Arusha — FROM 3 p.m. on Monday all the eyes will be focused on Arusha City, where Africa's new 'Seven Wonders of Nature,' are to be officially proclaimed.
A total of 12 entries from around the continent have been competing for the coveted 'Seven' positions and Tanzania had fielded its own top three tourist attractions - the Ngorongoro Crater, the annual Wildebeest Migration of Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Other competing features in the 'New Natural Wonders of Africa' listing include Zuma Rock of Nigeria, Okavango Delta of Botswana, the 'Peak of Furnace' in the Reunion Island, the 'Aldabra Atoll' of Seychelles, 'Tsingy Debemaraha,' of Madagascar and the 'Avenue of Baobabs' also found in Madascar.
"We expect at least two of them, if not all to win the 'New Seven Wonders,' stated Mr Geoffrey Tengeneza, the Public Relations Officer for the Tanzania Tourist Board who further revealed that Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, is expected to grace the function at the new Mount Meru Hotel.
The three natural features competing with the likes of 'Sahara Desert,' encompassing over ten countries in Northern Africa, 'Mount Kenya,' in the neighbouring country and the 'Red Sea Reef' (Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea).
Previously, poor voting from the country caused Mt Kilimanjaro to fall in the other global event of the 'New Seven Wonders of Nature,' campaigns that ran between 2009 and 2011 where the Table Mountain of South Africa became the only feature from the continent to make into the finals.
Visitors wise, the Ngorongoro Crater seems to be the most popular, attracting over 500,000 tourists every year. Serengeti comes second with 350,000 annual visitors while Mount Kilimanjaro attracts nearly 55,000 tourists per annum.
Overall Tanzania as a country attracts around 1.2 million tourists per year with more than 80 per cent of these ending up in the Northern Circuit where the three features are located. The Ngorongoro Crater is managed by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) while both the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro operate under the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).
The country's tourism promotion is supposed to be done by the Tanzania Tourists Board but for many years TANAPA and NCAA have been conducting their own marketing both abroad and domestically.