The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Barack Obama tourists site in Mikumi National Park promises a Millennium experience to Heads of State

Authorities are working to upgrade the road leading to an important tourist spot inside the Mikumi National Park in Morogoro. A place described by the management as fit for Kings and Queens.

The ‘Barack Obama,’ picnic site, located at a remote section known as Millennium is reportedly designed to handle among other visitors, top dignitaries such as Heads of State.

And sure enough, this special picnic site said to be ‘fit for American Presidents,’ was initially prepared for the former US Head of State, Barack Obama during the latter’s visit to Tanzania in 2014.

Recent rains have however badly damaged the road leading to the Millennium bay where the Picnic Site is located.

Now the management is working to restore the track leading there but also to upgrade other types of infrastructure in Mikumi with support from the World Bank funded, Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW).

The Tanzania National Parks’ Senior Conservation Officer, David Kadomo, who commandeers Mikumi Park, said the project also involves the upgrading and expansion of the Kikoboga aerodrome in the conservancy whose runway is now stretched to 1.8 kilometers.

Many visitors love to stop-over at the Obama Picnic site, mostly for lunch or snacks while the Kings and Queens of the jungle, that is the lions, watch them from a short distance.

The area was essentially named after the former President of the United States, Barrack Obama who a decade ago, in 2014 was expected to make a day trip in the Mikumi National Park.

A sudden change in the U.S President schedule however prompted the postponement of his excursion trip to Mikumi, though Obama still insists that he will one day return again to visit the National Park.

But his designated area at Millennium still exists, attracting groups of tourists and prides of lions.

But why is it called Millennium? Well according to Ibrahim Kassim the designated tour guide at Mikumi, there is a man-made lake which was dug during the time when the world was ushering into the second millennium in 2000.

The large pool with its assortment of Hippos and Crocodile is one of the two major attractions at the Millennium; the other one is the giant historical Baobab with a hollow trunk in which poachers used to hide in the past.

The Ancient Baobab itself is also said to be a millennium (1000 years) old.

Local communities believe the huge tree has some magical powers and that forefathers used it as some sort of shrine.

Whichever the case, the two features with the regular visits from the Kings of the Jungle makes the Barack Obama picnic site a spot to reckon with for anybody touring Mikumi.

Though Obama is yet to visit the Park, the former American President did return to Tanzania in 2017 after completing his term in office.

However, Obama who landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport travelled to Arusha and went as far as Maswa Game Reserve.

But just like the other former U.S leader, Bill Clinton, Obama seems to be also set to make more trips into the country in future and next time he may even fulfil his Mikumi National Park plan.

Former President, Bill Clinton has who visited Tanzania for the first time in August 2000 and participated in the culmination of Burundi Peace talks in Arusha, alongside former South African President, Nelson Mandela, has been returning to the country several times.

Clinton’s favourite destination seems to be the Ngorongoro Conservation.

Serengeti, which is Tanzania’s third biggest National Park, has been receiving more than its fair share of American dignitaries, including the popular TV host and film actor, Oprah Winfrey.

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