|Zebras in the Serengheti (Camp 2012)|
Since the 1960s, International support for the park has stabilized animal populations, and, by 1989 a worldwide ban on ivory sales went into effect. But, according to the National Park official website, 40,000 animals are killed by local poachers every year -- for their meat.
|Giraffes in the Serengheti (Camp 2012)|
While the people we met during our stay in Tanzania were hard working and beautifully optimistic about the future, this African country is among the poorest in all of Africa. Some 75% of her people make their living in rural areas. Drought has cripped both crop productivity and slowed the spread of electricity (Wikipedia points out that 60% of Tanzania's electricity comes from hydro-electric sources). Their economy remains vulnerable and thus affects the Serengheti National Park as well.
I learned that "safari" means journey in Swahili. Some in our group came to Tanzania to see the animals. But we all came away, transformed by the people we met and their love for their country, and with a better understanding of the issues facing this beautiful African country.
|Lion at the Serengheti (Wikipedia)|
For more information about Serengheti National Park: http://serengeti.org/index_discover.html or at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serengeti_National_Park and on Tanzania itself, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania#Economy