Snapshot Safari

This interactive timeline takes you through the history of many different sites across Africa that are now part of the online citizen science project Snapshot Safari.

Snapshot Safari is an online project that asks for help from citizen scientists in identifying African wildlife caught on camera. Snapshot Safari is run by the University of Minnesota Lion Center and brings together camera trap data from many different sites across Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Swaziland, and South Africa. The data classified through Snapshot Safari can be used for scientific research, educational material, and conservation initiatives alike. This timeline provides information about the establishment and history of the sites currently housed under Snapshot Safari. ;xNLx;;xNLx;How to use this timeline:;xNLx;Buttons in the bottom left and right corners allow you to customize how you view this timeline. The 2D/3D button on the left allows you to switch between different views of the timeline. The tool button on the right allows you to filter by categories (each site has its own category!), search for specific keywords, and zoom in or out. The colored dots at the bottom of the timeline indicate individual points. To move along the timeline, you can either click on these dots to move between points or drag the gray box to the left and right. You can also scroll up and down in the 3D view.;xNLx;;xNLx;Credits:;xNLx;This timeline was developed and written by Jessica Dewey, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, with the help of many of the undergraduates that work in the UMN Lion Center.;xNLx;;xNLx;All photos contained in this timeline were either created by the UMN Lion Center or were collected from the camera traps spread across Africa.;xNLx;;xNLx;Reference list: https://z.umn.edu/TimelineReferences

1892-01-01 00:00:00

Europeans begin to expand into the Serengeti

The first European, Austrian Oscar Baumann, came to the Serengeti in 1892 while the native people were in peril. This began the process of Europe and America exerting their influence in the area, which culminated in the expulsion of the native Maasai people from the park in 1959.

1898-01-01 11:36:40

Debshan Ranch is purchased

Debshan Ranch was formed over 100 years ago and has been owned by the Oppenheimer family for generations. Although it was traditionally used for cattle ranching, the property has since grown as a home for domestic and wild species alike.

1926-01-01 11:36:40

Kruger Park Proclamation

In 1926, over 70 farms and reserves were merged to form Kruger, South Africa’s first national park.

1937-01-01 11:36:40

Moutain Zebra National Park founded

In 1937, the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra was nearly extinct, so this park was established and designated as a conservation area.

1951-01-01 00:00:00

Serengeti National Park established

Although it had been a protected area for thirty years prior, the Serengeti wasn’t classified as a true national park until 1951, becoming Tanzania’s first national park.

1954-01-01 00:00:00

Niassa Game Reserve established

Although the park was founded in 1954 while Mozambique was called Portugese East Africa, it didn’t receive effective governmental protection until after the Mozambican civil war with the Rome General Peace Accords of 1992.

1956-01-01 02:53:03

The Timbavati Game Reserve is established

The Timbavati Game Reserve was established by a group of landowners who wanted to reclaim the land for conservation purposes.

1957-01-01 05:51:18

De Hoop Nature Reserve established

This reserve covers about 130 square miles and is part of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

1959-01-01 11:36:40

Defining Kruger's boundaries

In 1959, work began to fence Kruger’s boundaries, a massive effort that took a decade to complete. The fences not only served to keep game safely within the confines of the park, but it also helped in keeping hunters, poachers, and developers out.

1963-01-01 06:38:26

The first portion of the Golden Gate Highlands is established as a national park

The first part of the park that was established covered almost 12,000 acres of land in Free State, South Africa.

1964-01-01 00:00:00

Ruaha National Park is officially established

Starting in 1910, the area that is now Ruaha National Park was considered a game reserve until 1964, when part of the reserve was excised and became what we now know as Ruaha National Park.

1972-01-01 02:53:03

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is established

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is one of the largest privately owned reserves in South Africa.

