Corporate Information



Arusha National ParkNearly 50 years ago the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, recognized the integral part wildlife plays in the country. In September 1961 at a symposium on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, he gave a speech that has become known as the Arusha Manifesto:

“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and our future livelihood and well being.

In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children’s grand-children will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance.

The conservation of wildlife and wild places calls for specialist knowledge, trained manpower, and money, and we look to other nations to co-operate with us in this important task – the success or failure of which not only affects the continent of Africa but the rest of the world as well.”

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Giraffe in the sunsetThe Tanganyika National Parks Ordinance CAP [412] of 1959 established the organization now known as Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), and Serengeti became the first National Park. Conservation in Tanzania is governed by the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974, which allows the Government to establish protected areas and outlines how these are to be organized and managed. National Parks represent the highest level of resource protection that can be provided. By February 2008, Tanapa had grown to 15 national parks, with plans to add 1 more in the near future, as well as to expand existing parks. Conservation of eco-systems in all areas designated as national parks is the core business of the organisation.

Nature-based or wildlife tourism is the main source of income that is ploughed back for management, regulation, and fulfilment of all organisational mandates in the national parks.

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Mandate & Purpose

The Legal Mandate of Tanzania National Parks is:

To manage and regulate the use of areas designated as National Parks by such means and measures to preserve the country’s heritage, encompassing natural and cultural resources, both tangible and intangible resource values, including the fauna and flora, wildlife habitat, natural processes, wilderness quality and scenery therein and to provide for human benefit and enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.

The Purpose of Tanzania National Parks is:

To Preserve:

To Ensure:

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Vision & Mission Statements

Vision Statement:
To be the highest globally rated institution in sustainable conservation and provision of exceptional tourism services.

Mission Statement:
Our mission is to sustainably conserve and manage park resources and their aesthetic values, for the benefits of present and future generations of mankind, as well as efficiently provide high class tourism products and services.

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The Role of the Parks

The primary role of Tanzania’ national parks is conservation. The 15 national parks, many of which form the core of a much larger protected ecosystem, have been set aside to preserve the country’s rich natural heritage, and to provide secure breeding grounds where its fauna and flora can thrive, safe from the conflicting interests of a growing human population.

ForestThe existing park system protects a number of internationally recognised bastions of biodiversity and World Heritage sites, thereby redressing the balance for those areas of the country affected by deforestation, agriculture and urbanisation. The gazetting of Saadani and Kitulo National Parks in 2002 expanded this network to include coastal and montane habitats formerly accorded a lower level of protection.

Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) is also currently acquiring further land to expand certain parks, and to raise the status of traditional migration corridors connecting protected areas.

By choosing to visit Tanzania you are supporting a developing country's extraordinary investment in the future. In spite of population pressures, Tanzania has dedicated more than 46,348.9 square kilometres to national parks. Including other reserves, conservation areas and marine parks, Tanzania has accorded some form of formal protection to more than one-third of its territory – a far higher proportion than most of the world's wealthier nations.

Tourism provides valuable revenue used to support the conservation work of the national parks, as well as wildlife research, and the education and livelihood of local communities. In addition, tourism helps to generate international awareness of conservation issues, while the physical presence of tourists can help deter illegal poaching activity, assisting the park rangers with their game management work.

GiraffesBut TANAPA has resisted the temptation to cash in on the short term gains of mass tourism. Understanding our responsibility – to Tanzania, and to the world - in the conservation and management of a global resource, we are committed to low impact, sustainable visitation to protect the environment from irreversible damage while creating a first class ecotourism destination.

Human activity is closely monitored and all development strictly regulated. Buildings in the parks must be unobtrusive and waste disposal is carefully controlled. Park visitors and facilities are widely distributed to prevent harassment of animals and to minimise the human imprint on the environment. Even in Tanzania's most popular park, the Serengeti, more than 7,000 square kilometres - almost half the park’s area - remains a wilderness zone with no roads.

Guardianship of this rich resource, however, relies on the goodwill of the parks' neighbours. TANAPA is working hard to ensure that local communities have a sense of ownership and a vested interest in the future of the parks by sharing the rewards of conservation and delivering tangible benefits.

fishermanA percentage of park revenues is used to assist community development initiatives, such as schools, health dispensaries, water schemes and roads. Villagers are encouraged to develop cultural tourism projects to cultivate their own financial returns from park visitors. Many locals are employed within the parks by lodges and tour operators - and by TANAPA, particularly in the fight against poachers who desire to steal from the parks for profit or subsistence.

Poaching involves not only the commercial hunting of elephants and rhinoceroses for ivory and rhino horn, but also subsistence activities such as honey collection, illegal fishing and hunting for the pot, felling trees for construction or firewood, and picking traditional medicinal plants that have become scarce in unprotected areas. When villagers depend on the park for employment, and witness the community benefits from the presence of a park, they are more likely to defend the protected area and to report poaching.

TANAPA works with communities to teach sustainable environmental management, assist with tree planting, establish nurseries, and promote cultural, as well as wildlife, conservation.

The future depends on those who will inherit the parks. TANAPA is taking the lead in educating local people, providing study materials and teacher training for schools, and showing conservation videos in Swahili in villages. Schools and community groups are offered free visits to the parks to demonstrate the importance of preserving these habitats.

