Largest national park in East Africa set in Tanzania
The Tanzanian President, Dr. John Magufuli had signed the document recently after the Tanzanian parliament approved a proposal on September 10th this year to establish the new park that will cover some 30,893 square kilometres and the largest photographic safaris national park in East Africa.
The new park now under development has been named Nyerere National Park to honor the first Tanzanian President, Julius Nyerere. Counted as the largest photographic safari wildlife park in East Africa, Nyerere National Park was carved out from the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania.
After signing the document, wildlife conservation authorities are now working to develop the area into a full-fledged photographic safari national park. This will bring the number of protected photographic wildlife safari parks under the management of Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) to 22.
Nyerere National Park will be among the largest wildlife parks on the African continent with relatively undisturbed ecological and biological processes with a diverse range of wild animals for photographic safaris.
In July of this year, President Magufuli directed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to split the Selous Game Reserve into a national park and game reserve. Selous Game Reserve covers 55,000 square kilometers and is the oldest and largest wildlife conserved area in Africa.
President Magufuli said that the Selous Game Reserve was not economically viable to benefit Tanzania through tourism other than a few hunting safari companies operating there with a limited number of photographic safari operators.
Magufuli said earlier that there were 47 hunting blocks and several lodges in the Selous Game Reserve charging up to US$3,000 per night of which the government gets nothing or just a few peanuts through tourism taxes.
The Selous Game Reserve generates about US$6 million per year mostly from wildlife hunting safaris.
This new national park is mostly famous for having the biggest populations of hippos, elephants, lions, wild dogs, and rhinos. It is also famous for boating safaris.
President Magufuli also signed documents into law to establish Kigosi National Park (7,460 square kilometers) and Ugalla National Park (3,865 square kilometers) in the Western Tanzania tourist circuit.
After establishment of the new parks, Tanzania will rank as the second tourist destination in Africa to own and manage a good number of wildlife protected national parks after South Africa.
Currently, Tanzania is developed with 4 tourist zones which are the Northern, Coastal, Southern, and Western circuits. The Northern Circuit is fully developed with key tourist facilities which pull most of its tourists visiting Tanzania every year with high-end tourist revenue.
Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro have been rated as premium parks. Foreign tourists pay US$ 60 each per day to visit inside the Serengeti National Park, while those climbing Mount Kilimanjaro pay US$70 each per day to spend time on the mountain.
The Gombe and Mahale Chimpanzee parks in Western Tanzania are the other premium parks charging a daily fee for visiting in the amount of US$100 and US$80 respectively.
Tarangire, Arusha, and Lake Manyara – all in Northern Tanzania – have their foreign visitors pay US$45 per day.
Silver parks, or the less-visited ones, are located in the Southern Tanzania tourist circuit and in the Western Zone. Foreign visitors to these parks pay a daily fee of US$30 each.