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Serengeti – Toward an Uncertain Future

August 20, 2013

‘Serengeti Shall Not Die’ – half a century after the making of the Oscar-winning documentary, the subject is more relevant than ever: climate change, poaching, and population growth are threatening this animal paradise.


"Serengeti Shall Not Die" is more than just the title of Bernhard Grzimek's Oscar-winning documentary. A half century ago the animal researcher had already recognized the threat people pose to Africa's wildlife. Grzimek saw that as the human population grew, the more difficult it would be to maintain harmony between man and nature.

Today the film title has become the maxim of the park for Grzimek's successors. The Africa team of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) has made preservation of the Serengeti a priority. Nowadays the ecosystem in northern Tanzania is among the best protected national parks in the world. But the threat is far from over. The wilderness is feeling the impact of the modern world. More and more humans are encroaching on its borders: indigenous peoples seeking a livelihood, poachers in search of fast money or tourists looking for a thrill. The latter in particular are both a curse and a blessing, because without tourism the Serengeti could really die. The park is financed largely through visitor admission fees. Each year, an additional one million euros from Frankfurt goes towards protecting the Serengeti. This funding enables Tanzania's national park authorities to do their work.

08.2013 DW Global Ideas Serengeti Welt mit Logo

Author: Inga Sieg
Camera & Photography: Axel Warnstedt
Sound: Moritz Polomski
Editing: Klaudia Begić