The beauty of Tanzania through a Chinese lens

The beauty of Tanzania through a Chinese lens

Exhibition of pictures and various attractions available in Tanzania have been exposed to market the country around the world. The country is known as a wildlife paradise and is often referred to as the ‘wildlife Eden’ 

Since the 1950s, 22 national parks and a number of nature reserves have been established by the Tanzanian government to protect biodiversity such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro, where approximately one third of its land is set aside for security. 

Among them, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated seven sites as World Heritage. 

Those sites are Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Selous Game Reserve. 

Others are Zanzibar old town, drawings of caves located in Kondoa, Ruins of the Kilwa Island old town and Songo Tower. 

UNESCO is doing so in partnership with other international stakeholders to bring peace, security and dignity to the countries, communities and cultures of the people of all countries in the world. 

Currently, parks, reserves and protected areas around the world have been overwhelmed by deforestation and loss of habitat due to desertification, however, Tanzania still offers plenty of opportunities for millions of wildlife. 

Mr Chen Jianxing, a famous ecological photographer and wildlife expert has described wildlife photography tourism in Tanzania. 

He says he always loved animals since he was a child and dreamt of visiting the Serengeti to make friends with animals, especially lions and cheetahs. 

Jianxing has spent about 15 years pursuing his dream and has been involved in animal photography and research in zoos in Tanzania since 2009.  

Over the years, Jianxing has photographed thousands of attractive animal pictures in Tanzania's wildlife parks, especially lions, cheetahs and others that look good to viewers.

In 2013, he was awarded the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania's National Parks Award and was responsible for promoting Tanzanian ecological resources to the Chinese. 

“Over the past 58 years, the great friendship between China and Tanzania has been witnessed. Thousands of Chinese have visited Tanzania to work or do tourism, and many of them have lived here for decades, keen on Tanzania as their second city and contributing to the diversity,” Jianxing says. 

They were able to contribute to communication between the two countries in infrastructure, economic development, Tanzania's healthcare and the exchange of human resources between the two countries.

“I hope more Chinese will follow me and fully support wildlife research and protection in Tanzania, this can achieve great success in the exchange of knowledge between China and Tanzania,” says Jianxing. 

Mr Jianxing says there is great need for the Chinese Cultural Center in Tanzania to hold regular photo exhibitions in order to attract more tourists.

Mr Jianxing once wrote a book concerning animal tourism in Tanzania called 'Into Tanzania’ which aimed at promoting Tanzania’s wildlife.

"Every time I drive to Ruaha National Park, I always found myself being chased by wild elephants," Jianxing writes in his book, adding that illegal poaching has stirred elephants' hatred toward humans. 

Mr Jianxing says he learned from travelers that the most dangerous animal on the African savanna is not the lion but rather the elephant.

"The elephant can turn a jeep upside down if it wanted," Jianxing recalls a time when he was confronted by a charging elephant, saying he quickly turned off the engine and after a while the elephant calmed down and finally allowed him to drive away.

He says among all the animals he loves lions the most, followed by leopards. 

 “I have never found a young person like him, loyal to his wildlife dream since childhood.  I hope more Chinese people will know Chen's story and come to Tanzania in the near future, as the saying goes, ‘seeing is believing’” wrote the then President Jakaya Kikwete on the preface of the book. 

According to Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Country  Director, Tim Davenport, Tanzania is the most biologically diverse country in Africa.

Between July and August, hundreds of thousands of wildebeests can be seen crossing the river Mara in the Serengeti, which remains an attractive experience for thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. 

"Most photography enthusiasts come here with professional equipment and stay day and night waiting for the event. 

" I am extremely fortunate to live and work in an incredibly beautiful country and one that happens to be so important for conservation. Whether we consider biodiversity, endemism, habitats or wildlife numbers, Tanzania is in the top three most important African nation," Davenport said. 

Experts say it is good for the Chinese Cultural Center to continue to do photo exhibitions to attract more people and make Tanzania known worldwide despite the pandemic challenges. For three years now the exhibition has been held online due to Covid-19

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