We have informed you in our news about the construction of a huge hydroelectric power station in the heart of Selous Game Reserve (Stiegler’s Gorge), a reserve listed in UNESCO. The construction of the power plant will destroy around 1,500 km2 of the landscape by cutting of savannah trees, constructions of the dam and associated buildings, industrialisation and by damage of water regime inside and outside of this protected area. The President of Tanzania supports this controversial project despite of the criticism of environmentalists from all over the world.
At the end of 2019, most likely to compensate for such decision, the Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, put through the Tanzanian Parliament the foundation of 6 new national parks. He explained that establishing of new national parks is important not only for nature protection but for local economic prosperity based on the development of an ecotourism, too. The largest of the new national parks, Nyere National Park (surrounding the hydroelectric plant), was surprisingly created in the main part of the Selouse Reserve and was named after the first Tanzanian president. This is one of the largest national parks in Africa covering more than 30,000 km2 (an area the size of Belgium). The future of the coexistence of a huge hydroelectric station and national park is hard to predict. The other large size national parks are located in the western part of the country and their areas, originally game reserves with low intensity of nature protection, were transformed to national parks and thus got higher protection status. Kigosi NP, with a surface larger than 7,400 km2 has a diverse fauna incl. fragments of population of African elephant, hippos, buffalos, prides of lions and strong population of archaic (bizarre) species of stork, a shoebill. Ugalla River NP (5,000 km2) and Burigi –Chato NP (around 4,000 km2) include rich diverse types of landscapes (from savanna trough lakes and swamps to meandering rivers). Two other smaller national parks, Ibanda Kyerwa (300 km2) and Rumanyika – Karagwe (247 km2) can be found on extreme NW of Tanzania, close to the borders with Rwanda and Uganda.
Despite of many questions concerning the establishment of six new national parks in Tanzania, such deed is a very positive signal. Better quality of nature protection and the development of ecotourism would present big challenges for national and foreign nature protection and ecotourism bodies.
The total area of the 22 Tanzanian national parks is around 100,000 km2 (i.e. more than 10 per cent of the whole territory of Tanzania).
Tanzanians National Parks (2020)
Light-green colour represents new national parks founded in 2019 (incl. Burigi – Chato NP, which is in dark green, by mistake) and dark green representing older national parks.
An Overview of National Parks in Tanzania
|No.||National Park||Size (km2)||Year of Establishment and GN Number||Region Where the Park is Located or Bordering|
|1||Serengeti||14,763||1951 GN 12||Mara, Arusha, Simiyu|
|2||Lake Manyara||648.7||1960 GN 505, 2009 GN 105||Arusha, Manyara|
|3||Arusha||552||1960 GN 237, 2005 GN 280||Arusha|
|4||Ruaha||20,300||1964 GN 464, 2008 GN 28||Iringa, Dodoma na Mbeya|
|5||Mikumi||3,230||1964 GN 465||Morogoro|
|6||Gombe||71||1968 GN 234,
2013 GN 228
|7||Tarangire||2,600||1970 GN 160||Arusha, Dodoma na Manyara|
|8||Kilimanjaro||1,668||1974 GN 56, 2005
|9||Katavi||4,471||1974 GN 1||Katavi|
|10||Rubondo Island||457||1977 GN 21||Geita na Kagera|
|11||Mahale Mountain||1,577||1985 GN 262||Katavi na Kigoma|
|12||Udzungwa Mountain||1,990||1992 GN 39||Morogoro na Iringa|
|13||Saadani||1,100||2005 GN 281||Pwani naTanga|
|14||Kitulo||413||2005 GN 279||Njombe na Mbeya|
|15||Mkomazi||3,245||2008 GN 27||Kilimanjaro na Tanga|
|16||Saanane Island||2.8||2013 GN 227||Mwanza|
|17||Burigi -Chato||4,707||2019 GN 508||Kagera na Geita|
|18||Ibanda-Kyerwa||298.6||2019 GN 509||Kagera|
|19||Rumanyika – Karagwe||247||2019 GN 510||Kagera|
|20||Nyerere||30,893||2019 GN||Lindi, Pwani na Morogoro|
|21||Kigosi||7,460||2019 GN||Kigoma, Tabora na Geita|
|22||Ugalla river||3,865||2019 GN||Tabora|
Examples of Landscapes in New National Parks
Nyeri National Park and Ugalla River National Park (right)