Tourism developments around Morogoro
While conventional motorised tourism remains popular in the northern part of Tanzania, the prospects for the development of new tourist activities further south are considerable. For example, several places and resources around Morogoro are excellent as basis for the development of cultural or educational tourism, such as visits to natural resources along with lectures giving information to participants about the area and its resources. This new type of tourism is becoming increasingly popular among international tourists. It may also include horseback riding safaris (available at the Uto farm near Arusha: http://safaririding.com) and even from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro. There are currently three horses at SUA suitable for riding treks into the Uluguru Mountains.
Natural resources around or near Morogoro include in particular the
- The Uluguru Mountains, located within walking distance from Morogoro, is one such resource which remains basically untouched by tourism. During more than three centuries these mountains have been home to the Luguru ethnic group (Luguru = people of the mountain). The Luguru people counts several thousand inhabiting the lower slopes of the mountains. They are skilful farmers who exploit the steep mountain slopes to grow staples like rice,maize and vegetables.
- The Luguru society remains strongly matrilineal. Land is the property of women, passing from mother to daughter, in contrast to other ethnic groups in Tanzania where men own the land. Not surprisingly, baby girls are preferred to baby boys in the Luguru society.
- The Mikumi National Park some 70 kms further south which covers 3200 sq.kms, is the home to an abundance of wildlife. Udzungwa Narional Park lies nearby. To the south and east of Mikumi lies the Selous which is the largest game reserve in Africa and is second only to the Serengeti in its concentration of game, most notably elephants, buffalo and rhinoceros. Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania. It is located in the middle of Tanzania about 400 km west of Morogoro.
- The Wami-Mbiki river wildlife management area is also an important tourist resource in the Morogoro area. This vast wilderness area of 4000 sq.kms is situated only 50 kms due north-east of Morogoro. The Wami-Mbiki Society has been established for the further development of this area with offices in Morogoro.
Proposed programme for Cultural Tourism around Morogoro:
- Introductory seminars with lectures by staff for example from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro. Such seminars may include subjects like local lifestyle, management of natural resources and sustainable agriculture around Morogoro.
- Excursions from the Arc Hotel to local tourist attractions. One excursion could for example be a visit to Choma, a village within a day’s walk, visiting the local school, learning about the Luguru culture, possibly including a Luguru-style lunch, watching locals producing crafts and listening to traditional Luguru music.
- Excursions to one or more of the national parks referred to above.
Development of Cultural tourism around Morogoro offers new opportunities for the local work force to become guides and to provide other support for visiting tourists.
Links for reference:
- Arc Hotel proposed tour programme
- Arc Hotel proposed tour programme – French version
- Cultural tourism: http://www.roadscholar.org
- Uluguro Mountains: http://www.easternarc.or.tz/uluguru
- Mikumi National Park
- Udzungwa National Park
- Ruaha National Park
- Selous game reserve
- Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)