- The ATB Chairman has been in Northern Tanzania since last week, participating the First East African Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) that ended early this week.
- Accompanied by a team of key ATB ambassadors from various African nations, the ATB Chairman visited Marangu, the Headquarters of Kilimanjaro National Park.
- They also visited the entry gate for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions.
The African Tourism Board (ATB) Chairman’s visit to Mount Kilimanjaro had signified the Board’s commitment to develop African tourism, spreading a message of hope for tourism recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic devastation and the essence of regional and intra-African tourism development.
Mount Kilimanjaro and its surrounding areas are among the leading tourist hot spots for domestic, regional, and intra-African tourism where thousands of local holidaymakers spend Christmas and New Year holidays and Easter festivals.
Tanzania lit the famous “Freedom Torch” on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro 60 years ago, symbolically meant to shine across the borders and then bring hope where there was despair, love where there was enmity, and respect where there was hatred. But for this year, climbers to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, so as the ATB entourage, are going to send a message of hope that Tanzania and Africa are a safe destination for visitors at this time when the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccinations and other health measures.
After leaving Kilimanjaro, the ATB Chairman and his entourage visited Mkomazi National Park, the only rhino breeding wildlife park in East Africa. Located on the Eastern Arc’s Pare Mountains, the park is under the management of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and located some 120 kilometers east of Moshi town in the Kilimanjaro region between the northern and southern Tanzania safari circuits.
Rhinos are protected within the fenced 55-square-kilometer sanctuary, which is inside the 3,245-square-kilomter park. Tourists can see these second biggest African mammals more easily than those in the wild plains. Black rhinos used to roam freely between Mkomazi and the Tsavo ecosystem covering Tsavo West National Park in Kenya.
Together with Tsavo, Mkomazi forms one of the largest protected natural ecosystems in the world. Mkomazi, along the Umba River, hosts a number of rare colobus monkeys which move within its riverine forests. The park has a semi-arid climate with bimodal rainfall distribution pattern. The park is also rich in mammal species. Over 450 bird species have been recorded in the park, with a number of unique flora and fauna. It is among a few protected areas in Tanzania with a large and visible population of gerenuk and a massive concentration of Beisa Oryx. This park is one of the richest savannahs in Africa and possibly in the world in terms of the number of rare and endemic fauna and flora evidenced by the presence of wild dogs and black rhinoceros.
During his visit to Tanzania since last week, Mr. Ncube presented ATB’s Continental Tourism Award 2021 to the President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, in recognition for her commitment to the development of Tanzania tourism. The presentation of the ATB award to the Tanzanian president took place during the official opening of the First East African Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) held in Northern Tanzania’s tourist city of Arusha. The President had guided in compiling the Royal Tour documentary featuring Tanzania tourist attractions, among other initiatives she had taken personally to enhance tourism development in Tanzania and Africa.