Tanzania, China sign deal for Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark project

What you need to know:

  • The Sh25 billion project seeks to develop the Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark the only such designated conservation area in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second in the whole of Africa

Dar es Salaam. The government, through the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority (NCAA), has signed an agreement with the government of China aimed at continuing with the implementation of the Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark project.

A statement released to The Citizen over the weekend said the project, worth Sh25 billion, was signed by the Conservation Commissioner of the NCAA, Richard Kiiza, and the acting ambassador of China to Tanzania Chu Kun.

The project includes the construction of the tourism infrastructure in Miamba (Geopark) and is expected to be completed by June 2025.

The Senior Assistant Commissioner for Conservation in charge of Cultural Heritage and Geology, Joshua Mwankunda, said that the construction will also involve the infrastructure of a large and modern geological museum and guest toilets in the Empakaai crater, as well as the restoration of the footprints of ancient humans located in Laetoli.

Further, he noted that the construction will also include tourist viewing platforms in the areas of Empakaai, Seneto, and Oldoinyo Lengai.

"Additionally, there will be a dedicated facility for research and tourism, allowing visitors to explore the ancient footprints in Laetoli. Infrastructure will also be established to offer insightful interpretations of geological tourism resources at approximately 100 sites," he said.

Commissioner Mwankunda further clarified that the newly developed infrastructure will enhance tourism attractions and extend the duration tourists stay in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in the Monduli and Karatu districts in the Arusha region.

Mr Kiiza commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for facilitating Chinese support for the development of the Ngorongoro-Lengai geopark.

Ngorongoro-Lengai is currently the only geopark in sub-Saharan Africa and the second in Africa. Rock and landscape tourism is a new type of tourism that attracts many visitors to the world at the moment.