel opportunities of their own, and Tanzania is no exception. Over the course of this week, we will highlight a variety of noteworthy and fun travel destinations found across Tanzania, starting today with the Serengeti.

Photo Credit: Madeline Gerlach

If you ever happen to be in Tanzania without any plans, the Serengeti always promises excitement and adventure. Located primarily in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti is one of the most diverse, well known, and amazing ecosystems on the planet, covering roughly 12,000 sq. miles. Home to an enormous variety of animal life, the Serengeti has been named one of the 10 Natural Wonders of the World for its unique and breathtaking ecosystem. [1] Seeing the Serengeti is an unforgettable experience for many reasons, and will always be a destination worth visiting.

The Serengeti is perhaps most well-known for its Great Migration. Every January, this annual cycle begins with over 2 million animals, including zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles starting their journey in the southern Serengeti. Following the availability of food, these animals make their way around the Serengeti, moving along the border in a clockwise position, with the annual migration beginning in the southern portion in February. The sheer number of animals involved makes it the largest land migration on the planet, meaning that no matter when you observe this event, you will be sure to observe the incredible power of nature. Along with the animals of the Great Migration, the Serengeti is home to a wide variety of animals, including predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas alongside grazers such as gazelles, giraffes, and buffalo.

Photo Credit: Steph Walczak

The environment as well never fails to change, with large portions of the Serengeti being virtually unrecognizable from the next. Rather than just a flat landscape, altitudes in the Serengeti range from 3,000 feet to 6,070 feet above sea level [2], meaning that rock formations and large hills stand out in the horizon behind its open, grass filled plains. Along the southeastern and southwestern borders lie shrubbed forests, offering refuge for life not found elsewhere in the Serengeti. Perhaps the most notable feature among the landscape is the Ol Doinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in the region. The Ol Doinyo Lengai remains the only volcano that ejects a carbonatite lava, which turns white when exposed to the air. All in all, the Serengeti is not one giant, flat grassland, but a diverse and varied landscape offering much to explore.

So why should you visit the Serengeti? Its wildlife is so abundant and grand that it is the only location on Earth where you can a migration of its size. Depending on the amount of time you spend there, you are likely to see a large variety of animals, from the famous lions and elephants to lesser known elands and dik-diks. In your travels, you will encounter an ever-changing landscape, meaning every memory and photograph is unique. Should you get a chance, the Maasai Tribe, likely the most well-known inhabitants of the Serengeti, offer a culture that is sure to be an eye opener, whether it's a traditional song and dance or their generous hospitality. Should you get the opportunity, the Serengeti will offer an experience unlike anywhere else found on Earth. 




Brighter Tanzania Foundation is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization. Donations may be tax-deductible.

Phone: (608) 886-9160

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