Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu has commended a remarkable initiative by Tanzania National Parks in introducing new tourism products at Lake Manyara National Park. Nyalandu said this during the official launching of the hot springs boardwalk way and hippo pool viewpoint projects at the park yesterday.
Nyalandu said that the two projects will add value to the tourism sector by increasing the number of tourist arrivals in the country and urged other stakeholders to be innovative in introducing products that will attract more tourists.
The Manyara boardwalk way and hippo pool viewpoint projects worth about 200 millions were initiated to counter the decreased trend of tourist numbers in the park following the flashfloods hit the park in March 2013 which damaged most of tourist infrastructures.
Director General of TANAPA Allan Kijazi giving out welcoming remarks during the official launching
The first ever tourism product in the national parks, the boardwalk way is featured with 1.5 meters wide impressive wooden structure, creating a 300 meters long trail standing 1.5 meters above ground winding up in an observation platform that is 15 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The trail meanders through the hot springs and lakeshore around a marsh and finally into the lake. The boardwalk will give visitors a unique view and wonderful photo opportunities at every turn of the boardwalk trail.
Hot springs boardwalk way is designed to simply give people a nice place to walk along the numerous hot springs and be close to the attractions and enjoy the wide view of the lake.
Visitors will use the facilities boardwalk way for free and have opportunity of walking around 600 meters on a return trip to the lakeshore and over the hot springs. Educational signage with entertaining themes will be erected in key locations to allow visitors’ easy reading and understanding of the nature and the resources found in the area. These signs will educate visitors about the ecology and adaptation of plants and animals to the area. Moreover, it will explain the fragility of the ecosystem and why it is so important to use the boardwalks to avoid, as much as possible, disturbing the environment.
Moreover, the viewpoint is a freestanding wooden platform rising by 8 feet above the ground measuring 56 feet in length and 5 feet in width. It is about 8 km away from main gate. Standing at the top of the viewing platform enables the viewer a spectacular view of the marshland and its inhabitants – waterfowl, hippo, buffalo and wildebeest – from a point of vantage while affording the visitor a high sense of security.
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