Soon, giant hippopotamuses will be running amok in the new Arusha City.
City fathers intend to tame the watery mammals by placing them under full control once the proposed special tourist attraction site planned for the new Arusha city, opens around Suye Hill in Kimandolu ward where a number of other wildlife species will also be introduced.
"We are going to convert the whole of 'Mount Suye' into a tourist site," said the City Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo adding that at the foot of the hill there is also a wide mushy area with potential for aquatic animals like hippos.
"The idea here is to plant some wildlife species that are safe to be kept near humans in order to have a recreation area within the city where local residents as well as visiting tourists could go to relax," said the Mayor.
Mr Lyimo explained that Arusha is regarded as a tourist town but in reality is just a gateway spot to the Northern Zone's National parks: "Tourists merely use Arusha as a route to Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Mount Kilimanjaro. They hardly spend their time in the city," pointed out the mayor.
Therefore, the council is working to create its own 'National Park,' within the city though essentially it may just be a zoo or at best a game sanctuary if all goes well but the official did not divulge when exactly hippos and other wild animals will be shipped into town.
However, passage routes circumnavigating the Kimandolu (Suye) hill have already been established and people can now use them to practice mountain climbing for leisure, exercise or warm-up for harder trekking on Kilimanjaro or Mt Meru.
Hand-in-hand with that, the council is establishing a botanical garden along the Themi River in town which will provide yet another city-based tourist attraction.