Submit Press release  ∑ eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

Tanzania News

Serengeti highway: fact or fiction

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Feb 04, 2011

(eTN) - In a startling development, two opposing pieces of news emerged over the past few days regarding the proposed and hugely controversial Serengeti highway. The original routing was to cut directly across the main migration routes of the big herds of wildebeest and zebras, with predators closely on their trail, and has drawn the wrath and ire of the international conservation fraternity, global organizations, and from many other corners.

Yet, in the face of this hardline, CCM party loyalists keep parroting away that the highway will bring "development," conveniently forgetting the devastating consequences of a major road across the migration paths and predictions that the herds could be decimated to a third or less of their present size of more than one-and-a-half-million animals. Only earlier this week were reassurances coming from those political quarters in Dar, claiming the road would be built by hook or crook, in spite of a major grant and envisaged long-term soft loans offered by the World Bank to finance the alternative Southern route.

Then came news that while in Davos at the World Economic Forum, President Kikwete was quoted to have reassured high-ranking individuals also present at the annual summit in Switzerland, that he would NOT have the road built along the initially proposed Northern route and in the face of such strong opposition ‚Äď apparently raised with him by a number of individuals in Davos ‚Äď rather opt for routing around the park‚Äôs most sensitive area.

Yet, our politicians in East Africa were in the past often quoted to have said one thing abroad, seemingly to please their hosts, while promoting investments and cooperation, only to do a different thing altogether when back home again. Hence, whatever fact or fiction is in this latest contradictory talk, time will tell.

Serengeti highway: fact or fiction
Image via

Premium Partners