Wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park is one of the most attractive tourist events during the year in the eastern African region. (File photo)
The Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), the country's wildlife management watchdog has revised park entry fees for tourists visiting its parks in efforts to accommodate new tourism products and operational costs.
The new entry fee will be effective July 1, this year and is expected to expire in June 30, 2015.
Tanapa Public Relations Manager Pascal Shelutete said on Thursday that the new park fee changes are meant to cater for the general increase in price levels of most commodities and services that have continued to escalate, hence increasing operational costs for the organisation.
"Tanapa, which is mandated to manage 15 national parks across the country, also intends to improve tourism facilities and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and airstrips, to cater for increased number of visitors and diversify tourism activities in order to provide outstanding visitor experience," he said.
He added that the authority also intends to use that opportunity to improve staff incentives and packages to cope with increased cost of living.
The approved fee changes are based on experience in carrying out the activities, willingness to participate in the activities, parks fee structure, park's attractiveness to visitors and feedback from tourists and tour operators.
Tanapa tariffs were previously revised for three times in January 2000, July 2004 and July 2006.
"The current revisions are done to accommodate new tourism products and operational costs," the official told Xinhua.
Changes in fees are undertaken in different activities such as filming, walking safaris, sports fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking, night game drives, guiding, vehicle, aircraft landing, entry fee, student, directors pass, bush lunch/dinner and snorkeling.
"The new fee changes are meant to cover increasing operational costs, and provide services that have value for money. The park entry fee is renamed conservation fee to reflect the fact that it is meant for conservation purpose," Shelutete said.
For instance, for Tanzanians who are in a group, which does not exceed five people visiting Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Tarangire, Gombe, Mahale and Manyara national parks, will be paying 10,000/- (6 US dollars) from the current 1,500/-.
He said for non Tanzanian nationals, the changes depend on the national park as the fee varies from one place to another as of now it is at 100 dollars for adults and 20 US dollars for children.
The entrance fee for foreigners to Serengeti National Park has gone up to 60 dollars from the current 50 dollars.
For a tourist interested in climbing Africa's highest peak -- Mt Kilimanjaro, they will be paying 70 dollars up from the current 60 dollars.
The increase also includes the Arusha, Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks where the entry fee has been reviewed by 10 dollars per tourist, reaching 45 dollars from 35 dollars right now.
The conservation fee increment has also included those located in the southern tourist circuits -- Ruaha, Katavi, Mikumi, Rubondo, Saadani, Kitulo, Mkomazi and Udzungwa national parks, whereby tourists will be charged 30 dollars from the current 20 dollars.
For Gombe and Mahale national parks which are popular for hosting gorillas, the new park entry fees will increase by 10 dollars reaching 110 dollars and 90 dollars respectively.