Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti – National Park is an infinitely flat Geibiet that is in the northwest of Tanzania. It covers an area of 14764 km² (almost the size of Schleswig Holstein), making it the largest national park in Tanzania and one of the largest in the world. It was opened in 1951. The Serengeti was declared a wildlife sanctuary as early as 1937.
The name Serengeti comes from the Masai language. It is derived from the Masai word “siringet”, which translated means endless plane. On average, the National Park is located at an altitude of around 1300 m. Various landscape zones alternate in the national park from: Bush savannahs, tree savannas with acacias, grass savannas in the south, central part and northwest, gallery forest on the rivers, volcanic highlands in the southeast and east (Fig. 4).
In 1981 the Serengeti was declared a World Heritage Site and an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
In parts of the national park there are island mountains (“Kopjes”). They are fissured rock formations made of gneiss, granite or quartzite and overgrown with bushes and small trees (Fig. 5). Here are habitats for special plants and animals (e.g. hyrax, lions).
The abundance of animals made the Serengeti known worldwide. The animal population is estimated to be around 4 million. Large mammals such as wildebeest, giraffes, antelopes, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are particularly abundant.
Every year, in regular alternation between the rainy season (November to May) and the dry season (June to October), the fascinating natural spectacle – the great migration of animals (“migration”) takes place (Fig. 6).
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is located on the western edge of the East African Rift (Rift Valley; Fig. 10).
It is one of the smallest protected areas in Tanzania and covers 330 km², of which about two thirds are accounted for by Lake Manyara itself. Its area forms a narrow corridor between the break of the East African Rift and Lake Manyara (6 to 8 km wide, 42 km long). Lake Manyara is 960 meters above sea level. This national park was opened in 1960. Access is mainly from the village of Mto wa Mbu (“Mosquito Harbor”).
Various forms of vegetation such as lush groundwater forest (the water that seeps away on the crater highlands emerges again on the ditch slope), dry acacia forest (80% umbrella acacia), thorn bush savannah, grass savannah and the boggy, reed-rich bank zone at the lake exist in the park.
There is a rich bird life on the alkaline (basic) lake and on its shallow shores (pink and red chalk pelicans, flamingos). Nile monitors can be observed on the rivers that arise at the 700 m sloping rift valley.
Diverse animal world with a large elephant population, hippos (Fig. 11), impalas, waterbucks, leopards and “tree lions”, lions sitting on trees that are alien to their species and escape the hot daytime ground, is available.
There are legendary, centuries-old baobab trees (baobab trees) at the end of the moat and there are hot sulfur springs at its foot in the south.
Tarangire National Park
The Tarangire National Park is located southwest of the city of Arusha and covers an area of approx. 2600 km². It was named after the Tarangire River, which has abundant water all year round and which turns parts of the national park into swampy wetlands during the rainy season. Different landscapes alternate with each other, e.g. B. Grass savannah and bush savannah with isolated island mountains (“Kopjes”) and black earthy grass and swamp areas. The latter consist of fine black volcanic soil and form the large wetlands in the rainy season. The average altitude of the park is 1200 m.
As early as 1957, the area around the Tarangire River was declared a game reserve by the Tanzanian government. In 1970 the Tarangire National Park was founded and opened in 1971.
In the northern hilly zone of the national park, the characteristic features of this open grass savannah landscape are the huge, often several hundred year old baobabs (called baobabs in Africa). These mighty deciduous trees, which begin to bloom bare and bare after the first rain and only then develop their leaves, grow here almost as a forest (Fig. 12).
In the dry season, this national park is rich in wildlife. Most of the animals, around 75%, only use the park as a short rest stop on their annual hike in the surrounding savannas. This applies in particular to large migrating animals such as steppe zebras, Cape buffalo, whitebeard wildebeest, antelopes and elephants.
With the beginning of the rainy season, the native, that is, locally loyal animals remain behind, e.g. B. warthogs, waterbuck, impalas (a graceful species of antelope, Fig. 13), giraffes and gazelles.