24 Feb That Was Then And This Is (Surprisingly) Now
While it took a while, we finally found a way for my wife Dawn to get away and make her first trip back to Tanzania in over a decade. We concentrated the trip on visiting the place where we lived for over a decade, Arusha, and then a whirlwind trip to the best game parks in the world, The Ngorongoro Crater and The Serengeti National Park. All that was topped off by a few days is the enchanting island of Zanzibar.
Dawn was shocked by the changes to the country she used to know. While she remembered poor infrastructure, regular power outages, shortages of water, little or no availability of many things YOU may purchase regularly in your favorite shopping center and no television, radio or internet!
Fast forward to today and the reality was Dawn found many things she could not imagine and even found certain things easier to do or working better that in the USA!
Let me first start with some of the remarkable statistics about Tanzania from when Dawn and I moved there in 1990 up to now:
+ Tanzania’s population has doubled to 50M and is projected to reach 65M by 2025 and become a middle class economy.
+ Tanzania has averaged over $2B in Foreign Direct Investment annually the last few years.
+ Tanzania’s ICT sector grows over 20% annually.
+ Foreign Tourists have grown from just over 30,000 in 1990 to an forecasted 1.5M in 2016.
Just over the last few days, the ABC Television Network from the USA, Good Morning America program has been broadcasting live from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, well known as the the world’s most spectacular game parks.
We remember being out in the Serengeti in the 1990s for hours without seeing another vehicle.
This is a “lunch spot” tourists stop at:
Needless to say Dawn was surprised by what she saw. While you may think many more tourists were an issue the opposite was the truth. We may have seen the best wildlife during this trip as we ever had. Tanzania is focusing on “quality” visits by tourist rather than mobs and mobs of them like other countries try to attract. No, it is not cheap but the value proposition is second to none when it comes to a trip to Africa. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned other Tanzania destinations like Mt. Kilimanjaro and many other exceptional attractions.
Also, Tanzania has so many wildlife parks and tourist attractions and the 1.5M figure is no where near a “ceiling” number where beyond would impact the natural preserves and wildlife. Moratoriums are already in place (beds in parks etc.) to protect what can never be brought back once it is gone. I congratulate the Tanzania Government for what they have done to promote, and more importantly, preserve wildlife tourism.
The tourism sector in Tanzania now rakes in several billions of dollars A year. They have even overtaken the long time leader in true African Safari tourism, Kenya.
So just image the opportunities in the tourism sector. Also, you must understand that Africans from the other 53 African countries are traveling to Tanzania to experience the wildlife and other attractions. Yes, the African middle class is growing and they have discretionary income to spend on things like tourism.
Tanzania is on a strong upward economic climb and there is no end in sight for the next decade and longer. Anyone looking for solid business or investment opportunities owes it to themselves to check out The United Republic of Tanzania.