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US journalists praise Ruaha national park

Ruaha National Park has been praised as among the best wildlife viewing spots in the country. That is the view of a team of American journalists who have just completed ten days of a sponsored tour of the country's national parks.

Hippos

Baboons

Journalist David Swanson said “Ruaha is not crowded, it is exciting, the scenery is captivating. And there are plenty of animals to see. There is no trouble finding a lion here.” Ruaha national park compares to the Ngorongoro crater, where it can be very difficult to find a lion because the beasts have learned to hide from people, he said.

The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and South African Airways jointly sponsored the travel news journalists from various corners of the United States to visit Tanzania to experience for themselves what the country has to offer in terms of the tourism industry.

The aim is to promote Tanzania tourist attractions through the specialized writers who visited tourist attractions from March 7 to 18.

Talking to this reporter during a farewell dinner in Dar es Salaam, journalist Barbara Penny Angelakis of Luxuryweb magazine said they were extremely excited to visit Ruaha National Park which is not crowded.

She said the animals at Ruaha national park were not scared of humans, although that seemed to be the case even at the other parks. No animals had attempted to run away from the tourists. “The animals were just curious! Wonderful safari, an unforgettable safari,” she said.

The tour was organized by Karen B. Hoffman, Senior Vice President of The Bradford Group, the TTB representative in the US. She came along as a team leader.

The team leader encouraged Tanzanias to maintain the peace that exists in the country because it will help in the marketing of the nation as a tourist destination.

Hoffman said Tanzania is one of the most interesting countries in Africa where people from different countries can visit to witness the tourist attractions and Americans have taken over as the number one source of tourism for Tanzania Worldwide.

While in Tanzania, the team visited Lake Manyara, Ruaha National Park, Serengeti National Park home to the great wildebeest migration for most of the year and enjoyed more migration viewing including one hour of a balloon safari.

Other tourists attractions including Ngorongoro crater, a world Heritage site and biosphere reserve, Ruaha National Park a hidden gem in remote Southern Tanzania, Zanzibar, the exotic spice Island, Kempinski Zanzibar Hotel, and Dar es salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital.

Geofrey Tengeneza, the TTB’s Senior Public Information Officer told the visiting group Tanzania could easily reach its target of one million tourists by 2010 if a stronger and effective integrated tourism marketing campaign is put in place.

“As part of that strategy, Tanzania has invited you American media outletsso that you can experience yourself, cover and report on Tanzania tourist attractions so that the American people can be aware of what we have in the tourism sector” he said.

Tanzania plans to keep the momentum. Visitors from the U.S market recently reached an annual record high of 68,379 visit to Tanzania Mainland including Zanzibar’s Island, she said.

“This growth is unprecedented and as a country we look forward to the continued expansion of the tourism sector with more investment in infrastructure and hotels.” He said.

He also noted that one of the reason why tourism is booming in Tanzania is that, Tanzania has always stressed the quality of the Safari experience and put the conservation of land and wildlife first rather than looking for mass tourism.

“As largest country in East Africa, we can accommodate increased numbers of travellers and still maintain high standards of ecological conservation” he said.

By Correspondent - Beatrice Philemon

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