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Sharon_Bigelow Dec 27th, 2010 06:07 AM

Tanzania Boycott
The Government of Tanzania has decided to build a highway across the Serengeti !!!Please inform yourself about this issue before you support their decision by considering other more environmentally concerned countries to travel to. I have just cancelled my travels there to protest my concerns.

Nikao Dec 27th, 2010 06:40 AM

not sure if there was any news out lately, but there has been quite a bit of talk about around/since july.
As far as I understand these are still plans, and Tanzania indeed is still planning to go through with it.
However, they get a huge amount of upset reactions from environmentalists, and possibly also from the tourism industry.

One thing that still isn't clear to me is what this 'highway' is supposed to be? From what I can understand from the different articles it seems to be an existing route that will be enhanced and 'opened up' for commercial traffic? Not the speedy tarmac road I at first envisioned when I heard 'serengeti highway' ;)

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 07:29 AM

From what I learned, it is existing, but currently used by mostly tourism vehicles or supply vehicles for the tourism industry. The new road would be tarmac with 2 lanes.

If that is wrong, please correct the info.

One of the big deterrents to the this "northern" route is the potential loss of "World Heritage" status.

Who to contact?

Executive Secretary Mustafa Akunaay
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators
P.O. Box 6162
Arusha, Tanzania

The Honorable President Jakaya Kikwete
Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania
1232 22nd Street NW
Washington D.C. 20037

Dr. Aloyce Nzuki
Tanzania Tourist Board
P.O. Box 2485
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Honorable Shamsa S. Mwangunga
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism
P.O. Box 9153
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

This is a good link.

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 07:39 AM

How fast?

Note the article was pre-election. Post-election information on speed limits has been merely speculation from what I can find. The speculation is that the park speed limits would not apply to the highway.

<b>Tanzanian Highway Threatens the Serengeti
• AUGUST 19, 2010</b>

<i>Many of the predictions about the destruction of the wildebeest migration are based on the scenario of a high-speed asphalt highway through the Serengeti park. Early reports indicated that the Serengeti section of the highway would be paved, but (Tanzania President Jakaya) Kikwete recently assured critics that the 30-mile section would be gravel with a low speed limit.

But critics say the road would still threaten the wildlife because it would not be controlled by the Serengeti National Parks authority. "If that road is de-gazetted from the Serengeti, there would be no limitation on traffic at night and fencing could happen without the national park having a say in it," said Dennis Rentsch, a community liaison for the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Nikao Dec 27th, 2010 07:44 AM

this is a helpful video that explains the current proposal;

it is a different route than the existing, but not tarmac at the start (expected to become tarmac in the future of course).
Estimated 400 trucks per day :(

Nikao Dec 27th, 2010 07:45 AM

and here is there facebook page with a lot more articles on the subject;

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 08:06 AM

Thanks for the video.

400 trucks per day, with some traveling at night, which increases the odds of animal-vehicle collisons. The fear is that to avoid such collisions the road will then be fenced and fencing WOULD halt the migration and the Serengeti ecosystem as we know it.

This Aug 2 article looks like tarmac would not be used. But if not initially, probably eventually.

Aug 2, 2010

<i>The government has partly bowed to pressure from international organisations and rescinded its decision to pave a road running across the world-famous Serengeti National Park (Senapa).

President Jakaya Kikwete said in his end-of-the month speech on Saturday evening that the government had decided not to tarmac the 50km stretch passing though the park. The stretch is part of a road planned by the government to link Mara and Arusha regions from Musoma in Mara to Mto wa Mbu in Arusha through Loliondo in Ngorngoro District.</i>

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 08:16 AM

I would think that more foreceful than a bunch of names on a petition (which I signed months ago) would be personal contacts (which I've sent and will again)--especially personal contacts from anyone changing their travel plans away from Tanzania and why.

Sad thought: If too many people shun Tanzania and the Serengeti is no longer a wildlife tourist destination, then so what if the migration is destoyed and the ecosystem ruined? It is no longer a tourism money maker, use the land and resources in another manner.

Very depressing.

Otis72 Dec 27th, 2010 08:36 AM

If a boycott is in order, it would be far more effective (at least in the US) to boycott Wal-Mart. The press and other media seem to be ignoring the most important driver, i.e. where is the money coming from? Who is willing to put up the cash to build the road? Who wants the minerals and other resources that the road allows to be harvested? Most immediately, who is greasing the wheels? This isn't rocket science. All roads lead to the East and it ain't East Africa.

This is first and foremost a travel site, and the politics are best addressed elsewhere. But boycotting Tanzania tourism does nothing to address the problem. Tourism dollars also grease some wheels, but nothing like the grease that will open up the Continent's interior and its resources to world markets.

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 12:51 PM

While I disagree with you, Otis, that the political aspects of travel don't belong on this forum, I unfortunately agree completely with you about the role of this continent's resources and world markets.

The info in a Today Show segment from this morning stated that China is buying huge quantities of these rare earth metals extracted from regions near Lake Victoria and transported across the Serengeti.

mcwomble Dec 27th, 2010 01:42 PM

sharon, I don't really believe you are cancelling your trip, nor do I think it is the best advice.

Surely it is better to go and talk to people than just spout on an internet forum?

atravelynn Dec 27th, 2010 02:23 PM

What people should Sharon talk to? I will also talk to them. Please tell us. We'll all talk to them.

If Sharon is spouting, then every post on every topic is a spout. That's what happens on an internet forum.

Why is this not good advice? Please present the other side or show why this is reactionary.

My requests of you, Mcwomble, are sincere requests for info, not just rhetorical challenges.

mcwomble Dec 28th, 2010 01:16 AM


I think you give some good ideas of people to contact. I also meant talking to Tanzanians to get their views.

I also agree with you that a boycott could have the opposite effect - tourism diminishes and has less influence on government decisions.

And I'd be interested to hear where these envirnomentally-friendly countries are? Kenya? Botswana?

atravelynn Dec 28th, 2010 05:59 AM

I agree that every country, including my own, has environmental issues and shortfalls.

But if building this road would truly result in a "complete collapse" of the Serengeti as claimed in the Today Show, then that elevates this situation to a level of emergency.

atravelynn Dec 29th, 2010 03:12 PM

December 29, 2010

The Honorable Jakaya Kikwete
President of the Republic of Tanzania

Dear President Kikwete:

As a yearly visitor to the continent of Africa, I am appealing to you and the government of Tanzania to stop the planned construction of the highway through the Serengeti. Please choose an alternate route that offers a safer alternative route to the south which bypasses the Serengeti.

Please listen to the voices of millions of people worldwide, and do not damage the legacy of your first president, Julius Nyerere, who gave Tanzania global recognition for a reputation of conservation achievements. It is a reputation which your country still enjoys.

With proper stewardship, this reputation and the tourism dollars that result will continue for years to come.

Yours sincerely,

Find the Tanzanian Embassy address in YOUR COUNTRY and use the suggestions provided to compose your own letter at

Here is the email address for the Tanzanian Embassy in the United States:

[email protected]

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