1976-01-01 00:00:00

Mbuluzi is established as a Game Reserve in Swaziland

This reserve covers 3,000 hectares of land, and borders the Lubombo mountains, Hlane Royal Park, the Mlawula Nature Reserve, and the Northern section of Swaziland’s sugar belt. Additionally, the Mlawula and Mbuluzi Rivers run through the reserve, creating even more habits for diverse species. Currently, the reserve is privately owned, and operates as a share block development

1978-01-01 18:02:58

Mlawula is established as a Nature Reserve in Swaziland

Mlawula Nature Reserve was originally established as protected area in 1914, but was disbanded shortly after and divided into cattle ranches. Many years later, in 1978, the first section of the Mlawula area was reclaimed for conservation efforts, and was named the Ndzindza Nature Reserve. The rest of the initial area was also reclaimed shortly after, and is now controlled and maintained by the Swaziland National Trust Commission.

1979-01-01 11:36:40

Pilanesberg Game Reserve is established

In 1979, Pilanesberg Game Reserve was established to ensure the protection and conservation of indigenous populations of animals.

1979-01-01 11:36:40

Karoo National Park is founded

The South African National Parks (SANParks) established Karoo National Park in 1979 in order to preserve a portion of South Africa’s largest ecosystem, the Karoo proper, and its species.

1979-02-01 11:36:40

Operation Genesis

Operation Genesis was a concerted effort to re-introduce populations of species that had historically inhabited the area of Pilanesberg.

1980-01-01 06:38:26

The Venetia farm was purchased and converted to a reserve

De Beers Diamond Mining Company found kimberlite pipes on the Venetia farm and proceeded to purchase the land, along with nearby land, for mining.

1981-01-01 00:00:00

Serengeti National Park named as a UNESCO world heritage site

Serengeti National Park was among the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites created due to its biodiversity and ecological importance.

1981-01-01 06:38:26

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park expands

Over nearly 30 years, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park has expanded multiple times and currently covers 84,000 acres of land.

1987-01-01 06:38:26

The Molopo Nature Reserve is established

The Molopo Reserve covers 24,000 hectares of land in the Kalahari grassland and thornveld areas of South Africa along the border of Botswana.

1988-01-01 00:03:41

Umbabat, Timbavati, and Klaserie Game Reserves take down their fences

Neighboring Umbabat, Timbavati and Klaserie Game Reserves (all part of APNR) dropped their fences in order to encourage the natural migration of species.

1989-01-01 06:38:26

The Venetia Reserve is expanded into Limpopo

Julian Ogilvie-Thompson and Mark Berry visited the prospecting camp at Venetia and proposed extending the reserve in order to reestablish the Dongola Wildlife Sanctuary

1990-02-14 14:43:48

Balule Private Game Reserve is established

Balule Private Game Reserve was created when a few enterprising farm owners decided to drop the game fences between their farms.

1991-01-01 23:23:44

Madikwe Game Reserve announced to the public

The land where Madikwe Game Reserve now stands used to be used for farming. However, due to the poor soil type, the South African government decided to convert it to a national park in order to help the area economically.

1992-01-01 23:23:44

Wildlife reintroduction process started in Madikwe

In total, more than 10,000 mammals were relocated from other national parks.

1993-01-01 00:03:41

APNR drops its fences with Kruger National Park

The Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) dropped its fences with Kruger National Park in order to encourage the natural migration of species.

1993-01-01 11:36:40

Reintroduction of black rhinos

Black rhinos, once native to Karoo National Park and its ecosystem, were reintroduced in 1993 in an effort to conserve the endangered species.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Grumeti Reserve established

The Grumeti Reserve was established in 1994 by the Tanzanian government with the purpose of protecting the path of the annual wildebeest migration through Tanzania as well as protecting the remaining biodiversity of Grumeti’s ecosystem.

1994-10-01 00:00:00

Canine distemper outbreak

In 1994, an outbreak of canine distemper virus killed about thirty percent of the lions living in the Serengeti.

1995-01-01 11:36:40

The elephants return!

Once Debshan began a concerted effort to protect and manage their species, animals that had been missing from the area slowly returned. Amongst other species, the ranch was particularly excited to see elephants arrive in the region after decades away.

