Globe Trotters must have experienced almost everything that the World’s Travel Industry has to offer; except the pleasure of hitting a golf ball in one of Africa’s largest National Parks.
Serengeti National Park, popular for its annual wildebeests migrations, is rolling out a 16-hole golf course so that tourists visiting Tanzania and other East African countries can enjoy golfing on the endless plains.
The Chairperson of Tanzania National Parks’ Board of Trustees, Retired General George Waitara recently just laid a foundation stone for the proposed Serengeti National Park’s Golf Course.
But will it be possible for tourists to tee off golf balls in the wildebeests ecosystem?
Should it materialize, it will be the world’s first golf course within a National Park, which is being established at the Fort Ikoma area, in Serengeti District of Mara Region.
According to General George Waitara, the proposed Golf Course is among the new tourism products being introduced in Tanzania as the country plans to attract more than 5 million tourists by the year 2025.
An average of 1.5 million tourists are said to visit Tanzania every year.
The Tanzania National Parks’ Commissioner of Conservation, William Mwakilema also revealed that the golf course project is being implemented by TANAPA Investments Limited a new subsidiary firm which from now henceforth will be undertaking of all projects involving the country’s National Parks.
The Serengeti Golf Course Project is projected to cost around 7.5 Billion/-.
But once it goes into operation, the recreation facility is anticipated to attract 3000 international golfers annually, raising an average of 2 billion/- per annum.
Serengeti, which is Tanzania’s third largest National Park after Nyerere and Ruaha, attracts nearly 400,000 visitors in a year.
Most of the tourists however prefer game driving in the vast plains, filled with all wildlife species.
The highlights of their visits are the wildebeests’ migrations, especially the part where the ungulates cross River Mara and the Gnus’ calving seasons.
Established in 1959, Serengeti is the oldest National Park in Tanzania. The country has 22 National Parks, all managed by TANAPA.
Being mostly a vast savannah plain there are no tigers in Serengeti or many woods for that matter, but with the introduction of a golf course, Tiger Wood may be soon making scene in the National Park.
The Chairperson of Tanzania Golf Union, Gilman Kasiga, hailed the Serengeti Golf Course idea, praising TANAPA for the innovation as well as supporting the sport in the country.