Although Tanzania is famous for its exotic wildlife and pristine beaches, it does have its own fair share of historical sites. One such location, Fort Ikoma – a remnant from Tanzania’s colonial era – is located in a small settlement called Ikoma, in the district of Serengeti.
History of Fort Ikoma
The Germans built Fort Ikoma in 1905 to defend themselves against the rebellious tribe of Ikoma. During the first World War, they used the fort as a heliograph station and warned the forces of any British incursion across the region. Afterward, the fort remained desolated, as it was no longer in use by the Germans and it reminded the Tanzanians of their colonial past. After its independence, Tanzania changed the fort into a tourist resort in order to boost the country’s tourism industry.
Why visit Fort Ikoma?
Fort Ikoma is one of those few historical sites in Tanzania which have a foreign architectural design. Those in awe of its old-age beauty can now visit and live a few nights in the fort!
The fort was built a mile away from the Grumeti River, on top of a series of low hills in the Serengeti region. The Germans chose this unique location for its tactical benefits over the enemy, but now, it helps the visitors enjoy iconic landscapes!
Proximity to Serengeti National Park
Fort Ikoma is located approximately 22 kilometers away from the Ikoma Gate of Serengeti National Park. The town is the largest settlement near the headquarters of the park, and thus a useful lodging spot if you wish to tour the National Park.
Moreover, in 2017, the German government decided to help build useful office and residential buildings inside the fort for the staff of Serengeti National Park.
Sight-Seeing and Game Drives
The Serengeti district boasts an extremely rich flora and fauna. This means that any visitors to Fort Ikoma can expect to see wild animals in proximity.
In fact, you can even go on a game drive near the Fort! Wildebeests are commonly sighted during the Great Migration and if you’re lucky, you might get to see a few lions as well!
After all, the Great Serengeti Migration includes the area of Fort Ikoma and at the end of August, you can sight many antelopes and zebras near the fort!
Bernard Grzimek describes Fort Ikoma in his documentary “Serengeti Shall Not Die”. The documentary won an Academy Award and is one of the main factors that led to the development of Serengeti National Park.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit the wonderful Fort Ikoma and see for yourself what it has to offer! The beauty and magnificence of the fort itself will pull you in!
While you’re there, you might also want to Explore Tanzania with Flightlink!