Dar es Salaam — The government yesterday explained why it increased entry fees to four national parks, responding to an uproar against the hike from tour operators and legislators. Starting July 1, 2021, the entry fees to Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Arusha national parks located in the Northern Tourist Circuit will rise from the current $60 to $70 during the ‘high tourism season,’ and remain at the current rate during low seasons.
According to the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the concession fees which are charged by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) to the lodges and tented camps located within the park borders will increase from $50 to $60 for Serengeti, while remaining at $40 elsewhere.
The entry fees for Serengeti will also increase from the current $60 to $70 while the fees in the other three parks will rise from $45 to $50.
The seasonal and special camping fees will increase from $50 to $60 in all the four parks.
The planned changes irked tour operators and lodge owners who argue that the fees will make Tanzania safaris more expensive – and, ultimately, prompt cancellations of current bookings.
Their voices were echoed by Arusha MP Mrisho Gambo (CCM) who asked why the government was not considering to halt the new fees to stimulate growth of the tourism sector which was already hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.