Serengeti National Park and its Highway, Tanzania


The Serengeti National Park (SENAPA), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Important Bird Area, is a home to over 450 bird species including three Tanzanian endemics and two globally threatened species, the Grey-Crested Helmet Shrike and Karamoja Apalis. It also holds approximately a third of the remaining populations of Ruppells vulture.

See more...
Basic Data
NameSerengeti National Park and its Highway, Tanzania
ProvinceArusha Region
SiteNgorongoro District
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesLand

Tourism services
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe government of Tanzania proposed to develop a highway consisting of a 480 km tarmac road to connect Arusha to Musoma, with a 53km stretch of the road passing through Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania. This road will connect the two major ports on Lake Victoria (Mwanza and Musoma) to Dar es Salaam on Indian Ocean.

Currently, traffic must travel 418 kilometers around the Serengeti in order to pass from Mwanza to Arusha on a paved road. The new road is expected to decrease this time, enabling larger companies, as well as small farmers and entrepreneurs, to transport goods more easily.
Level of Investment (in USD)480000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2010
Relevant government actorsTanzanian National Roads Agency, Government of Tanzania, , Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism
International and Financial InstitutionsFederal Government of Germany from Germany
East African Court of Justice (EACJ)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNature Kenya, Wildlife Direct, Royal Society for Protection of Birds, African Network for Animal Welfare
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Other-Increased road kills of wildlife.

-Disruption of the wildebeest migratory route.

-Increased human interference within the national park and easy access for poachers.
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Other-Loss of revenue from tourism
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesA Land Use Plan supported by Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) could be carried out for Northern Tanzania, to examine options for meeting transport needs while integrating these with environmental objectives and needs of the local people.

An alternative southern route to the section of the highway passing through Serengeti National Park. This route could be more beneficial to the Tanzanian residents and avoid disturbing the Serengeti ecosystem.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Construction of the first section of the high way is already ongoing without any clear statements from the government on the 53km Serengeti stretch of the road or alternative route.

2. The case presented to the East African Court of Justice against the highway is yet to be decided on.
Sources and Materials

The Animal Welfare Act 2008;

The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority Act 2001;

The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania; -The Wildlife Conservation Act 2009;

The Environment Management Act 2004;

The Tourism Act 2008.


[click to view]

[click to view]

Wild Life Direct
[click to view]

[click to view]

Serengeti Watch
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update03/05/2014