Tanzanian authorities have cited the political crisis in neighboring Burundi as one of the reasons for a decline in the number of tourists visiting Katavi National Park, found in the west of Tanzania.
Acting chief park warden Frederic Mofulu said the park is highly affected by the crisis in the Great Lakes region because of its closeness to Burundi, DRC and Rwanda.
“Now things are not okay in Burundi. This reduces the number of tourists visiting the park in the past years,” Mofulu said.
Katavi is one of the richest parks in Tanzania, home to almost all the big five game animals.
Mofulu said that in 2014/2015, the park recorded 4,335 international tourists. But until March this year, the sanctuary recorded only 1,088 tourists, raising worries total number of arrivals won’t reach the target by the end of this year.
Katavi park is approximately 4,471 square kilometers in area, which makes it the third largest national park in Tanzania. The park encompasses the Katuma River and the seasonal Lake Katavi and Lake Chada floodplains.