New National Parks in Tanzania


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

GN 258

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
TOTAL (km2) 99,306.5







Examples of Landscapes in New National Parks

Nyeri National Park  and Ugalla River National Park (right)





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