Tanzania Offers to Lease Islands

The government is finalizing the evaluation of two bidders selected to invest on the Indian Ocean islands close to Dar es Salaam city. The selected companies are Landmark Hotels and Prime Time Promotions.

The move by the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves (DMR) to lease the islands is to boost tourism. The islands have for many years remained deserted.

DMR manages a group of marine wildlife reserves in Tanzania, situated off the coast of Tanzania. The reserve system consists of nine uninhabited islands of Bongoyo, Mbudya, Pangavini and Fungu Yasini.

Others are Makatumbe, Sinda and Kendwa Island. But to start with investors would take over Mbudya, Bongoyo and Sinda islands.

DMR provides protection for several important tropical ecosystems; coral reefs, mangroves and sea-grass beds.

According to DMR's Head of Tourism Services Dept, Idelfonce Masekesa an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been conducted and upon completion it would be sent to the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC).

Apart from those islands, DMR has also identified six areas for investments along Mtwara region coastline, Southern Tanzania.  Meanwhile the government is revising the law to include fresh water islands.

"We are in a process to review the Act that established DMR, instead of relying on Indian Ocean islands, we are now planning to include fresh water islands on Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa," he said.

Islands in both the Indian Ocean and the lakes have been idle in tourism for many years.

Previous government decisions may also been contributed to the delay in investments, because in early 1960s the Kawawa Commission recommended among other things to restrict investors from islands for security concerns.

Mbudya Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, north of the country's capital city, Dar es Salaam.

The island lies close to the beach resort and fishing community of Kunduchi and is reachable by means of a 20-minute motorboat ride crossing from the mainland.

It is therefore a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike, serving as a location for a variety of leisure activities, including snorkelling, sunbathing and hiking.

Bongoyo Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, situated 2.5km north of Dar es Salaam.

It is the most frequently visited island of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMR) and a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike for snorkelling and sunbathing.

Source: eTN