Tanzania's newest wildlife lodge at Mikumi is spearheading the country's efforts to create a southern tourist circuit to rival its famous northern routes.
Tanzania's newest wildlife lodge at Mikumi is spearheading the country's efforts to create a southern tourist circuit to rival its famous northern routes. The northern circuit includes Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and the Seregenti plains and the Ngorongoro Crater, considered the finest wildlife areas in the world. The rest of the country is now trying to catch up.
The southern circuit consists of the Mikumi Game Reserve, the beach hotels along the Indian Ocean near Dar Es Salaam, the "Spice Island" of Zanzibar, which is now seeking to attract visitors once more, and the island of Mafia, a big-game fishing centre.
At Mikumi, 180 miles (300 kms) west of Dar Es Salaam, visitors can see a whole range of African wildlife, from warthogs to the giant elephants for which the area is famous.
One of these -- called "The Consul" by the lodge staff- has become notorious. A lone bull, it has already attacked a building worker, overturned a tourist's car, and fallen into the lodge swimming pool. All attempts to keep him away from the lodge have failed and it is feared that he will be shot unless he decides to keep his distance.
The lodge, which overlooks a valley teeming with wildlife, is built from mainly local material, especially mpinga wood. Eventually it will be able to accommodate 150 tourists, most of whom will spend one week there and another at the beach hotels.