Black rhinos are the smaller of the two rhino species available in the African continent. They are critically endangered species, with an estimated 5,000 remaining in Africa.
Assistant commissioner of conservation at Mkomazi National Park Abel Mtui said the new tourism which is set to commence on July this year, will apparently increase tourists’ arrivals in the country thus improving the sector’s revenues and the country’s economy.
According to him, currently, South Africa is the only African country that practices black rhino tourism.
The park’s warden said the project has commenced by constructing electrical fence in an area covering 13,000-square km which will be used to conserve the animals.
“Following its importance and demand, TANAPA saw it better to establish the project in the Mkomazi national park to attract more tourists in the country,” he said.
He added that among the activities going on in the park is construction of key infrastructures such as roads, dams for animals as well as installation of safety and security gadgets to monitor the rhinos.
Glory Sumai, an ecologist at the Mkomazi national park said black rhinos are among the endangered wildlife species but also key of Tanzania’s national identity and form the foundation of the tourism sector.
He also mentioned wild dog as among endangered species saying that to rescue them, Mkomazi had embarked on a programme to increase reproduction of the animals as well as black rhinos.
“From July this year, tourists who will be visiting the national park will be able to spend their time to witness the black rhinos in a closer spot as they will many in numbers in the special conservation areas.
For her part, Same District Commissioner Rosemary Senyamule said that the government is going to provide closer support to enable smooth completion of the project.
The 3,245 square km Mkomazi National Park was established in 2008 being upgraded from game reserve.
Tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner, contributing an average of $2 billion annually, which is equivalent to 25 per cent of all exchange earnings, according to the government data. It also contributes to more than 17 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GPD) and creating more than 1.5 million jobs, 500,000 of which are direct.