1998-01-01 06:38:26

The Oppenheimer family takes responsibility of the Tswalu reserve

The Tswalu reserve was originally established by Stephen Boler, who dreamed of restoring the land to its former glory before being farmed.

1998-01-01 11:36:40

Mountain Zebra National Park is expanded

Throughout the 1990s, funds were raised through public and private donations to allow the park to buy local surrounding farmlands and expand the protected area of MZNP.

1998-02-01 11:36:40

The Save the Elephants Project deploys their first four collars

Save the Elephants-South Africa put the first four GPS tracking collars on elephants in APNR in an effort to study elephant distribution and density within the reserves.

1999-04-01 18:02:58

Lubombo Conservancy is established in the north-eastern part of Swaziland

The Lubombo Conservancy is a collection of reserves, totalling over 60,000 hectares of land, that overall focus on the long-term conservation of Swaziland’s ecosystems. It is currently the most extensive and historical conservation area within the Kingdom of Swaziland.

2000-01-01 06:38:26

The Venetia Limpopo Wild Dog Project

A small population of African wild dogs were brought into the reserve and fitted with radio collars as part of the Carnivore Conservation Group project.

2000-01-01 11:36:40

Collaborating with neighbors

Following the abolishment of apartheid in the early 1990s, Kruger National Park sought to similarly transition alongside the new South Africa. Over the following decade, in a series of increasingly-significant steps, Kruger National Park worked to unite with neighboring parks through management collaboration and land integration.

2000-05-12 09:27:28

Southern Africa’s first ‘peace park’ is established

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park extends into both South Africa and Botswana and was established through agreements between the two countries.

2002-01-01 00:00:00

Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund created

In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund was established by American philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones in order to raise funds for wildlife conservation and community development in the area.

2002-10-01 09:27:28

The !Xaus Lodge is established

The governments of South Africa and Botswana agreed to set aside a portion of the land in the Transfrontier Park for the native Khomani San and Mier communities.

2003-01-01 07:31:39

Niassa Lion Project established

The Niassa Lion Project was created by Dr. Colleen and Keith Begg with particular goals of increasing the protection of animals in Niassa national reserve and engaging the local community in education and conservation efforts. Efforts are focused primarily on conservation of lions and other large carnivores, such as leopards and spotted hyenas.

2004-01-01 06:38:26

The land now known as Gondwana is purchased

Gondwana is located near Mossel Bay and was purchased by Mark and Wendy Rutherford.

2004-01-01 18:02:58

All Out Africa

All Out Africa was created in early 2004, and has grown to be one of Africa’s leading volunteer and responsible travel organizations.

2005-10-30 06:38:26

Camdeboo is proclaimed as South Africa’s 22nd National Park

Camdeboo is located in the Karoo area of South Africa and is managed by South African National Parks (SANParks).

2007-01-01 11:36:40

Reintroduction of large predators begins

As part of the conservation effort in MZNP, cheetah, brown hyenas, and lions were reintroduced to the park, sourced from neighboring national parks.

2007-12-18 06:38:26

Elephants for Africa is registered as a charity

EFA is a UK charity and registered NGO in Botswana that focuses on conducting research on male African savannah elephants.

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Usangu Wildlife Management Area added to Ruaha

The Usangu Game Reserve was added to Ruaha National Park in 2008, increasing its size to 20,226 square kilometers and making it the largest national park in Tanzania and the second largest national park in Africa.

2008-01-01 06:38:26

Gondwana opens to the public

The first guests were allowed into the Gondwana game reserve in 2008, marking the beginning of a successful ecotourism business.

2009-01-01 06:38:26

Wildlife translocation begins

Over 20 different species were introduced to the Gondwana game reserve in order to increase the biodiversity of the Fynbos biome in which Gondwana is located.

2009-01-01 11:36:40

The Enonkishu Conservancy is formed

Located on the northern boundary of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem of Kenya and Tanzania, The Enonkishu Conservancy was first created in 2009 in partnership with Maasai community members.

Snapshot Safari

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