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MTO WA MBU CULTURAL TOURISM PROGRAMMME

TANAPA

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Tanzania is one of the unique destinations on the African continent that has yet to be discovered by many. It is a land of many wonders hubbing an un-paralleled diversity of fauna and flora. Kilimanjaro, the highest permanently snow-capped free standing mountain in Africa, the exotic Islands of Zanzibar, the finest game sanctuaries of Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Ruaha, Selous and the Marine Park of Mafia Island are only but a few of the living examples. The scenery, topography and very friendly people harbour the growth of excellent cultural tourism beach holidays, game hunting, historical and archaeological ventures – and certainly the best wildlife photographic safaris on the continent.

The tourism industry provides excellent investment opportunities in construction and management of hotels, lodges and restaurants, infrastructure ventures, aviation projects, training institutions, tour operations, travel agencies and marketing organisations.

The industry’s mission statement that forms the basis of the tourism policy is to develop sustainable quality tourism that is ecologically friendly to the conservation and restoration of the environment and its people’s culture. In so doing the industry seeks to maximise the net gains that emanate from the various tourism activities. It is for this reason that the Government is now highly concerned with the improvement of the infrastructure quality and diversity, ease of destination entry formalities, relaxation of foreign exchange regulations and controls, revision of applicable taxes and maintenance of peace, stability and security. As a stimulant, the private sector is increasingly investing in the various tourist plants, improvement of destination access from major sources and within marketing promotion and training of the human resource.

 

Tourist Attractions

 

Besides cultural attributes, the other tourism attractions in the country include the rich game to view in National Parks, Game Controlled Areas and  Games Reserves.

Just imagine viewing the famous tree-climbing lions in the country's northern parks!

The Kilimanjaro National Park does feature the great ice-caped Equatorial Mountain, the Kilimanjaro. The mountain invites challenge to conquer it up its peak that skyscrapes at almost 6km high to mountain climbers.

The Arusha National Park offers everything one wants to see regarding volcanic features and lakes, the flamingoes; buffaloes, the mountain vegetation and the general scenic view of the magnificent Mount Meru.

 

The Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, though relatively smaller parks; located south west of Arusha town do offer plenty to see. Black rhinos; over 380 species of birds; the worlds largest bird the ostrich; the Kori bustard the only world heaviest bird that can fly, elephants; wart hogs, baboons, zebra, the tree-climbing lions, hot springs, and the rising steep escarpment of the Tanzania Great rift Valley are only a selection of what these areas can offer.

Arusha National Park

The park has three distinct zones: Ngurdoto Crater (often discribed as a mini Ngorongoro), the Momella Lakes, a group of shallow alkaline lakes fed by underground streams, and Mount Meru, one of the most rewarding mountains to climb in Africa.

Animals here include buffalo, elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra and a variety of antelope, blue monkey and black and white colobus monkey, leopard and hyena.


Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania's national parks, but thanks to Dr. Jane Goodall, one of the best known. Since 1960, Goodall and colleagues have lived among the Gombe chimpanzees, making significant contributions to the study of primates. Travel to the Park is by water only from Ujiji or Kigoma. The forests are alive with the famous chimpanzee, red colobus and red-tail and blue monkeys. You can also spot bushbuck and bushpig and grey duiker. The lake shore is home to the pied and giant kingfishers, the crowned eagle, the African broadbill, Ross's turaco and the trumpeter hornbill.


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Mikumi National Park

Mikumi, to the north of the Selous, is only 283 km away from dar-Es-Salaam. The Park was established to protect the environment and resident animals and is also an important educational centre for students of ecology and conservation. The Mikumi flood plain is the main feature of the Park along with the bordering mountain ranges. Animals commonly found here include lion, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, hippo and elephant. The Mikumi elephants are mainly grazers and do not cause tree damage. Lions roam the Mikumi plains and will take refuge in the branches of trees. Wild dogs can be seen in packs here.

Mikumi's vegetation includes woodland, swamp and grassland with two water holes, Mkata and Chamgore. Apart from the saddle-bill stork, hammerkop and malachite kingfisher, you will also find monitor lizard and a deadly python inhabiting the pools.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountains, archeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge.

The views at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains - all a heaven for wildlife, including the densest predator population in Africa. The crater is home to up to 25,000 large mammals, mainly grazers - gazelle, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and warthog. You will not find giraffe as there is not much to eat at tree level, or topi, because the competition with wildebeest is too fierce, nor will you find impala. The crater elephants are strangely, mainly bulls. There are a small number of black rhinos here too. The birdlife is largely seasonal and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor.

In the northern, remote part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will find Olmoti and Empakaai Craters, Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai, Mountain of God, as named by the Maasai. Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa's flamingoes.

The ruins of a terraced stone city and complex irrigation system lie on the eastern side of Empakaai - the Engakura Ruins. Their origins are a mystery as there is no tradition of stone building in this part of Africa.

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai, more accurately called Oldupai after the wild sisal in the area, is the site of some of the most important fossil hominid finds of all time - "Nutcracker Man" or Australopithecus boisei who lived 1.75 million years ago - by Leaky

There is a small informative museum located at the visitor center. The gorge is a treasure trove of archeological sites filled with fossils, settlement remains and stone artifacts. Lecture tours are offered.


Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountains, archeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge.

The views at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains - all a heaven for wildlife, including the densest predator population in Africa. The crater is home to up to 25,000 large mammals, mainly grazers - gazelle, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and warthog. You will not find giraffe as there is not much to eat at tree level, or topi, because the competition with wildebeest is too fierce, nor will you find impala. The crater elephants are strangely, mainly bulls. There are a small number of black rhinos here too. The birdlife is largely seasonal and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor.

