Tanzanian national parks named top destinations for outdoor enthusiasts

Tanzania’s Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Tarangire national parks have been voted the best sites for outdoor enthusiasts, raising the country’s profile as the premier tourism destination.

The three top national parks all located in Africa’s richest tourism circuit have been featured prominently among the best 25 national parks from across the world, thanks to traveler’s views through a Trip Advisor’s platform.

Serengeti becomes the top destination of outdoor enthusiasts in Africa and the third in the World for 2022,” writes the Trip Advisor.

Travelers have also chosen the country’s Tarangire and Kilimanjaro national parks the best destinations in the world. 

The Travellers’ Choice Award awarded every year through the Trip Advisor’s program.

The newly appointed Conservation Commissioner of the state-run conservation authority – Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Mr William Mwakilema, received the news with gratitude, saying it was a vote of confidence for Tanzania’s destination from the global consumers.

“We have been working extra time to conserve these national parks, we are extremely happy that the world has at last recognised our scrupulous efforts,” Mr Mwakilema explained.

Also overwhelmed by the news is the TANAPA Assistant Conservation Commissioner In-Charge of Business Portfolio, Ms Beatrice Kessy, who said that global consumers had been impartial in recognizing Tanzania’s natural beauty.

Outdoor visitors to Serengeti should be prepared for being astonished by the vastness of the national park where the land mass runs on forever. While at the park, they can witness the famous Serengeti annual migration, the largest and longest overland migration on earth.

The vast plains of the Serengeti comprise 1.5 million hectares of savannah, harbor the largest remaining unaltered migration of two million wildebeests plus hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebras engaging in a 1,000-kilometre-long annual circular trek spanning the two adjacent countries of Tanzania and Kenya, as their predators follow them.

Situated above 8,850 feet, Kilimanjaro National Park, in turn, protects Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, rising to nearly 20,000 feet. 

On ascent, the mountain’s foothills morph into lush forests, serving as home to elephants, leopards and buffalo. 

Further up are moorlands covered in giant heather, then alpine desert land. Higher still come the ice and snow that make Kilimanjaro famous. A hike to the top, namely Uhuru Peak, takes six to seven days.

Ms Kessy says the Mount Kilimanjaro summit, a leading tourist destination situated at about 5,895 metres above sea level, roughly attracts 50,000 climbers from across the world annually. 

Named for the river that runs through its stunning landscape, the Tarangire National Park offers visitors a unique experience of Tanzania. 

The park is home to the country’s largest population of elephants. You can see herds of up to 300 digging the Tarangire riverbed during dry seasons. It also features other native wildlife ranging from impalas to rhinos and hartebeest buffalo. 

Though safaris are a popular attraction in the area, experiencing native vegetation such as baobabs or trees of life as they are popularly known and the park’s complex network of swamps delight nature lovers.

With nearly 1.5 million tourists visiting the country annually, Tanzania’s wildlife tourism continues growing, earning the national coffers $2.5 billion, equivalent to about 17.6 percent of the GDP, cementing the industry’s position as the leading foreign currency earner.

Additionally, tourism directly provides Tanzanians with 600,000 jobs, let alone over one million others also earning their incomes from the industry’s value chain.

Although the industry was severely hit after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, national and regional recovery plans have apparently started paying dividends.

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