Tanzania: Longido Conservationists Looking for Investors in Hospitality Industry

Arusha — A community-based wildlife conservation area in Longido district, Arusha Region is looking for investors in the hospitality industry to woo more tourists.

This follows an increase in the number of wild animals due to enhanced anti-poaching drive.

"The animals are back because they feel safe," said Parsanga Lendapa, the chairman of Enduimet wildlife management area (WMA).

The 1,300 square kilometre protected area, seen as an important animal corridor, was established in 2003 and gazetted in 2007.

He said lodges and tented camps which used to operate in the area had apparently closed down at the peak of poaching.

"We are reaching out the owners to revive them. We want to promote budget tourism", he told The Citizen.

The animals that are back in the area include elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, different types of antelopes as well as lions, leopards, hyenas and cheetah.

Mr. Lendapa was speaking during the pass out of 40 village game scouts trained to protect wildlife against poachers.

The WMA which is supported by a number of donors will in June take part in Kilifair, an annual tourism show in Moshi, in an effort to promote the destination.

The WMA manager Peter Millanga said the village game militias have also been trained on tourist handling besides the mandatory patrols.

Speaking at the pass out, the Longido District Commissioner Frank Mwaisumbe said wildlife conservation was key for the economy of the district

He called on residents of 11 villages that surround the WMA to assist the authorities in protecting wildlife as well as enhance environmental conservation.

Longido, a semi arid district bordering Kenya, is famous for tourist hunting and has lately attracted scores of foreign hunters.

Part of the revenues generated from the professional hunters is spent on community development projects such as schools, water supplies and health.

Enduimet WMA, located near the Kenyan border, is considered to be an important animal corridor linking some of the famous ecosystems in the East African region.

It links the Kilimanjaro and Arusha national parks on one side and with the Amboseli Nature Reserve in Kenya on the other, extending to the Lake Natron basin near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

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