New parks planned to increase wildlife tourism in Tanzania
In an effort to attract more tourists from the wildlife resources, Tanzania National Parks have allocated 5 game reserves to be turned into National Parks for Tanzania Wildlife Photography Tourism.
Once classified as a full national park, Tanzania will have 21 national parks conserved with wildlife and nature under the tutelage and management of the national parks of Tanzania.
Neighboring Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo, the new parks will provide a combined destination for tourists visiting wildlife in East Africa to combine their safari routes to gorilla and landscape parks in the Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo.
The Director General of National Parks, Mr. Allan Kijazi, said that the wildlife reserves to be developed are Kibisi, Biharamulo, Burigi, Ibanda and Rumanyika, which are part of the western tourist circuit near the shores of Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria, the largest lakes in Africa.
The creation of the 5 new parks will bring a total of 60,000 square kilometers of wildlife protected parks under the tutelage and management of Tanzania’s national parks out of the current 56,000 square kilometers of existing national parks.
After the creation of new parks to add to the 16 existing national parks, Tanzania will rank as the second tourist destination in Africa to own and manage national parks after South Africa which leads with 22 tourist parks protected by the wildlife.
South Africa is the main tourist destination in Africa south of the Sahara with more than 20 national parks, followed by Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia, Gabon and Zimbabwe which are the main destinations in sub-Saharan Africa with national parks protected by wildlife and nature.
“We are now targeting parks outside the Northern Tourism Corridor for development, marketing and promotion to attract more tourists,” Kijazi said.
Currently, Tanzania has 4 tourist areas – the northern, coastal, southern and western circuits. Only the northern circuit is fully developed with key tourism facilities which attract most of the tourists visiting Tanzania every year, and enjoys high tourism income earnings.
Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro have been classified as premium parks. Gombe and Mahale Chimpanzee parks in western Tanzania are the other premium parks along with Tarangire, Arusha and Lake Manyara all located in northern Tanzania. The silver parks, or the least visited, are located in the tourist circuit of southern Tanzania and those of the western area.
The World Bank approved $ 150 million in September last year to finance tourism development in southern Tanzania. The Resilient Management of Natural Resources for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project will last 6 years.
The REGROW project aims to position the southern circuit to become an engine of growth through the development of tourism and the benefits associated with promoting the conservation of national parks and game reserves within the circuit.