Conservation Of Serengeti National Park “So that the great-grandchildren of our children may enjoy this rich and priceless inheritance.” You are supporting Tanzania’s extraordinary investment in the future by deciding to visit the Serengeti. Tourism generates significant income that is used to fund wildlife research, education initiatives, and the maintenance of Tanzania’s national parks, as well as their conservation efforts.
FOUNDATION OF SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Tanzania’s main national park, Serengeti National Park, was established in 1951. Ten years later, the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, the first president of the Republic of Tanzania, declared:
“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa… By agreeing to be the wildlife’s trustees, we solemnly promise to do everything in our power to preserve this priceless inheritance for the grandchildren of our children”- First President of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985: Julius Nyerere
Thereby creating the framework for conservation in Tanzania after independence. 22 national parks totaling more than 60,000 square kilometers had been established in Tanzania as of 2023. Many of these parks serve as the hub of a much larger, protected ecosystem. Tourism aids in raising awareness of conservation issues on a global scale, and visitors’ physical presence can help deter illegal poaching, aiding park rangers in managing game.
THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM: A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The Serengeti ecosystem, which is twice as large and includes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, several smaller Tanzanian wildlife reserves, and the Masai Mara National Reserve in neighboring Kenya, is centered on the 14,750 km2 Serengeti National Park. Over six million hooves pound the open plains during this renowned natural landscape’s largest unaltered animal migration, where tens of thousands of zebras and gazelles join the wildebeest on a 1,000-kilometer annual circular trek for new grazing. The ‘endless plains’, 25,000 km2 of spectacularly flat, short grasslands punctuated by rocky outcrops known as ‘kopjes,’ rivers, and woodlands, provide a unique scenic backdrop for this spectacular phenomenon.
Additionally, the park features one of the largest and most varied predator-prey interactions in the world, making for an especially striking aesthetic experience. In addition, the park has a very high level of biological diversity, including at least four species of animals that are either globally threatened or endangered, including the black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah. It is understandable why the Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was just named one of Africa Geographic’s “7 Natural Wonders of Africa.”
ADMINISTRATION: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS
Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) is responsible for managing and overseeing the Serengeti National Park as well as all other parks and protected areas in Tanzania. TANAPA was established by the government, but they do not receive any subsidies and must pay corporation tax. The parks must generate enough revenue from admission fees and other sources to cover their costs. It invests all of its earnings back into the business. TANAPA collaborates closely with non-governmental organizations in the Serengeti National Park, including the Serengeti Conservation Project.
The main duty of TANAPA is conservation. They are dedicated to protecting Tanzania’s rich natural heritage and offering safe breeding grounds for its fauna and flora to flourish, restoring the balance in those regions of the country affected by deforestation, agriculture, and urbanization. They focus on the following things:
In order to prevent irreparable harm to the environment and develop a world-class ecotourism destination, TANAPA is dedicated to low-impact, sustainable tourism. All human development is strictly controlled and closely regulated. Waste disposal must be carefully regulated, and buildings in parks must be unobtrusive. To minimize human impact on the environment and to prevent animal harassment, park visitors and amenities are dispersed widely. More than 7,000 square kilometers, or nearly half of Tanzania’s largest park, the Serengeti, are still undeveloped wilderness areas.
The local communities are being actively engaged by TANAPA in the care of their valuable habitat. Numerous locals are employed by lodges, tour companies, and TANAPA in the parks, especially in the fight against poachers. The development of cultural tourism initiatives by the villagers is also encouraged so that they can maximize their own financial gains from park visitors.
Additionally, TANAPA works with communities to promote cultural and wildlife conservation as well as sustainable environmental management lessons, tree planting assistance, nursery establishment, and tree planting. Last but not least, a portion of park revenue is used to fund community development projects like roads, schools, health clinics, and water systems.
The future ahead
An important aspect of TANAPA’s dedication to the future is its support for research initiatives. There are still new species of butterflies, birds, beetles, and plants being discovered by scientists working in Tanzania’s parks. The distribution and population of animals are regularly surveyed, as are the quality of the water, disease outbreaks, and the spread of exotic species.
TANAPA is leading the charge in educating the populace by offering study materials, teacher training for schools, and conservation videos in Swahili in villages. Additionally, in order to emphasize the value of protecting these habitats, schools and community organizations are given free access to the parks.
Additionally, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) is currently acquiring additional land to expand some parks and give traditional migration routes that connect protected areas more respectability. Tanzania has given more than one-third of its territory some type of formal protection, including other reserves, conservation areas, and marine parks.