MARC NKWAME in Arusha
20 April 2018
TANZANIA'S second largest National Park, the Serengeti, has beat South-Africa's famous Kruger National Park in being the continent's most popular tourist destination as per recent survey.
In a poll by Google Surveys for UK-based Africa travel experts 'Tanzania Odyssey,' Serengeti was the safari destination most known by respondents at 44.8 percent, with South Africa's Kruger National Park getting 43.2 percent. Serengeti, which was also described to be easily accessible by road and on air, is famous for its annual wildebeest migration.
The survey, which was conducted this April, also sought to find out what people's idea of going on safari is and what they expected to experience. Nearly 40 percent said they thought they would see enormous exotic animals, such as lions, elephants and giraffes, while 38 percent others said they believed they would encounter wide, open plains.
Tanzania Odyssey director, Mr Marc Harris revealed in a statement that the survey's results reflected the views of his clients, who are mainly from Britain and the United States. "People want reassurance when they're travelling so far and to such an unfamiliar place," he said.
Many travellers also voted Tanzania to be a romantic gateway; with 21 percent of respondents describing the notion of dining under a romantic canopy of trees, to be what they usually do during their travels in Africa and the peaceful Tanzania happens to provide this in plenty.
With nearly 1.5 million tourists visiting the country per year, Tanzania's tourism sector is enjoying a boom, with more than 13 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals, many lured by an array of natural wonders and sights. Americans lead tourist arrivals in the east African country, followed by Britons and other Europeans.
Apart from Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro was voted by 48.3 percent respondents as incredible natural wonder, while the overall safari experience in the country earned 46.2 percent. Other attractions include the chance to visit traditional African villages 27.8 percent for Tanzania which is yet another good reason for coming into the continent.
Beach tourism earned 20.8 percent; here Kenya did better when it comes to those who just wanted to lie on an African beach and do as little as possible.
Some of the respondents (29.7 percent) said they would not visit Africa if their tour company was inexperienced in the region. A majority (52.9 percent) divulged that they would feel comfortable going on holiday in the continent only if their travel firm had solid local knowledge and contacts, as well as good pricing (43.8 percent).