Safaris are a major tourist attraction, usually undertaken by organised firms. Entrance to the
national parks is regulated
and requires payment - a major source of revenue for the Tanzanian economy.
is a huge volcanic caldera visited by most of the animals of the African plains with the
notable exception of giraffes who find its steep slopes impracticable. An access and separate exit routes
allow visitors to spend the day on the crater floor in their vehicles. On the rim of the crater is a
memorial to the Grzimeks, a German father and son who pioneered much conservation work in the area.
The vast Serengeti plains see an annual migration of huge herds of grazing animals following the best grasslands based on the cycle of rains. Ongoing conservation and management work is explained at some of the isolated information / picnic areas scattered across the plains. Specially adapted vehicles with roofs that raise allow you to view and photograph animals at very close range ( video). One golden rule is never to leave the vehicle on the open road - drivers and rangers do not carry guns. At lodges night time safaris allow a chance to see nocturnal animals and are offered as an extra.
The plains are the ancestral homes of the Maasai . Excluded from living within the park boundaries these proud, elegant people still farm the nearby lands and live in hut villages reminiscent from the air of Dartmoor hut compounds. Understandably they exploit the opportunities of tourist income by organised visits to their villages ( we did not do this ) and sales of their art. To see the photos click here.