Tanzania is working to establish the country’s first Wildlife Park out of the former three faming estates in the remote parts of Arusha Region.
The Proposed Makuyuni Wildlife Park will be mapped on the 47 Square kilometers of acreage formerly hosting three large farms specializing in leguminous crop production in Monduli District.
Lente, Amani and Loldebes farms were previously used for agricultural purposes under the Rift Valley Seed Company, have now been placed under the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA).
It follows the state decision to convert the farms that have remained idle for 30 years into conservancy.
The Director of Privatization from the Register of Treasury, in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mohammed Nyasama, officially handed over the farms to the TAWA Commissioner of Conservation Mabula Misungwi Nyanda.
There is the Lente farm, measuring 3344 hectares, Amani estate occupying 9007 hectares and Loldebes ranch mapped within 2812 hectares were all nationalized in the early 1980s after being taken away from a large-scale farmer who hailed from South-West Africa, Hermanus Philipus Steyn.
The Commissioner of Conservation for the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority, Mabula Misungwi Nyanda said the area, which was once a farm for leguminous crops, is in the process of being converted into the country’s first ‘Wildlife Park,’ a new tourist product to be managed by TAWA.
A wildlife park is a tourist site which offers all the natural surroundings, wildlife species, and campsites but with added recreational facilities and activities such as swimming, bush dinners, wild sports and serious hiking.
Already the proposed Makuyuni Wildlife Park features all types of wild animals, including elephants, buffaloes, and leopards not to mention Zebras, Giraffes, the Ostrich, Impalas and Elands.
“We intend to seriously market the new Makuyuni Wildlife Park as a weekend getaway for mostly young people who want to have it all, enjoyable active sports as well as wildlife tourism,” explained Commissioner Nyanda.
On his part, the Chairman of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority’s Board of Directors, retired Major General Hamis Semfuko insisted that the Makuyuni Wildlife Park will be strictly for photographic tourism and other leisure activities.
“We are going to ensure that the costs of visiting and enjoying the facilities in the area remain affordable to encourage local domestic tourists,” explained Major General (rtd) Semfuko.
TAWA intends to make the Makuyuni Wildlife Park their trademark destination and leading property in the Northern Zone.
Located 70 kilometers from Arusha City Center and about 100 kilometers from Babati, the headquarters of Manyara, the new Makuyuni Wildlife Park which is also very close to the main Dodoma Road is the most accessible tourist destination in the Northern Zone.
The Monduli District Commissioner, Joshua Nassari welcomed the new development, saying the tourist site will boost the precinct’s income.
“We already have been receiving contributions from the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and with the addition of the Makuyuni Wildlife Park, the money is bound to increase,” said Nassari.
However, the DC implored TAWA to ensure that local communities in the area are fully involved in the project in order to create employment for the Monduli youth as well as ensuring that people change their perception of wildlife.
“Many villagers think wild animals are only destructive to their crops, but once they start earning from tourism, they will realize the importance of wildlife conservation,” the District Commissioner maintained.