HippoThe support of research projects is an important facet of TANAPA's commitment to the future. Tanzania's chimpanzees are the subject of the longest-running study of its kind in the world. Scientists working in Tanzania's parks continue to find hitherto undiscovered species of butterflies, birds, beetles and plants. And regular surveys are undertaken to monitor the distribution and number of animals, test water quality, identify disease outbreaks, and check invasion by exotic species.

The national parks are a lifeline for animals that would otherwise face extinction by human hands. They offer refuge to many endangered and vulnerable species, safeguard shrinking habitats, and provide protected breeding sanctuaries in which threatened species can recover. With everyone's support, these vital ecosystems will be preserved for the benefit of future.

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The Organization

Beach hutAccording to studies by international development organizations, Tanzania National Parks is one of the most efficient and productive bureaucracies in Africa. The personnel structure is streamlined, with a workforce of only 1650 staff operating 15 national parks and 1 additional proposed national park. In its desire to maintain a team of qualified and motivated staff, ample training opportunities are provided, although there has been no comprehensive training programme yet developed. Staff recruiting qualifications are continually being raised to ensure only the highest calibre and best trained people are employed. Promotions within the organization are intended to stimulate quality performance among staff as per the scheme of service.

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Expansion of the National Parks

WaterfallExpansion of existing National Parks and the creation of new National Parks is a continuing process.

• Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru Forest Reserves formerly under the Forestry and Beekeeping Division were successfully gazetted in 2005 and were annexed to Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Parks, respectively.

• Tanzania Government has annexed Usangu Game Reserve with Ruaha National Park, making it 20,226 km2 the largest national park in Tanzania and one of the largest in Africa. The process initiated by the government aims at protecting the Ihefu wetland and the Great Ruaha River with associated catchment areas and biodiversity.

Mkomazi National Parks was recently being gazetted in 2008.

• There is potential for Mt Rungwe Forest to be annexed to Kitulo National Park.

• One more national parks namely, Saanane, will be added to the national parks system in the near future.

• The Speke Gulf will be annexed to Serengeti National Park.

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Tented CampFor the year 2006/2007 TANAPA recorded a total of 669,438 tourists compared to 642,654 in 2005/2006, which is a 4.2% increase.

Throughout the Tanzania National Parks system there has been a steady growth in nature-based tourism. Tourist attractions have been diversified to enhance visitor experience. New products include walking safaris, canoeing, and night game drives. Traditional products such as day game drives, ballooning, sport fishing, chimpanzee tracking and mountain climbing have been progressively improved. The number of resident arrivals increased from 98,509 in 2000/01 to 262,598 in 2006/2007. Similarly, international arrivals increased from 220,910 in 2000/01 to 396,233 in 2006/2007 (see Figure 1 below).


Figure 1: Number of Tourist Arrivals from 2000/01 to 2004/05
Number of Tourists Arrival

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Community Conservation Service

Tanzania National Parks has a long-established and well-developed program to share benefits with the communities surrounding the national parks. In the last five years, the 2003-2004 financial year, more than US$3 million has been contributed to communities adjacent to the parks and to conservation education organizations.

Community Conserveation ServicesThe Community Conservation Service (CCS) is an Outreach Programme (OP) of Tanapa that is extended to surrounding communities with a focus on local people and governments up to the district level.

The CCS started in 1988 as a pilot project under the Neighbours as Partners program, supported by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), with three villages along the eastern borders of Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro district. The program grew to cover more national parks in early 1991, namely Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Arusha. In 1992, the CCS program was became one of the departments under the then-Directorate of Parks Management and Conservation. Today CCS is a full-fledged department with permanently employed staff at the Tanapa headquarters and in all 15 National Parks.

CCS Objectives:

The CCS Program and SCIP funding
Tanapa’s Support for Community Initiated Projects (SCIP) fund was established in 1992 as part of the strategic planning process. The SCIP fund program works with communities bordering or close to National Parks and stresses support for community initiated projects.

CCS programThe SCIP fund currently amounts to 7.5% of each park’s operations. In order to access the SCIP fund, communities have to a set of established procedures which include holding community meetings on the projects to be supported, submitting minutes of the community meetings that selected the project, and presenting an application letter outlining the reason for the request, the amount requested, project description, drawings and cost estimates. The district authorities must be involved.

The project needs approval from the Park SCIP committee before it is forwarded to Tanapa headquarters for funding. Prior to project implementation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has to be signed between community, park and district authorities.

Generally the Park contributes up to 70% of the project cost and the community contributes the remaining 30%. Where technical expertise is required, depending on the nature of the project, district authorities may be consulted and the service will be provided free of charge.

Conservation education
Conservation education is a vital part of the CCS program. The program includes:

SCIP Funding 2000-2007
SCIP funding has been used for the construction of schools, student dormitories, teachers’ facilities, laboratories, medical dispensaries, health centres, youth centres, training centres, roads, libraries, water projects, the purchase of text books and school furnishings, the support of childrens’ rights, and many other community development projects. If you wish to receive a full list of projects supported please contact Tanapa at
Since 2000 the following funds have been made available to communities:


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Research Programmes

Pending. Data Available Soon.


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