Royal family’s love affair with TZ

WHEN William, Prince of Wales visited Mkomazi National Park in 2018, he had a particular mission in mind. A mission to assess the conservation of black rhinos, which remain critically endangered.

Such a drive came after the former Duke of Cambridge visited Port Lympne Wildlife Park in the United Kingdom where he would meet two of his friends.

“The Prince checked on the two rhinos before their translocation to Tanzania in 2012,” revealed Mr Emmanuel Moirana, an Assistant Conservation Commissioner with Mkomazi National Park.

In an interview with the ‘Sunday News’, here on Friday, the conservation commissioner said the Prince of Wales thought it wise, six years later, to travel to Tanzania to see how the two black rhinos were faring.

According to Mr Moirana, the monarch had developed a strong bond with Grumeti and Zawadi, during their stay at Port Lympne in the UK.

Prince William arrived in Tanzania courtesy of Tusk Trust, a British non-profit organisation set up in 1990 to advance wildlife conservation across Africa.

During his three day’s tour of Mkomazi National Park, the Prince of Wales visited the rhino sanctuary where Zawadi and Grumeti were kept.

“It was sort of a reunion for the three,” explained Commissioner Moirana.

Apart from checking on his buddies, Prince William also engaged a group of students, interacting with them on how best to conserve nature.

“He pitched camp at a campsite, this was one of the most attractive permanent tented camps reserved for the royals,” recalled Mr Elisaria, who was a manager of Mkomazi’s rhino project when Prince William visited the park.

Throughout the three days, Prince William would do game drives inside Mkomazi, which saw him visit Dindira dam, Vitewini Viewpoint and Zange.

“We are planning to build new three luxury tented camps to accommodate other royals,” Mr Moirana said.

The park is also mulling over plans of building a museum in honour of Prince William and Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn, OBE, a British conservationist initiated the Black Rhino and Wild Dogs Projects at Mkomazi.

His visit to the park would herald the arrival of other prominent people to the area.

They include Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and a host of envoys.

Unknown to many, Prince William’s young brother Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, also visited Mkomazi National Park in 2015.

“Prince William enjoyed his stay at Mkomazi and pledged to return to the place,” added Mr Moirana.

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