Unveiling Hidden Gems and the Riches of Domestic Tourism in Tanzania

Share this article

A Guide to create  a Sustainable culture of Domestic Tourism in Tanzania from the Inspiration of locals Exploring their own Backyard.

Tanzania is endowed with spectacular and absorbing natural resources attractions found from all corners of the country. World renowned national parks and conservation areas are  all hosted by this great East African country. It has 16 national parks, 28 game reserves, 44 game controlled areas, 1 conservation area and marine parks.

It boosts endless plains and a coastline of over 1424 kilometers rich in both wildlife and marine life. Over 38 percent of its area is a protected area under authorities including TAWA, TANAPA, NCAA, TFS and NMT. Tanzania is home to an estimated 4 million wildlife and home to the continent’s largest population of safari species and the legendary annual Great Migration of roughly 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle moving through the Serengeti ecosystem,

It is home to famous attractions including Serengeti, Mikumi, Ruaha, Nyerere, Tarangire, Arusha, Mkomazi, Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara national parks and conservation including Ngorongoro and Ngorongoro geo park and pristine beaches including Nungwi, Changu, Mnemba, Mafia. It also boasts numerous museums, old town ruins, cultural experience and beautiful people.  These attractions are renowned world over and over 1.4 million tourists visited the country as of December 2022, Most of these visitors are foreign. Data from Tourism Report quarter one of 2023 from the Ministry of  Natural Resources and Tourism,   514,287 visitors visited NCAA, TANAPA, TAWA, TFS and NMT.

Encouraging Local Discovery: Unveiling Tanzania’s Hidden Attractions for Sustainable Tourism

Apart from these famous attractions, there are many beautiful rivers, mountains, hotspot springs, small lakes, game reserves, forests, waterfalls, cultural centres  and cultures of over 120 tribes in virtually every district in Tanzania with very few visitors. The likes of  Pare, Udzungwa, Usambara, Southern highlands mountains, magnificent lakes including Singida, Jipe, Manze, Eyasi, Babati, Burigi, Ambussel, Ngozi, Ikimba just to mention a few, waterfalls including  Tururu, Marangu, countless forests, rivers, caves and beaches ready to be explored.

These beautiful scenery and spectacular scenery are scattered across the whole of Tanzania. Unfortunately the government and Tourism stakeholders have not utilised these virgin attractions to generate more revenues.  It is now time to come up with  a well researched action plan on how to tap the potentials of these attractions.

This article intends to highlight how Showing rather than Telling locals to explore their own local backyard can inspire a sustainable culture of Tanzanians who are excited to visit one by one the attractions of our great motherland in the long run. As data from the Ministry of Tourism shows an increase of 47.1 percent of Domestic tourists 514,752 visitors from 32,779 in the first quarters of 2022 and 2023 respectively. Still there is room for creating a huge number of domestic tourists as Showing has illustrated to invoke a sense of wanting more and it should almost always be the prime strategy to inspire locals to explore their local attractions. The government and especially the local governments  and other stakeholders must first map and identify all attractions in Tanzania from every village and thereafter create a database just like other national attractions.

Inspiring Local Exploration: Initiatives for Sustainable Tourism Culture in Tanzania

Enhancing structures

Structures like picnic areas, visitor centers, well-walking trails and bridges. After the government and other stakeholders have mapped and identified all attractions like waterfalls, mountains, rivers, forests, local shrine areas, hotspot springs, islands and cultural centers, friendly structures must be installed where visitors can easily access these sites that are in their vicinity and explore them. Structures must be friendly such that all locals are able to visit them.

Collaborations with local businesses

Government and other stakeholders including lodging owners, tour operators must collaborate to provide special discounts and packages to locals visiting their local attractions. This can be done in already established attractions thus encouraging locals to start visiting attractions in their locales. TANAPA, NCAA, TAWA and TFS can take initiatives to collaborate with local hotels and tour operators found in the vicinity of their respective authorities and provide special offers to locals as part of corporate social responsibility programmes and hence encouraging locals to visit their local attractions

Community Engagement programmes

Engaging on local workshops and interactive sessions whereas local governments including district councils in collaboration with village leaders must all be at the heart of preparing interactions with locals and prepare trips and community tours where schools, religious groups can visit their local attractions and learn more about their own backyard. It is necessary local village leaders are involved in these engagement programmes as they know inside out the attractions around their localities.

