The Serengeti is the 7the Natural Wonder of Africa. It was 1913 and great stretches of Africa were still unknown to the white man when Stewart Edward White, an American hunter, set out from Nairobi. Pushing south, he recorded: “We walked for miles over burnt out country… Then I saw the green trees of the river, walked two miles more and found myself in paradise.”
Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the 30,000 km² region. It’s unique ecosystem has inspired writers from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Mattheissen, filmmakers like Hugo von Lawick and Alan Root as well as numerous photographers and scientists – many of which have put their works at our disposal to see, enjoy and appreciate.
The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
It is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over six million hooves pound the legendary Serengeti’s endless plains in search of fresh pasture and water. Triggered by the seasonal rains, more than 1.5 million wildebeest and about 600,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.