Tanzania is mulling over privatising armed rangers service for guarding and guiding walking safaris and mountain climbing tourists in Arusha National Park (Anapa).
The move aims to providing tourists with value for the $46 fee each group of four visitors pays for both products.
Situated on the fringes of Arusha City, Anapa has important geological and ecological features in a small area such as craters, soda lakes, a volcanic mountain and a diverse habitat.
The park offers Mount Meru climbing and both short and long trek safaris, which require armed rangers for security as well as providing interpretation services.
The rangers carry out anti-poaching patrols, prosecution at courts of law, sentry duties and ecological monitoring.
However, the park currently has an insufficient number of armed rangers.
Last week, Tanzania National Park (Tanapa) engaged members of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) to deliberate on the possible partnership to improve services of the picturesque national park.
Visitor dissatisfaction led to the number of mountain climbers at Anapa to fall from over 15,000 in 2011/12 to about 7,000 in 2017/18, prompting Tanapa to commission a team to study and make recommendations.
The study recommended that short and long term solutions that Tanapa should implement one year hence, as well as develop standard operating procedures and an oversight system.
Tour operators capable of providing qualified armed guides will be allowed to offer the service provided they adhere to Tanapa standards.
"Considering prohibitive cost of maintaining optimal number of ranger guides, we recommend using private investors to offer the services," the Tato chief executive, Mr Sirili Akko said.