National game reserves now set to undergo comprehensive upgrading

28Dec 2017
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
National game reserves now set to undergo comprehensive upgrading

THE Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) has unveiled a new plan to upgrade game reserves in the country as part of a fresh bid to boost tourist arrival numbers and revenues from the industry.

TAWA is an autonomous public institution responsible for undertaking the administration and sustainable management of wildlife resources and biodiversity conservation outside national parks and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The agency is also keen on raising the profile of the Swaga Swaga Game Reserve in Kondoa District, to capitalise on its proximity to the country's new capital.

Fielding questions from reporters recently, TAWA director Dr James Wakibara said game reserves had plenty to offer in terms of potential revenues that can be tapped from activities conducted within the reserves.

According to Dr Wakibara, TAWA is at the moment striving to become more creative in adding more tourism products and services offered by Tanzania's game reserves.

"When we were establishing these reserves, we clearly specified the activities of hunting and photography tourism that can be used to bolster the industry," he said.

Although hunting activities inside game reserves earned the country more money than photography tourism, TAWA is keen to capitalise on both products, Dr Wakibara explained.

"The game reserves have become wildlife strongholds because the animals tend to find solace in them," he noted.

On the Swaga Swaga Game Reserve, he said TAWA intends to capitalise fully on the large number of elephants found within the 871-square kilometre area.

"We are keen on upgrading this reserve in particular," he confirmed.

Tanzania has a total of 28 official game reserves covering one-fifth of the country’s entire surface area.

Last week, TAWA confirmed the successful translocation of more than 50 different species of snakes from the new presidential State House site at Chamwino village in Dodoma to the Swaga Swaga Game Reserve.

The four-month exercise, conducted from May to August this year, also involved the relocation of more than 300 hyraxes and lizards.