The Tourism Industry in Tanzania is taking new shape, this time moving from Game and National Parks and plunging wholesale into thick forests and jungles.
After conducting new forestry inventory in the country, the Tanzania Forest Services Agency is rolling out its own tree-based nature attractions for tourists craving to discover ‘Big Foot,’ and other legendary giants of the woods.
Speaking in Dodoma, the Conservation Commissioner for Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) agency, Professor Dos Santos Silayo revealed that from the stock taken after TFS inventory, it was discovered that Tanzania has over 42 big forests covering the nation.
Tanzania’s rain-making woodlands engulf a whopping 1.03 million hectares of the country landscape, big enough to conceal any giant and scare Little Red Riding Hoods.
It has been observed that Forests are now attracting many tourists just like National Parks and Game Reserves, mostly tree huggers, botanical researchers and tourists yearning for the natural canopy cover.
And sure enough, the Tanzania Forest Service is now constructing 97 kilometers of roads network into the woodlands as well as 190.5 special nature trails in eleven forest parts for tourists wanting to undertake trekking safaris to discover the fairy tale monsters.
In the same vein, the TFS has upgraded 15 forests to National Forest Parks status and five others into National Natural Forest Reserves all covering 58,216 hectares of the country surface.
The agency received 4 billion/- from the government for forest protection and maintenance as well as improving tourism activities in the woodland clusters under their management.
The Forestry agency is also rolling out ecological and cultural tourism in the woodlands through the rehabilitation of more that 231.7 kilometers of nature trekking trails for tourists trails.
The project also involves the laying of 643.54 roads networks within forests to ensure smooth adventure for tourists seeking Yetis.
But in case they miss the ‘Big Foot’ sightings, tourists can still enjoy the ample wildlife and bird species, waterfalls and other breath-taking land formations and flora found under forest cover.
On the other hand, Tanzania is investing nearly 7 billion/- for the preservation and maintenance of the country’s Dry Miombo Woodlands.
Hensel and Gretel
The ‘Integrated Landscape Management in the Dry Miombo Woodlands of Tanzania is one of the three major projects that Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) is implementing at the cost of 62.7 billion/-
Building the resilience of forest biodiversity to the threats of climate change in Tanzania’s nature forest reserves is yet another undertaking aimed at scaling up preservation and improvement of the forestry sector in the country.
Professor Silayo revealed the projects will be executed with funds from development partners.
Professor Silayo pointed out that the implementation of the projects was due to mutual understanding and good cooperation between Tanzania and other countries.
The development partners are supporting two major projects including the Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Programme (DSL-IP) an initiative which was endorsed by the Global Environment Facility.
“This project helps to offset the negative trend of land degradation and loss of biodiversity in the degraded areas of the Miombo woodlands in western Tanzania,” he stated, adding that TFS will adopt the integrated landscape management approach, to realize the goal.
As for the other project entailing the ‘Integrated Approach to Sustainable cooking solutions,’ the TFS and partners are investing the lion share of the budget, amounting to 34.3 billion/- converted from 12.5 million Euros.
“The project promotes sustainable forest management and wood-fuel production in rural areas with an overall aim of enhancing environmental sustainability, in particular the sustainability of the wood-fuel value chain,” Prof Silayo stated.
As for the third project the Tanzania Forest Services will be implementing the ‘Building the resilience of forest biodiversity to the threats of climate change in Tanzania’s nature forest reserves’ at the cost of USD 4.8 million.
“We are building the capacity of forests and nature reserves to withstand the negative effects of climate change by establishing forest protection infrastructure, strengthening activities to increase income through eco-tourism, as well as coming up with income generating activities for communities living around forests,”Professor Silayo
Meanwhile the TFS had managed to establish a 65,000 hectare tree farm in the Makere area of Kasulu District of Kigoma Region.
The agency has also managed to expand two forest estates including Mtibwa measuring 12,000 hectares, as well as Pagale Range and Longuza mapped within 400 hectares of land.
TFS has been able to produce 25.9 tons of tree seedlings and planted a total of 32,735,653 new trees of different varieties in a total of 24 farms across the country.