Tanzania: Tourism Bonanza As Serengeti Clocks 60

Arusha — Researchers from all over the world will converge in Arusha from July 17 as part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Serengeti National Park and discovery of the fossilized skull of Zinjanthropus in Olduvai Gorge.

Speaking at the Karibu/KiliFair International Tourism Fair in Arusha yesterday, Natural Resources and Tourism minister Hamisi Kigwangalla said tourists were also expected to flock to the two sites during the commemoration period.

"For five days from July 17, Tanzanians and experts from all over the world who will be meeting in Arusha will have an opportunity to view the Zinjanthropus skull, which is being preserved by the government," he said.

Dr Kigwangalla added that the fossil would now be displayed at the site it was discovered after it was moved away in 1959 following its discovery by anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey.

The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) will organise transport between Karatu and Olduvai Gorge from July 17 to enable Tanzanians view the skull. Dr Kigwangalla appealed to the media to help publicise the commemoration, which is also aimed at further promoting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park as leading tourist attractions in the country.

"We are grateful to have here with us the Mwananchi Communications Limited executive editor, Uhuru Publications chief executive, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation director general, ITV and other media houses. We hope that you will help us to publicise this important milestone," he said.

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NCAA commissioner Freddy Manongi said the commemoration was an opportunity for Tanzanians to appreciate the wealth of heritage Olduvai Gorge has been blessed with.

He added that NCAA would provide bus transport between Karatu and Ngorongoro to enable as many people as possible to make the trip.

"This is also an opportunity to promote domestic tourism, and we hope that Tanzanians will flock to Olduvai and Ngorongoro in their thousands to see for themselves the natural wonders this country has been blessed with," Dr Manongi said.

Meanwhile, Dr Kigwangalla said the Serengeti marks the 60th anniversary this year since it was declared a national park.

He said details of the Olduvai Gorge and Serengeti commemorations can be obtained through #Tanzaniazinjanthropus60years and #tanapa@60.

Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) conservation commissioner Allan Kijazi said the commemoration would be used to promote domestic tourism and conservation. He said Serengeti National Park, which has won a number of coveted global awards, is a world heritage site and a global natural wonder, adding that it is still a top tourist attraction 60 years after it was officially established.

"In this national park there is the great annual wildebeest migration involving over a million animals. It is also much easier to spot wildlife than in many other national parks elsewhere," Dr Kijazi said.

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