16 February 2013

Tanzania: Serengeti Leads in Africa's New 'Wonders of Nature'

Serengeti National Park was declared the best of the seven new natural wonders of Africa as all the three entries from Tanzania's Northern Zone circuit made it into the coveted seven.

Announcing the new 'Seven Wonders' of nature in Arusha on Monday the President and founder of the Texas (US) based 'New Seven Wonders,' Dr Philip Imler revealed that though the seven wonders are not ranked in positions, Serengeti stood out due to its legendary, spellbinding largest migration of large mammals.

Ngorongoro Crater, found within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and described as 'the bowl in which variety of wildlife live,' was also voted among the Seven Wonders of Nature while Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa's highest peak became the third entry from Tanzania to make it into the 'New Seven Natural Wonders' of the continent.

Other winners included the 'Red Sea Reef,' on the coast of Egypt and Sudan; River Nile, which flows into more than 10 countries in Africa, the Sahara Desert encompassing nearly ten countries as well and the 'Okavango Delta' of Botswana.

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, namely the Ngorongoro Crater, the annual Wildebeest Migration of Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Monduli's District Commissioner, Jowika Kasunga congratulating Ngorongoro Conservation Authority Area's Conservator, Bruno Kawasange at the award giving ceremony at the Mount Meru Hotel. Facing camera is Ngorongoro's District Commissioner, Elias Wawa Lali and right is NCAA's Public Relations Manager Adam Akyoo. (photo by Filbert Rweyemamu)

"I was a bit skeptic upon learning that, the 'New Seven Wonders' of nature will have three winners from a single country but official statistics and experts' opinions did not lie," said Dr Imler adding that even the votes from Tanzanians did not help to sway final experts' conclusions.

Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda was the official guest during the proclamation ceremony and the awards giving session held at the new Mount Meru Hotel.

"As Tanzanians we must protect not only the three winners but all natural resources and wildlife that our country has been endowed with," said the Prime Minister.

Mr Allan Kijazi the Director General of Tanzania National Park was proud to have two destinations under his authority making it into the top seven and pointed out that Tanzania was always regarded as 'Number One Natural Summit of Africa.'

Attractions that did not make it to the top seven include Mount Kenya in the neighboring country of Kenya, Zuma Rock of Nigeria, 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.

Visitors wise, the Ngorongoro Crater located in the Ngorongoro District of Arusha 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 percent 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 auspices of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).

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