A new package of tourism in the southern circuit is in the works and soon to be offered for adventurists.
It is the proposed walking Safari between Udzungwa Mountains and Nyerere National Park, where visitors get to trek on foot along the new 12 kilometers route, cutting across several local villages but keeping adjacent to the fenced wildlife corridor linking the two conservancies.
The Morogoro Region’s Natural Resources Officer, Joseph Chuwa said local villagers located along the newly hatched elephant corridor, will be empowered to come up with the special walking tourism Safari as means of income generation but also to encourage their participation in conservation.
The Nyerere-Udzungwa walking Safari is going to be a new product hatched from the conservation joint venture between local villages and conservationists, including the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program and the Tanzania National Parks, with support from the United States Agency for International Development, through the USAID Tuhifadhi Maliasili Project.
The Wildlife Corridor Restoration Manager for the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program (STEP), Joseph Mwalugelo, said they have been working hard to restore the Udzungwa-Selous-Nyerere wildlife corridor, including the recently built Elephant Underpass.
The route which elephants use to traverse between Udzungwa Mountains and Nyerere National Park has been reclaimed after compensating several villages within the landscape which is home to the biggest Meta Population of Jumbos.
The newly cleared Kilombero Elephant Corridor which measures around 12 kilometers long and up to 200 meters wide now officially links the highlands of Udzungwa Mountains with the Nyerere National Park located downstream.
The corridor also includes an underpass which now allows elephants and other wildlife species to safely cross the rather busy Ifakara to Dar-es-salaam Road using the tunnel underneath.
Members of the Journalist Environment Association of Tanzania (JET) recently visited the newly revived corridor in the Kilombero District of Morogoro, where they learned that soon the passageway will be electric fenced to avert Human-Wildlife Conflicts.
It will be the first corridor in the country, being protected by electric fencing on either side, as well as surveillance cameras.
The special walking Safari is going to be taking tourists to sample the attractive landscape within the Kilombero Basin, featuring the Mwanihana forest in Udzungwa Mountains, the Magombera Forest Nature Reserve below it and Nyerere, which is Eastern Africa’s largest National Park.
The maiden assessment of Wildlife Corridors in Tanzania was conducted in 2009, in the mission led by the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program’s Chief Executive Dr Trevor Jones.
The follow-up assessment was implemented by USAID through the Promoting Tanzania’s Environment, Conservation, and Tourism Project (PROTECT) in association with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute.
During the special corridor restoration forum of experts held in Dodoma over the weekend, it was revealed that Tanzania has identified a total of 61 wildlife corridors that still exist.
This is after hundreds of such passageways got blocked by mostly human activities including settlements, agriculture and livestock grazing as well as industrial developments.
The Deputy Secretary General in the Prime Minister’s Office, In-charge of Policy, Parliament and Coordination, Anderson Mutatembwa officiated the meeting of experts in Dodoma.
“Delegates are being updated on the common understanding regarding issues pertaining wildlife corridors,” Mutatembwa explained.