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Multi-billionaire to build luxury hotel inside Serengeti

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Sep 24th, 2005, 03:41 PM
  #1
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Multi-billionaire to build luxury hotel inside Serengeti

Any idea what this is about?

"East African environmental watchdogs and wildlife conservationists have protested the Tanzanian government’s plan to allow a Dubai-based multi-billionaire to build luxury hotel inside Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania.

Fears spread among environmental watchdogs in both Tanzania and Kenya soon after the visit of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) investor to the Serengeti National Park and convinced the Tanzanian government of his intention to build a 120-room hotel complex inside the wildlife habitat.

Wildlife conservationists say such a huge investment inside the park will disrupt conservation efforts and will degrade the fragile environment inside this famous wildlife park in Africa.

Serengeti National Park, which shares the same ecological setup with the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, has been described as sensitive nature conserved site in Africa and needed an international concern.

Serengeti National Park covers 14,763 sq. km, boasting of over three million big mammals roaming inside its wide plains. Over 1.5 million wildebeests roam the park’s ecosystem attracting most tourists during their annual migration from one side to the other side of the park.

The Tanzania National Parks Authority, the trustee managers of the key protected wildlife parks in Tanzania, is divided over the project forcing the review of its General Management Plan (GMP), which closed the room for construction of more permanent lodges inside the park.

The program manager of Conservation Development Center (CDC), Mr. Rob Craig, said his center has advised the National Parks Authority to carry out thorough environmental impact assessment of the planned site to avoid obstructing the wildlife migration between Kenya and Tanzania.

Frankfurt Zoological Society, which has been funding wildlife conservation programs in Serengeti National Park for decades, opposes the plan. The head of the group’s operations in Africa, Dr. Markus Borner, told reporters he would voice his opposition to the proposed hotel project or any other permanent structures there.

If allowed, the proposed hotel will be the biggest accommodation facility to be constructed inside a wildlife-protected area in East Africa. The current maximum room for lodges currently in operation is 75. Only four permanent, 75-room lodges have been allowed inside Serengeti - Serena Lodge, Sopa Lodge, Seronera Safari Lodge and Lobo Safari Lodge.

Tented and mobile camps are mostly encouraged inside the park with no limitation.

The Tanzanian government has stopped further construction of permanent lodges and hotels inside wildlife parks in northern tourist circuit, except for those investors selecting to build hotels outside the park boundaries.

Outgoing Tanzanian President Mr. Benjamin Mkapa has said his government was seriously looking at better and sustainable use of its natural resources for future generation, and would not allow haphazard construction of permanent tourist facilities inside the wildlife parks.

“It is true we want to make money out of our tourism potential, but we are equally conscious of our tremendous responsibility to protect and conserve world treasures. We will not let our short-term needs for money obscure our long-term commitment to conservation and preservation,” Mr. Mkapa said."
BahamaBreeze is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Thanks for informing us of the unsettling news.

http://tanzaniatouristboard.com/associations

This link has many Tanzanian tourism contacts where we can make our views known and indicate how we will likely spend or not spend our tourist dollars if such atosity is permitted.
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