Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa, spanning northern Tanzania. The protected area within the region includes approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) of land, including the Serengeti National Park and several game reserves. The Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.
The Serengeti is also renowned for its large lion population and is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. Approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found there. This high diversity is a function of diverse habitats, including Riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands. Blue wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, and buffaloes are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.
The Serengeti also contains the Serengeti District of Tanzania. There has been controversy about a proposal to build a road through the Serengeti.
The name “Serengeti” is often said to be derived from the word “seringit” in the Maasai language, Maa, meaning “endless plains”. However, this etymology does not appear in Maa dictionaries.
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.
The Maasai speak the Maa language a Nilotic language family that is related to the Dinka, Kalenjin and Nuer languages. Except for some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 1,189,522 in Kenya in the 2019 census, compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census.
The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the people have continued their age-old customs. Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their villages to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle, in return for a fee.
Starting with a 1904 treaty, and followed by another in 1911, Maasai lands in Kenya were reduced by 60% when the British evicted them to make room for settler ranches, subsequently confining them to present-day Samburu, Laikipia, Kajiado and Narok districts.
Maasai in Tanganyika (now mainland Tanzania) were displaced from the fertile lands between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, and most of the fertile highlands near Ngorongoro in the 1940s. More land was taken to create wildlife reserves and national parks: Amboseli National Park, Nairobi National Park, Maasai Mara, Samburu National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park and Tsavo in Kenya; and Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Maasai are pastoralist and have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. They have demanded grazing rights to many of the national parks in both countries.
The Maasai people stood against slavery and never condoned traffic of human beings; and outsiders looking for people to enslave avoided the Maasai. They lived alongside most wild animals with an aversion to eating game and birds. Maasai land now has East Africa’s finest game areas.
Essentially there are twenty-two geographic sectors or sub tribes of the Maasai community, each one having its own customs, appearance, leadership and dialects. These subdivisions are known as ‘nations’ or ‘iloshon’ in the Maa language: the Keekonyokie, Damat, Purko, Wuasinkishu, Siria, Laitayiok, Loitai, Kisonko, Matapato, Dalalekutuk, Loodokolani, Kaputiei, Moitanik, Ilkirasha, Samburu, Lchamus, Laikipia, Loitokitoki, Larusa, Salei, Sirinket and Parakuyo.
Serengeti has got various eco systems that are so vital to visit while in this park and habituate a number of wildlife.
The Grumeti Game Reserve is found in Tanzania. It was established in 1993. This site is 411 km2. On the northwestern border of the famous Serengeti National Park, there is the Grumeti Game Reserve: a migration corridor for herds of animals that naturally pass through the area. This is where it is easy to see the movement of huge herds of wildebeest and zebra and this describes the Serengeti/Mara ecology itself.
From this game reserve there is so many wildlife safari lodges and camps and game drive in this sector is so amazing and rewarding.
Seronera is a small settlement in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. It is home to a small airstrip.
The Ndutu area forms the northwestern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation area, which covers an area of just over 8,000 km² and includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge, forests, mountains and the vast plains of Ndutu stretching unfenced to Serengeti.