Burigi-Chato to restore its rhino population

Burigi-Chato National Park may soon become the home of the ‘Big Five’ if the proposed plan of introducing species of white rhino from South Africa is anything to go by.

Authorities are mulling over plans of introducing not less that 20 rhinos, a move bent on spurring tourism activities in the protected area that was established in 2019.

Already, large groups of Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes and Elephants continue to roam the 4,707 square-kilometer national park.

According to the Park’s Senior Conservation Officer Gregory Ntibani, plans were well underway to introduce white rhinos in the area, having been last spotted in the 90s.

“Plans are well underway to bring white rhinos to Burigi-Chato National Park straight from South Africa,” disclosed the Senior Conservation Officer, while fielding questions from journalists here on Wednesday.

Mr Ntibani exuded confidence that the proposed ecological move will boost Burigi-Chato’s tourism prospects after it was elevated from a Game Reserve status, five years ago.

The Senior Conservation Officer hinted that wildlife experts and researchers had scratched their heads and deemed it fit to introduce a white rhino population in the area.

“The last white rhino was spotted at Burigi-Chato in the 90s, and it believed that they disappeared following increased human activities,” he explained.

According to Mr Ntibani, Burigi-Chato National Park has a prerequisite ecosystem that favours the existence of white rhinos.

Should a plan materialise, the National Park which borders Rwanda to the north will start recording a surge in tourism arrivals from a mere 48, that was registered recently.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, Tanzania had about 10,000 rhinos in the 1970s and the number declined to 65 in the 1990s and bounced back to 161 in 2018 and 190 in 2020.

Apart from the envisioned introduction of White Rhinos, the national park is also banking on a Visitors Information Center (VIC),a-state-of-the-art facility built courtesy of the Covid- 19 funds.

According to the Senior Conservation Officer, the 392.8million worth of structure is expected to raise the profile of Burigi-Chato National Park.

“The facility is slowly but surely taking shape and once completed, it will tell the whole story of the national park,” he said.

Some of the features that will be installed in the VIC, according to Mr Ntibani include mounted murals and pictures of the flora and fauna found in the park.

Standing on 18 square-kilometers, the facility will also have walkways, similar to the VIC constructed at Serengeti National Park.
“Before they begin their game drives, visitors will catch a glimpse and actually have a feel of the National Park from this facility,” the Senior Conservation Officer asserted.

Currently standing to the VIC, is a viewpoint that enables visitors and tourists to catch a glimpse of Lake Burigi, Tanzania’s fourth largest park which also forms part of the National Park.

In September last year, the government secured 1.291tri/- through a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) window disbursement.

The funds focused on health, education, water, tourism, social protection, energy, economic empowerment, and coordination and administration sectors for both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, whereby 1tri/- was meant for the former and some 230.1bn/- for the latter.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Tourism is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, impacting economies, livelihoods, public services and opportunities on all continents.

Related Articles

Back to top button