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The Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) offers huge potential in promoting tourism industry in the country.

Thousands of tourists are among the millions of passengers ferried by the 1860 kilometres TAZARA rail line from Dar es Salaam to New Kapirimposhi in Zambia.

It crosses in some of the most unique and spectacular tourist sites. The Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu said at the weekend in Dar es Salaam that investors could invest in the much needed tourism infrastructures along the railway line like hotels and lodges which in turn contribute to economic growth.

Mr Nyalandu made the remarks shortly after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Tanzania and the Chinese government to deliver 18 new carriages and repair 42 others to TAZARA.

"I invite Chinese investors take advantage of the abundant opportunities in the southern part of the country where the railway cut across to invest in hotels and lodges as well as other sorts of infrastructures to host the increasing number of tourists in the country," he said.

Last year, the country registered a 1.73 per cent increase of tourist arrivals to 1,095,884 from 1,077,058 in 2012. During the period, foreign exchange earnings from industry climbed to 1.88 billion US dollars up from 1.7 billion US dollars in the preceding year.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ms Doroth Mwanyika who signed on behalf of the government said the new wagons will improve railway transportation that would in turn improve socio-economic growth.

The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing said at the event that apart from promoting economic growth, TAZARA was an important symbol for improving conservation in the country's largest wildlife reserves where it crosses.

The railway line starts from Dar es Salaam through Kazimzumbwi forest, one the oldest forest in the world, and the savannah wooded plain, where the major southern national parks of Mikumi, Udzungwa and Selous Game Reserve are located.

From there, TAZARA crosses the Great Ruaha River, towards Kilombero Flood Plains. Then it passes through tunnels under Udzungwa Mountain ranges and, adjoining Kipengere Ranges to Makambako Plateau.

From Makambako the train runs on the foot of Kipengere Ranges and at the edge of Rift Valley to Mbeya. From Mbeya the train passes though smaller train stations of Mbalizi, Songwe, the Uporoto Ranges of Shikula, Mlowo, Vwawa before it arrives at Tunduma.

TAZARA Acting Managing Director Ronald Phiri said the railway not only eases mobility for some of the most disadvantaged rural communities in Tanzania and Zambia, but also provides a public railway service that is very predictable, reliable, safe and convenient.



Arusha The Local Government Authorities in the north of Tanzania will work with state tourism authorities, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and (Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), to start promoting unexploited destinations in the northern part of the country.

According to Felix Mabula, the Hanang District Executive Director in Manyara region, which borders Arusha region, the number of tourist attractions in the northern part of the country needs to be promoted.

"Local communities will be engaged through groups to facilitate implementation and sustainability," Mabula said.

Local authorities are working on setting up strategies on how best such kinds of tourist destinations will be managed and promoted in and outside the country.

"This is a community driven project where they are empowered to conserve the environment and promote tourism, including their own culture, to generate more income and to improve their livelihood," Mabula said.

He also said that Mount Hanang at 3,417 metres, is one of the tourist spots that is yet to be exploited fully as a destination. The dormant volcano is an ideal place for mountain climbers and tourists because its peak provides a good view of the local scenery.

Mt. Hanang is the third highest in Tanzania after Mt Meru (4,566m) and Kilimanjaro (5895m). The promotion targets Mount Hanang among other tourism attraction sites in Manyara region.

The move will make the mountain as the main source of revenue of local government and the central government as it is to other tourist destinations in the country, Mabula said, adding that the promotion will involve different stakeholders.

Manyara Regional Commissioner Elaston Mbwilo said Mt Hanang is one of the tourist destinations that need to be promoted for higher economic growth. Others include Mt. Kwahara, which provides beautiful scenery of Babati Township and Lake Babati.

Besides, Hanang has some natural, cultural and man-made attractions, hot water springs Balang'da-Lalu and Balang'da-Gidaghang'd (Gendabi) salt lakes, Lake Bassotu; huge rocks some with prehistoric rock drawings.

This promotion is being spearheaded together with TANAPA and local government authorities to help diversify tourism products while also boosting income for the local communities.