Tanapa, Tanzania National Parks is working on the possibility of coming up with live TV programmes that will give opportunity for Tanzanians to view the annual global attraction, the wildebeest migration between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara national parks.
“…Tanzanians deserve to enjoy there natural surroundings…God sent” explained Johnson Manase, Tanapa’s manager of tourism services, adding that observing these natural phenomena is opportune for learning experiences and appreciating the ecosystem.
Along with the humanitarian motive, Tanapa has the economy in mind too and hopes that the live feed will promote local and international trade.
“The great Serengeti/Maasai Mara wildebeest migration is not about wildebeest but rather its influence the whole ecosystem and life in general…”
A seemingly never ending milling of over 2.5 million wild animals with some 1.7 million wildebeests, 800 000 zebras and gazelle in Northern Tanzania and Kenya is one of the world's most spectacular wildlife events.
The herbivores are followed closely by their predators, lions, hyenas, leopards, jackals making the migration, as commonly referred to, the 'Greatest Show on Earth'.
The parks officials intend on setting up 3-D film programmes, to be viewed in designated venues as well as promotional home theater DVDs bringing the great wild to through a pair of 21st century 3-D glasses.
For those who would rather go out and see the real thing, the official acknowledged that transport to the parks remains a challenge for many Tanzanians and called on local transporters to chip-in and transport ordinary people at reasonable fares.
If the transporting companies take on the call, then Tanapa promises that “…we’ll make sure we create friendly environment for them to operate…”
In a bid to phase-out unregistered tour companies dragging the industry, Manase said Tanapa is adopting environmentally friendly methods of administration and implementing green technology, as a result, all tour firms will be required to do online bookings.
Under this arrangement, unregistered tour operators will automatically be phased-out of the business.
“We are fully aware of ‘fly catchers’, who have been causing a lot of inconveniences to tourists… online booking isthe answer.”
Executive secretary of the Tanzania Tour Operators Association (TATO), Siliri Akko, expressed dissatisfaction at the number of Tanzanians touring the national parks.
He called for a ‘massive campaign’ to encourage Tanzanians and enable them enjoy our parks.
Akko believes that Tanzania’s tourism sector is yet to be efficiently exploited and if so, he supposes the country may not even need any foreign aid. The TATO official commended Tanapa’s efforts but called for more to be done to improve local tourism.
“Tanzanians should nurture a culture of visiting national parks and experience the taste of the various attractive sceneries there by afforded…”
The director general stated that his organization is working hard to put in place infrastructures that will make ordinary Tanzanians take their time and visit the country’s parks. Among the facilities include putting up cost-effective accommodation within the parks.