Ngorongoro — THE six kilometre ascending road connecting the base of the legendary Ngorongoro Crater to the caldera's rim has been overlaid with concrete blocks.
The Manager of Engineering Services with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Mr Isra Misana, explained that the historic project to surface the six kilometres steep road, meandering from top to the bottom of the world's sixth largest unbroken crater using paving blocks cost NCAA over 2.8bn/-.
The works were being executed by Tumaini Civil Engineering Company, a local firm based in Arusha, whose workers admitted that wild animals scared them stiff during the project and were happy that it was being completed.
The road ascending the crater will be officially opened on June 1, this year, just in time for the 2014 tourism season which usually begins in the third quarter of each year.
The development is set to solve the long-standing tug of war between tour operators, drivers-cum-guides and the NCAA management due to the closure of the road during its construction, causing inconvenience to visitors.
Ngorongoro Crater is the country's most visited tourist site, attracting over 500,000 visitors (or 50 per cent) of the around 1 million tourists who visit Tanzania every year and pumping into the national coffers nearly 55b/- in revenue.
After accomplishing paving the ascending crater road, NCAA is contemplating paving the other two descending roads using the same materials, though this may have to wait for a while.
The NCAA management is also studying the possibility of paving the 88.5 kilometre road connecting Loduare Gate to Naabi Gate in the Serengeti national Park in future.