Promotional campaigns

Campaigns like local exhibitions, local radios having more shows that tell more about the local attractions found in their locales. Councils should be able to prepare local exhibitions showcasing beautiful local attractions like mountains, river banks, waterfalls, forests and other attractions and also prepare trips with special discounts and packages on a regular basis. Departments of youths and tourism in these local councils should prepare such exhibitions on a regular basis,  this will definitely invoke a spirit of locals to explore their local attractions. Celebrities can also be used during these local exhibitions to inspire locals to explore their local attractions.

Sports and entertainment

Local authorities and tourism stakeholders across Tanzania can utilise bonanza and sports tournaments like bicycle races, local marathons and football tournaments to showcase their local attractions.  This is possible and very effective as youths are easily attracted to such events. While the bonanza and sports tournaments are ongoing, local councils can prepare exhibitions that showcase their local attractions.

Educational programmes tailored specifically for schools and colleges where field trips, guest lectures and interactive learning experiences for students. Government policies should encourage and provide guidelines to schools and colleges to intentionally have these programmes where trips are prepared every year for students to visit attractions starting by visiting local attractions found within a few kilometres of their locales. This is possible and doable as most of these local attractions are found in these localities.

Local Tourism Revolution: Igniting Tanzanians’ Passion for Exploring their Homeland

As the government of Tanzania has embarked on a goal of a $6 billion dollar Tourism industry by 2025, we can not ignore the potential of Domestic Tourism.  There have been commendable initiatives by some leaders  in some councils who have been pushing and inspiring locals to explore their local attractions, Hon. Jokate Mwegelo, District commissioner for Korogwe being one of them. These initiatives must not be a one off for a few leaders, instead every leader across Tanzania must play their roles to undertake initiatives that will inspire locals to explore their local attractions throughout the year.

This will install passion and spirit of Tanzanians liking and wanting to explore attractions in Tanzania. This in a long run is crucial in creating a sustainable culture of Tanzanians who are excited to visit natural resources attractions. If these initiatives are seriously and intentionally undertaken with zeal and determination by all stakeholders, the numbers of local tourists will start increasing by the year and so will revenues and the goals to have a sustainable multi billion dollar tourism industry in our country will be realistic and attainable.

Tanzania being home to continent’s largest population of safari species and the legendary annual Great Migration of roughly 2 million wildebeest, Africa’s greatest and deepest of lakes, largest national parks and home to the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and a coastline of over 1424 kilometres with rich marine wildlife, fascinating tribes of over 120 and a beautiful history of struggle for political independence to the people of southern Africa and the cradle of mankind should comfortably be able to attract tourists foreign and domestic  to generate billions of dollars for the development of our country.

It is high time that all stakeholders collaborate and also utilise these local attractions found  throughout Tanzania to inspire locals to explore their local attractions thus generating a  sizable and sustainable revenue. Political will and research on how best to utilise these potentials need to be taken soon and fast for the goals of Tourism come 2025 to be realised and achieved.

For more of opinion articles, read here.


hold a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Marketing from St. Augustine University of Tanzania. I am currently working as a Hub Data Officer for Benjamin Mkapa Foundation at Usangi District hospital. I am an experienced Marketing and Sales professional where I have worked in this field for over 5 years. I have now worked in a PEPFAR HIV funded programme for over 3 years where I have been receiving various training and facilitation on the basics of comprehensive HIV care. I am passionate about traveling and creative writing and I am determined to learn more about writing to express my ideas that will inspire positive and constructive discussion in Tanzania for the welfare of the Tanzanian society.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leave a comment
scroll to top