Ruaha airstrip gets badge as ‘most scenic’ in Africa

16Sep 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Iringa
The Guardian
Ruaha airstrip gets badge as ‘most scenic’ in Africa

​​​​​​​AN airstrip located within the Ruaha National Park has been voted the most scenic in Africa and second best in the world.

In a poll conducted by a global booking service for private charter flights, PrivateFly, Msembe airstrip emerged as the most breathtaking on the continent, beating several airports with big names across the world.

In the results of Scenic Approaches Airport Poll 2020 posted by the firm yesterday, it said the online poll which targeted frequent flyers sought to know the respondents’ favourite scenic airport approach.

“We received thousands of votes,” the company posted, listing Msembe tops in Africa and second most breathtaking in the world.

Reacting to the news of the win, a senior assistant commissioner in charge of communications for the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), Pascal Shelutete termed the outcome ‘milestone’ recognition.

“It is a result of proper management of all our airstrips in the national parks which also considers issues of environment,” he said.

Shelutete said the outcome seen by millions of travel enthusiasts all over the world propels Tanzania into further limelight internationally and the Ruaha National Park in particular.

“This recognition will also be used to promote Ruaha National Park to attract more tourists,” he said.

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania, covering an area of about 13,000 square kilometres.

It is located in the middle of the country, about 130 kilometres from Iringa. The park is part of a more extensive ecosystem, which includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Usangu Game Reserve and several other protected areas.

The name of the park is derived from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its south-eastern margin and is the focus for game-viewing. Apart from the now world famous Msembe airstrip, the park can also be reached by car via Iringa.

Airports that made it to PrivateFlys’ top 10 are Donegal airport in Ireland which took the first position, Skiathos airport in Greece (3), Orlando Melboune—US (4), Scotland’s Barra airport (5), Bora Bora Airport in French Polynesia (6), St Maarten International Airport (7), Praslin Island airport in Seychelles (8), Dubai International  Airport (9) and Nadi International Airport—Fiji (10).