The custodians of the National and World Heritage Areas
In 1961, Tanzania's first President, Julius Nyerere signed a petition pledging the protection of wild animals and wild places. The petition, known as the Arusha Manifesto, read in part: "In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children's grandchildren will be able to enjoy this rich and precious heritage." Nyerere meant every word. His manifesto still guides Tanzania's economic and political policies.
In a country the size of Belgium, France and Germany combined, parks, reserves and conservation areas cover about 14% percent of the land - a larger percentage than any other country on earth.
There are three departments in charge of Tanzania's protected areas, all of them co-operating under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism:
The Tanzanian Parks Authority, TANAPA, was created in 1959 to oversee the growing roster of national parks: Arusha, Gombe, Katavi, Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, Mahale, Mikumi, Ruaha, Rubondo, Serengeti, Tarangire and Udzungwa. All together 6 % of the country. No hunting is allowed in National Parks; all flora and fauna are offered total protection.
Tanzania National Parks is a parastatal organisation. This means that it is fully financing itself without any government subsidy. It also means that every cent a visitor is spending in Park Fees goes back to the protection and maintenance of the National Parks system. TANAPA's highest body is its Board of Trustees. The Director General of the organisation is Mr Lota Melamari.
The Tanzanian Wildlife Division oversees the numerous reserves and game controlled areas, like the Selous, where limited hunting and foot safaris are permitted.
And the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority manages the Ngorongoro caldera and it's surroundings. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area hunting is no longer allowed, but the Maasai are allowed to live there and graze their cattle.
For more information contact: The Director General, Tanzania National Parks, P.O. Box 3134, Arusha, Tanzania.