3 September 2013
SAANANE ISLAND DECLARED NATIONAL PARK
Saanane Island has been officially declared as a National Park following the Government Notice Number 227 issued recently.
The gazzetment of Saanane Island as a National Park is a result of the resolution to establish the park passed by the National Assembly of the United Republic of Tanzania October last year. The new Saanane Island National Park with an area of 2.18 square kilometres will now include the total areas of the former Saanane Island Game Reserve, Chankende Islands and parts of Lake Victoria water surrounding Saanane and Chankende islands.
Historically, Saanane Island was managed as zoo in 1964 and elevated to a status of a Game Reserve in 1991. In 2006, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism directed Tanzania National Parks to assume full responsibility of managing and overseeing the overall running of the game reserve and initiate the process of elevating it to the status of a National Park.
To date, TANAPA has taken a number of measures to fully utilize the area profitably by improving its marketability as a tourist attraction site in order to generate income as well as revenue for the government. Since 2006, TANAPA has been taking deliberate steps to realize this objective. One of the measures taken was the introduction of limited number of wild animals species (herbivores).
Following this move, TANAPA will now have official 16 National Parks in the country, which includes Serengeti; Lake Manyara; Tarangire and Arusha National Parks.
Others include Kilimanjaro; Mkomazi; Saadani; Mikumi; Udzungwa Mountains; Ruaha; Kitulo; Katavi; Gombe; Mahale Mountains and Rubondo Island.
Meanwhile, the boundaries of the Gombe National Park have been expanded from 33.74 square kilometres to 56 square kilometres, which now includes portion of waters and beaches around Lake Tanganyika. The expansion of Gombe follows the Government Notice number 228 issued recently. Late last year, the National Assembly of the United Republic of Tanzania passed a resolution to expand Gombe National Park by altering its boundaries.