Udzungwa Park sees surge in tourism after govt eases Covidrestrictions

08Jul 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Udzungwa Park sees surge in tourism after govt eases Covidrestrictions

THE number of tourists visiting Udzungwa Mountain National Park has increased since the government’s decision to ease restrictions imposed in March to contain the coronavirus which included the reopening of the country’s airspace last month.

A baboon welcoming visitors at the main entrance of Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Morogoro region.

UMNP’s Park Warden, Richard Hayri told a visiting group of 40 domestic tourists from Dar es Salaam and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro early this week that Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism followed suit by introducing national Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for management of the novel coronavirus for the industry which heavily relies on foreign arrivals.

Hayri said the government’s decision breathed a new lease of life into the tourism industry which had been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak which has forced governments globally to impose lockdowns to contain the virus.

“The government’s decision has put in place an enabling environment for tourists to visit various attraction sites such as Udzungwa,” he said noting that due to restrictions imposed by government in mid March, even domestic tourists stopped visiting the park .

“At Udzungwa during this post coronavirus period, we are receiving tourists while taking all the necessary protective measures to curb the virus including hand washing and taking body temperature before entry into the facility,” he added.

The Udzungwa Park Warden urged Tanzanians to cultivate a culture of visiting conservation areas such as the Morogoro based sanctuary and see nature’s beauty physically. “At Udzungwa costs for local tourists have been made affordable as an incentive to allow many people visit and see the unique attractions,” Hayri stated. The park which is famous for unique flora and fauna and wild animal, the entrance fee is 5,900/- while spending also fetches 5,900/-.

Speaking on behalf of the group of 40 tourists, Husain Janoowalla said it is high time that Tanzanians take time to visit the country’s tourist attraction areas such as Udzungwa in order to see and enjoy while contributing to economic growth.

“Tanzania is blessed with beautiful and unique attractions for which most of the citizens are unaware. Interestingly some go to other countries like Thailand to visit the same attractions which are available in country,” Janoowalla said.

Recently, Tanzania Tourist Board in collaboration with the private sector prepared several films to market different tourist attraction areas in the country as a means of ensuring continuity amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

Udzungwa is the largest and with most biodiversity and a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Known collectively as the Eastern Arc Mountains, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been dubbed as the African Galapagos for its treasure-trove of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly being the delicate African violet.