Saadani National Park Official Website

Daily work of TANAPA

Park ecologist on patrol
Invasive plant
Park Headquarters at Mkwaja

Actual Management team

  • Chief Park warden: ...
  • Head resource Protection Department (Antipoaching): ...
  • Head Community/Outreach Programme (CCS): ...
  • Head Tourism Department: ...
  • In charge works department: ...
  • Veterinary services: ...
  • Park accountant in charge: ...
  • Zonal warden – Protection: ...
  • Personnel and Administrative officer: ...
fin de la zone de liste

National Parks Management

Contrary to a widespread belief among first-time visitors, Tanzanian National Parks are not vast expanses left to their own devices without human intervention. They are not gardens of Eden over which time has no hold, spared of all human presence and burden.

While enjoying the extraordinary beauty of Tanzania’s National Parks, it is worth remembering that they are human institutions run by highly motivated people dedicated to their preservation. The areas within these Parks are deeply integrated in local and national cultures and economies:

  • The landscapes and ecosystems of National Parks are the result of a long coexistence of nature and human activities (farming, tree growing, cattle raising, mineral extraction, building activities, etc.).
  • National parks are included in local and regional economies. It is a central goal of the management of each park to let the neighbouring villages benefit from the positive effects of National Parks in order to increase their acceptance and compensate for the loss of access to valuable natural resources.
  • National Parks are an important source of revenue for the entire country. One of TANAPA’s goals is thus to find mechanisms allowing a fair sharing of profit between Tanzanians and foreign investors.
  • Each National Park is staffed by a team of motivated professionals who manage it and make strategic choices about its development. Below is an overview of their daily work, which shows that there is always much maintenance work behind what seems to be unmanaged nature.

Park administration


TANAPA is a public institution under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, established in 1959, empowered by an Act of Parliament to manage and regulate the use of areas designated as National Parks, in order to preserve the country’s heritage, encompassing cultural and natural resources. Included in this goal is the provision for human benefit and enjoyment of these resources, in ways that will leave them unimpaired for future generations.


Key responsibilities of the Park Warden In Charge:

  1. Planning strategies for ensuring that natural and Park resources are well secured
  2. Supervising Park staff
  3. Overall management of the Park, ensuring smooth operation of TANAPA policies and objectives
  4. Annual budgets and plans for the Park
  5. Providing a link between the Park and TANAPA’s headquarters in Arusha
  6. Spokesman of TANAPA in the Park

Key responsibilities of the Resource Protection Officer:

  1. Protection of resources
  2. Aerial and under-cover surveillance within the Park and nearby villages
  3. Ensuring that Park Rangers are well disciplined and fully equipped with appropriate field gear and arms
  4. Ensuring that arms and ammunitions are ordered in time and are managed properly
  5. Combating banditry and poaching and ensuring that cases are prosecuted

Key responsibilities of the Park Ecologist:

  1. Ecological monitoring in the Park (monitoring habitats and maintaining biodiversity inventory)
  2. Environmental impact assessments of any developments in the Park
  3. Fire management
  4. Pollution control and monitoring
  5. Supervising research work in the Park
  6. Reports and databases on ecological findings in the Park

Key responsibilities of the Tourism Promotions Officer:

  1. Tourist promotion, disseminating information materials and overseeing tourist activities
  2. Information about park regulations, tariffs and fees
  3. Visitor Services Centres
  4. Collaboration with stakeholders in the tourism industry to share visitors' experiences in terms of needs and wants, in order to continuously improve the handling of visitors
  5. Code of conduct for Park guides and rangers as well as operators; and monitor compliance
  6. Exploit all income-generating opportunities

Key responsibilities of the Outreach Programme Officer:

  1. Establishment of community-level environmental education programs (incl. distribution of education material such as calendars, leaflets, brochures and newsletters)
  2. Supporting the Park’s neighbourhood communities’ initiatives in project development and establishment of social services
  3. Collaborating with NGOs and CBOs in conservation education
  4. Promoting establishment of school clubs
  5. Participating in communities’ land-use planning

Key responsibilities of the Accounts and Administration Officer:

  1. Administrative/personnel policies, rules and regulations
  2. Administering all operational regulations and standing orders as well as government and TANAPA’s financial orders
  3. Proper management in all Parks
  4. Maintaining office facilities and ensuring Park’s estates are well kept
  5. Providing all administration/staff facilities

Threats and challenges

The new Saadani national park has to face many challenges. Most of them consist in finding the right balance between potentially antagonist processes:

  • The balance between a growing surrounding population and the respect of the park boundaries, raising issues such as controlling poaching and illegal wood logging.
  • The balance between the visitors’ pressure, which increases with the improvement of road and flight connections, and the protection of wildlife.
  • The right sharing of the positive effects of the park on the local economy among all actors involved.
  • A better understanding of natural processes in order to take them properly into account in the park management (e.g. effect of natural fires on animal and plant species, increase of the population of predators…).
  • The balance between use and protection in the immediate surroundings of the park, raising issues such as promoting buffer zones along the park boundaries and corridors linking it to other protected areas.

Further reading

  • TANAPA (2003). Saadani National Park. Management Zone Plan. Tanzania National Parks. (Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  • TANAPA’s Schemes of Services, 2002