REGROW: The Tourism Link Propelling Tanzania’s Southern Circuit to New Heights

Tanzania's Southern Circuit
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Promoting part of the former Selous Game Reserve to Nyerere National Park has extensively promoted Tanzania’s southern circuit tourism packages. The Government of Tanzania, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, is implementing a Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) Project. The REGROW project seeks to strengthen the management of protected areas, promote nature-based tourism in Southern Tanzania, known as the “Tanzania’s Southern Circuit,” and contribute to diversifying livelihoods in selected communities.

Discovering Southern Circuit Safaris to unlock Ruaha and Nyerere National Parks to international and local tourists is made more accessible by the simple connectivity among the three National parks: Nyerere, Udzungwa, and Mikumi. This easy connectivity will likely increase the number of local and foreign tourists who simultaneously serve two purposes: first, it will trigger the increase of tourism in general while ensuring tourism thrives in the southern circuit.

Named after the founding father of the East African nation, Julius Nyerere, the new park with a size of 30,893 square kilometers, is now the largest national park in Africa. Nyerere National Park together with the remaining 20,000 square kilometers of Selous game reserve is strategically connected to two other eye-catching Tanzanian National parks, Mikumi and Udzungwa.

The three parks share the same ecology and are easily connected, forming a striking triangle for tourists. They are advantageously situated, making it easier and convenient for a tourist to enjoy three different destinations within a short period, starting with Nyerere National Park, which is a stronghold of African wild dogs and the most significant number of elephants in Africa, Udzungwa Mountain National Park, the rain forest mountain and Mikumi National Park passing through the different landscape, scenario, and escarpment.

The closeness of Nyerere National Park to the business capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, connects this triangle with the spice Island of Zanzibar in a convenient way that it’s stress-free for a tourist to make the connection from or to the spice Isles. Seth Mihayo, a tourism senior officer at Nyerere National Park, says a tourist visiting Nyerere will enjoy a boat safari along the mighty Rufiji River that will bring a visitor into close contact with hippos, crocodiles and fantastic birdlife, as the park hosts more than 400 bird species.

“Animals make their way to the river to drink and boat may approach elephant, waterbuck and other on the river banks to within a few meters. Crocodile glide into the water as your boat approaches and hippo appear in frightening proximity, grunting and blowing steam,” he enlightens.

A Game Drive in Nyerere, Mikumi National Park

A game drive at the park gives a tourist good photographic opportunities and the chance to explore different sections of the vast park. Nyerere is famous for its Elephants. Commonly seen are lions, wild dogs, buffalo, bushbuck, impalas, elands, baboons, zebra, wildebeest, and greater kudu.

Mihayo adds that the walking safari in Nyerere is an unforgettable experience; “Walking safari gives our visitors a particularly intimate feel for African wild. Tourists come into direct contact with nature in an unspoiled wilderness, seeing the different footprints and droppings of wild animals and small creatures you can’t see during the game drive.”

Driving from Nyerere National Park to Mikumi is a journey of nature delights, exploring Tanzania’s most impressive, truly wild, and pristine areas. The drive will take you to the Uluguru Mountains across rivers and pass through small local villages and farms.

Animals commonly found in Mikumi include lion, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, elephants, and many more. Wild dogs can come and go in this park. The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, with over 300 species of birds observed in this park, make it an unforgettable experience for safari makers.

The travel is the most rewarding and adventures on the southern circuit, heading to Udzungwa Mountain National park, where walking in this beautiful park enjoying and experience the stunning natural beauty, discovering the area, including the beautiful Sanje waterfall, which is 170m high makes the expedition worth every effort.

Tourists can get a chance to swim in one of the waterfall plunge pools. The walk is up to 1600m above sea level with a beautiful view of Kilombero Valley.

Touring this park will enable tourists to see six species of monkeys, including endemic species of Sanje Crested Mangabey and Iringa Red Colobus Monkey. Udzungwa Mountain National Park is one of Tanzania’s most outstanding, pristine, paradise, and unique, exciting wilderness mountains forested with the most incredible altitudinal forest range. It is one of the thirty-four “World Biodiversity Hotspots” and one of 200 WWF Eco Regions of global critical importance.

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