July 2018

July 23, 2018

Why ecotourism is important for nature conservation

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 7:00 am

As the world celebrates Nature Conservation Day on Saturday 28 July, we consider the role ecotourism can play in supporting conservation efforts in Tanzania.

A significant emphasis is placed on ecotourism in Tanzania, which has led to local communities becoming increasingly involved in the country’s booming tourism and travel industry. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the industry contributed to 3.8% of the country’s total GDP in 2017 and is forecasted to rise by an estimated 9.8% this year.

© Kevin Rush

A major attraction that brings tourism to the country is, of course, its wildlife. Tanzania’s environmental management scheme reflects it commitment to conserving its natural resources. As a low-impact form of tourism, ecotourism has been noted to encourage nature conservation as well as the socio-economic development of people at village-level.

One particular wildlife attraction in Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park and its surrounds is one of the most complex and least disturbed ecosystems in the world. This makes it a spectacular wilderness sanctuary to visit when planning a safari in Tanzania.

As wildlife enthusiasts, we understand the importance of conserving Africa’s biodiversity and we actively assist national park efforts that promote the protection of Tanzania’s fauna and flora. The fight against poaching is an ongoing focus of Tanzanian authorities and the country’s hunting permit regulations are strict, allowing only two animals to be killed per hunter each year.

© Kevin Schafer / Corbis

When booking a safari in Tanzania, you can choose to stay at an eco-friendly lodge, such as Singita Explore, Katavai Wildlife Camp or Mdonya Old River Camp. Some of these lodges establish funds that are founded on collaborative partnerships with local communities who are responsible for the management and monitoring of nature conservation programmes.

Whether visiting Tanzania’s inland wildlife spots or holidaying on its sun-drenched beaches, travellers can minimise their impact on the environment by properly disposing of litter and being mindful of water usage. To contribute to the local economy and community development, tourists are urged to buy from entrepreneurs at small markets instead of major chain stores.

It is clear that successful ecotourism can play a key part in fostering nature conservation along with community development.

March 12, 2013

South from Kilimanjaro – Amani Nature Reserve

Filed under: Amani Nature Reserve — Tags: , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 3:54 pm

The German colonial government soon realised the rich potential of this mountain region for growing crops, and although the coffee plantations in this region were not terribly successful, they had far greater rewards from plantations of sisal, tobacco, and spices. Their environmental studies developed the Arboretum at Lushoto, and they soon became aware of the unusual density of wildlife in the Western Usambara Range. In 1902, thirteen forest reserves were surveyed and gazetted, including 8,380ha at the Amani Nature reserve north of Muheza. This incorporates 1.065 ha now owned by private tea companies managed by the East Usambara Tea Company and the Amani Botanical Garden, one of the largest of its kind in Africa. A large number of indigenous species were left rooted, and over 1,000 species of exotic trees were imported from foreign climes. Many of these can still be identified by their ancient metal nameplates, still legible if a little dusty, but the botanical garden is now extremely overgrown and large areas are remain impenetrable. Walking paths that have been cleared enough to enjoy run from the top of the hill near to the Rest House and Research Centre, a steep climb by all accounts, even in a tough 4×4 vehicle in which you will be inundated by tea plantation workers desperate for a lift.

The Research centre was officially closed during World War II, although it made a contribution to the war effort in devising quinine from the local cinchona tree. When the British finally had time to invest in area after the war they planted 2,200 hectares of tea plantations in cultivated regions and built a hydroelectric power station, the remnants of which can still be seen. They reopened in 1953 the research centre with the emphasis only on Agriculture, and then moved this department to Kenya in 1961 and it finally became a centre for Malaria Research, and remains so to this day.

Despite concerted efforts to regenerate this resource for tourists today the Botanical Gardens and Forest Reserve still remain sorely under developed in this respect. The old German stationmaster’s house, dating from between 1905 and 1910 has been beautifully restored and converted into a fine Information Centre for the reserve. Plans are afoot to develop maps and a guidebook for visitors, although these were not available at the latter end of 1999.

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