In the northern, remote part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will find Olmoti and Empakaai Craters, Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai, Mountain of God, as named by the Maasai. Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa's flamingoes.

The ruins of a terraced stone city and complex irrigation system lie on the eastern side of Empakaai - the Engakura Ruins. Their origins are a mystery as there is no tradition of stone building in this part of Africa.

Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park lies south of the Mahale Mountains on a high flood plain surrounding Lake Katavi. It is one of the most difficult Parks to reach and is strictly for those of an adventurous spirit, but it has excellent game viewing with a real wilderness atmosphere. July to October are the best months to visit the Park.

The water of the Park shelters crocodile, hippo and large flocks of pelicans. The diverse woodland, acacia bush, lakes and swamps have attracted over 400 species of birds. Leopard, lion, elephant, eland, roan and sable antelopes, southern reedbuck and topi inhabit the short grasses and thickets. Kitavi is also home to one of the largest herds of buffalo, with as many as 1,600 animals.

 


Mahale Mountains Park

Mahale Mountains, like Gombe, are home to some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa. The Park is reached by boat or

plane, both of which are available for charter. May to October is the best time to visit. There are no roads and all game viewing is done on foot. Mahale is a unique ecological zone with lowland forest, moist and dry savannah, miombo and open woodlands. Animals range from elephant, buffalo, leopard and primates to roan and sable antelopes, giraffe, kudu, eland, leopard and lion.


Manyara

Hemingway describes Lake Manyara National Park's magnificent hunting country in "The Green Hills of Africa". Mahogany, sausage tree and croton are alive with blue monkeys and vervets. Elephants feed off fallen fruit while bushbuck, waterbuck, baboons, aardvark, civet, the shy pangolin and leopard as well as the black rhino, all make their home in the forest.

Manyara is sanctuary to elusive buffalo and hippo, giraffe, impala, zebra and the famous residents - tree climbing lions.

Lake Manyara itself is a magnet for birdlife and a kaleidoscope of different species can be found around its shores, including huge flocks of flamingoes. The park is ideal for a day trip. A four-wheel drive is recommended during the rains. The dry season is from June to September and January to February.


Ruaha National Park

The Kisigio and Rungwa River Game Reserves and Ruaha National Park total a protected area of 25,600 sq. kilometers. Ruaha is Tanzania's second largest national park and one of the wildest. Crocodiles, hippos and clawless otters soak and play in the water and on the banks of the great Ruaha River. Reedbuck, waterbuck and buffalo drink, ever watchful for lion, leopard, jackal, spotted hyena and hunting dog. The grassland borders of the River are home to greater and lesser kudu, a large elephant population, eland, impala, Grant's gazelle, dik-dik, zebra, warthog, mongoose, wild cat, porcupine and the shy civet.

There are plenty of Eurasian migrant birds on their outward and return journeys as well as resident kingfishers, plovers, hornbills, green wood hoopoes, bee-eaters, sunbirds and egrets. The best months to go are between July and November when the animals are concentrated around shrinking water holes.

The Selous Game Reserve

Tanzania is home to one of the single largest remaining elephant populations in the world. Most of these elephants are found in the remote and wildly beautiful Selous Game Reserve, a World Heritage Site. The name derives from hunter-explorer Frederick Courtenay Selous, a keen naturalist and conservationist as well as a hunter. He was killed in the First World War in the Beho Beho region of the Reserve. Larger than Switzerland in size, the Reserve is the largest in Africa and is second only to the Serengeti in its concentration of wildlife. The Reserve has a varied terrain of rolling savannah woodland, grassland plains and rocky outcrops. Buffalo, crocodile, hippo and wild dog can also be seen here.

The Reserve can be reached from Dar-Es-Salam by road, air charter, and rail (Tazara) and the best time to go is in the cool season between the end of June and the end of October. Walking safaris can be taken from the camps in the Reserve, in the company of an armed guard.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is on of the world's last great wildlife refuges. This vast area of land supports the greatest remaining concentration of plain game in Africa, on a scale unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The name comes from the Maasai 'Siringet', meaning endless plains. Equal in size to Northern Ireland, the Park contains an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature's wonders.

The annual migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeests as well as hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles is triggered by the rains. The wet season starts in November and lasts until about May. Generally the herds congregate and move out at the end of May. Their movement is a continual search for grass and water - the moving mass of animals requiring over 4,000 tons of grass each day. The exodus coincides with the breeding season which causes fights among the males. As the dry season sets in the herds drift out of the West, one group to the North, the other north-east heading for the

permanent waters of the northern rivers and the Mara. The immigration instinct is so strong that animals die in the rivers as they dive from the banks into the raging waters, to be dispatched by crocodiles. The survivors concentrate in Kenya's Maasai Mara National reserve until the grazing there is exhausted, when they turn south along the eastern and final stage of the migration route. Before the main exodus, the herds are a spectacular sight, massed in huge numbers with the weak and crippled at the tail end of the procession, followed by the patient, vigilent predators.

The vegetation in the Serengeti ranges from the short and long grass plains in the south, to the acacia savannah in the centre and the wooded grassland concentrated around tributaries of the Grumeti and Mara rivers. The western corridor is a region of wooded highland and extensive plains reaching to the edge of Lake Victoria.

The Seronera Valley in the Serengeti is famous for the abundance lion and leopard that can usually be seen quite easily. The adult male lions of the Serengeti have characteristic black manes.


Tarangire National Park

The permanent water supply of the Park means that during the summer, the animal population here rivals that of the Serengeti with wildebeest, zebra, eland, elephant, hartebeest, buffalo, gerenuk, fringe eared oryx and flocks of birds of many different species. Prime game viewing months are between September and December.


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