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The Splendour of The Serengeti

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The light bronze colored sky, burnt by the setting sun; the sudden clapping of wings as the birds take off in the distance; the silhouette of the magnificent elephant and her calf, slowly moving across the savanna nudging her offspring on gently with her trunk. The reflection in the watering whole is captivating. Two golden orbs seem to float in mid air as the sun slowly sinks over the horizon. Tranquility, as the Serengeti starts its daily adjustment at dusk.

A place best known for its wild life sanctuary, natural unequaled beauty and holder of one of the seven wonders of the world; the wildebeest migration. Known as the great annual migration, millions of wildebeest (gnu) and hundreds of thousands of zebra, and other antelope gather up their young ones and start their long march from the Ngorongoro area of the southern Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. The lure of greener pastures and water at the Mara is the core of this world spectacle. The journey runs in a clockwise circle, with a stampede of the wild trekking to a distance of about 2880 kilometres at its best. The animals roam, pushing one another ever forward in a rotation and along the way encountering diseases, friends and foes alike. The journey is as tough as it can get, especially during the crossing of the Mara River (Kenya) and Grumeti River (Tanzania), where the beasts of the underwater; crocodiles, lie in waiting for the clumsy and frail ungulates that can’t cope with the strong water currents. The Serengeti is a sight to behold. Meaning ‘endless plains’ in the Maasai language of Maa, this northwestern region of Tanzania that extends to south western Kenya, encompasses the Ngorongoro Conservation area, The Maswa Game reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve in Kenya. Serengeti has come to symbolize paradise to many. It is little wonder thousands of tourists throng the sanctuary year in, year out. Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the 30,000 km² region. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The short grass plains that stretch over for miles under the arc of the African sky, houses a number of ecosystems and several habitats. Approximately 70 larger mammal and some 500 avifauna species are found there. The tactful lion, encroaching upon its unsuspecting prey, the solitary leopard, under the spell of its afternoon siesta from the heights of the acacia tree, the herd of gazelle elegantly prancing across the plains and the patient crocodile down by the Seronera river awaiting the next thirsty herbivore.  Visitors not only come here for its aesthetic value but also for high scientific prospects for research. It is through research that holistic policies have been implemented on how to conserve this precious region. But with more people living closer to protected areas, conflict between wildlife and people are increasingly becoming unavoidable, hence the Serengeti and other national parks in the East African region are loosing their scenic beauty.

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