People of Serengeti - A Diversity of Cultures

The Serengeti is home to a diversity of cultures. One way to see this diversity is to look at the different languages spoken today in the human ecosystem. There are four major language groups: Bantu, Nilotic, Cushitic and Khoisan. Within each language group there are a number of different people. Many of this peoples have articles that are particular to their ethnic group.

At school

© Frommann
Serengeti's cultures mix and change
Thousands of years ago the Serengeti was occupied by small groups of foragers much like some of the present day Hadzabe people who live on the southern edge of the ecosystem. Peoples speaking Nilotic and Cushitic languages gradually moved into the area from the north, bringing livestock and crops like millet. These early residents used stone bowls to grind seed and grains.

Bantu cultivators who lived around Lake Victoria basin, gradually spread into parts of the ecosystem with good rainfall and soil. In response to this pressure, the foragers moved south. In the last two hundred years, the pastoral Maasai moved in and occupied the grasslands, avoiding the wooded areas with biting tse tse flies.

Cooperation is the key
The future of the ecosystem lies in the hands of the present inhabitants. Cooperation between the Park's managers and its neighbours is essential if both are to survive and prosper.

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