Tanzania news, views and interesting items brought to you by TaZnews.
This issue: Updated June 2010
The Serengeti Migration - a must see for safari lovers
Tanzania to welcome more Rhino in 2010
Swiss museum returns stolen Makonde mask to Tanzania
Tanzania in Cyberspace
Mara road network improvement
The Serengeti Migration - a must see
The Serengeti migration is an annual drama not to be missed. Hundreds and thousands of animals are on a continuous epic journey back and forth, according to the seasons, between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Most of the action can be seen on the Tanzanian side of the border that separates Kenya from Tanzania. There are no fences in the entire 25,000 square kilometers of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem, which allows the animals to spill about freely within the surrounding landscape, following their instinctive need for water and food.
The western and northern sections of Serengeti National Park are defined by long grasses and acacia woodlands. However the ancient home of the wildebeest is the 10,000 square kilometers of the short grass plains in the south.
The southern section of the Serengeti merges with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the southeast. Within this vast area, during November to May, grass and water is plentiful and it is here that half a million calves will be born each year during January to March.
The long legged light brown calves, born into the open, struggle to stand within minutes of birth and, for survival, must be able to follow mum to begin the next generation of endless wanderers.
The Serengeti Migration is world famous, but what is lesser known is that the animals do no move as one mass, in lines, or move perpetually forward. Individuals have no ties to family or herd except the tie between mother and calf. Each wildebeest can follow its own instinct to move towards the rains and therefore to food and water. After the short grasses on the southern plains are exhausted some will head west through the Western Corridor to cross the Grumeti River before turning north towards the Masai Mara. Others may leave the southern plains moving directly northward grazing through the eastern part of the Serengeti (Loliondo). Others may take a central route, crossing the Seronera and Lobo areas to reach the north.
For visitors heading to Tanzania to experience the magnificent Serengeti migration spectacle it can be quite confusing, but rest assured, there are millions of wildebeest on the move. There is no certainty when and where they are but the fact that they spread out over a large area means you will have tales to tell your friends.
Welcome to Tanzania and the Serengeti Migration
Tanzania to welcome more rhino in 2010
The Tanzanian government intends to introduce Rhinoceros species in all of the country’s national parks and game reserves.
The world’s population of black rhino decreased dramatically between the 1970’s to 1990’s due to poaching. Of an estimated worldwide population of 4,200, there are an estimated 123 wild black rhino remaining in Tanzania.
As part of rhino conservation in Tanzania, a pack of three rhinos from the Dvur Kralove zoo located in Dvur Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic. The animals were sent to replenish the Mkomazi National Park in the Same District of Kilimanjaro in in 2009. Mkomazi NP is now working on a breeding program and hope to achieve a population of 15 rhinos.
Serengeti National Park is set to be stocked with 100 rhinos.
During 2010, Serengeti National Park will be welcoming 32 eastern black rhino relocated from South Africa. Upon relocation, the rhinos will spend time recovering and adapting to their new environment before being released (under close monitoring) into the park.
To protect the rhino, TANAPA is working closely with Frankfurt Zoological Society and Signita-Grumeti Reserves to enhance the training and operations of the current ranger task force.
149 rangers have already undergone a 6 week training course which covered – mapping skills, fire arms, fitness and other specialized skills. An elite team will act as the Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit.
This 5 year project will be a great achievement in conservation.
Stolen Makonde mask returns to Tanzania
A stolen Makonde mask, bought in Paris, in good faith, by a Swiss museum owner in the 1980s and displayed at his museum in Geneva for decades, was finally returned to Tanzania last week. It is hoped that the cultural piece of art will now stay in Tanzania.
In 1990, an Italian professor of the University of Perugia, informed the museum that a Makonde mask in its collections might have been stolen from the Dar es Salaam Museum.
The mask was stolen in 1984 along with 16 other artifacts during a break-in at the National Museum of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. The theft was reported at the time to all relevant authorities at national and international levels, including the Tanzanian police, INTERPOL and ICOM.
More of the country’s treasured artifacts are on display all over Europe and North America. It is estimated that Tanzanian artifacts valued at millions of dollars are on display at private museums in the West after being smuggled from the country. Tanzania has been working with ICOM to repossess some of the objects which include two Makonde masks at Dahlem Museum in Berlin (Germany).
Thanks are extended to Jean-Paul Barbier-Muller, the Swiss curator who handed back the mask after years of negotiations brokered by Paris based International Council of Museums.
Tanzania in Cyberspace
2010 heralds the return of a national resource, the ‘dot tz’. Negotiations have been concluded for the return, to Tanzania, of the management of this resource. The ‘dot tz’ (.tz) is a name used in communications to identify Tanzania.
It is a country code that identifies Tanzania on the internet community. Internet users are conversant with dot coms. Using the ‘dot tz’ domain is, in communication, as patriotic as displaying the national flag and symbols, or proudly using Kiswahili.
The internet came into being in 1969 as part of the defense strategies of the United States. It was conceived as a means of storing information in different locations throughout the world, so that in the event of a catastrophic attack on one location, the information could be retrieved for use.
Over the years, it has been developed for civilian use and is now a way of life. Prior to 1990, the internet was an alien phenomenon in Tanzania. However, at the global level, countries were being assigned domain names and the ‘dot tz’ domain was allocated.
In the absence of a internal arrangements for the management of this code, technical operations were conducted outside the country – in the United States. However, the University of Dar Es Salaam managed the code in Tanzania. A formal request was lodged in July 1995 on the ' return' of the dot tz domain. After considerable review, criteria matching and ensuring due process was completed, regulations were set up to return the control and management of all electronic communication numbers and addresses to TCRA. The Authority is supposed to ensure fair and efficient use by maintaining the national .tz electronic Address and users.
The use of the dot tz code has many advantages. Besides promoting Tanzania, it has the potential of reducing the cost of communication among local organizations using it. Nominal registration fees range from 5,000/- to 25,000/-; with annual maintenance fees of between 5,000/- and 20,000/-.
Corporate communication of an internet address (email or website) with a country domain name - in this case dot tz – should be taken very seriously by Tanzanian companies.
Mara road network improves
MARA Region is now among the top 10 regions of good road networks in the Tanzania, thanks to the government allocating funds to facilitate the work.
Many roads are now passable throughout the year. Tarmac roads in Mara are made up of 197.52 kilometers. of which 104.26 kilometers pass through the world famous Serengeti National Park (SENAPA).
The rains affect road infrastructure in all regions of Tanzania, especially gravel roads which require periodic maintenance. Serengeti roads are currently gravel surfaced. Repairs are ongoing to ensure that roads are passable at all times of year.
The Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) took steps to block road construction of the kilometers stretching through Serengeti National Park, citing environmental concerns as a reason behind their stand.
A feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is currently being carried out. Construction is expected to commence in 2012.
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