International Forest, & Environmental Development

Forêt Internationale, et Développement Environnemental

MFE 402: Forest ecology – Eco-tourism

Course Details

Country: Tanzania
Eco geographic and tourist presentation

The United Republic of Tanzania is located on the east coast of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya
and Uganda to the north, by Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the
west, by the Indian Ocean to the east and by Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to South. The
continental part of Tanzania is divided into several well-defined regions: the coastal plains which
vary in width from 16 to 64 km, provided with lush and tropical vegetation, the Massaï Steppe
in the north, located between 213 and 1,067 m above sea level , and finally a high plateau in
the southern part, towards Zambia and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi). Savannah and steppe cover
more than half of the country and semi-desert vegetation covers the rest, except for the coastal
plains. The interior areas cover over 53,000 km², mostly in the form of lakes that have formed
in the Rift Valley. The United Republic of Tanzania is also made up of the islands of Zanzibar
and Pemba, located approximately 45 km from its coasts, in the north-eastern part of the

Tanzania is a country whose territory is twice as large as that of France. It shelters immense
savannas punctuated with Acacia and Baobas, mountains, volcanoes, large lakes (Lake
Tanganyika, Lake Victoria), wild and free animals (some always threatened like rhinoceros and
elephants), herds by the thousands (by the millions in the case of wildebeest).

The parks, fewer in Tanzania than in Kenya, are more extensive and give an impression of
infinite space: the animals born, grow and reproduce there as in a kingdom where the visitor is
a host. And what about Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa? Except for Dar Es Salaam,
its economic capital, the rest of the country gives the image of a territory largely preserved from
human intervention. Many sites have also integrated UNESCO World Heritage, such as the
Ngorongoro conservation area, located in the north of the country, the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani,
which respectively include the great mosque of Kilwa, the Mkutini palace and that of Husuni
Kubwa, but also the ruins of Songo Manara, the Selous reserve or the rocky art sites of Kondoa,
covering some 200 caves decorated with paintings spanning a period ranging from 40 000 to
3000 years.

The list would not be complete without its national parks, in particular Serengeti or Kilimanjaro
the mountain which rises to 5,895 meters above sea level. The observation of animals in the wild,
especially if you opt for the safari, seems to be one of the essential activities to practice in these
parks. The Serengeti contains around 4 million animals including many birds and species such as
lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, but also hyenas and zebras which roam freely under the
amused eye of the tourist.

Educational objectives and articulations

The objective of this module is to allow nature lovers to discover the eco-geographic and tourist
wonders of Tanzania. During this module, participants will familiarize themselves with the
challenges of forest ecology and ecotourism and its relationships with sustainable local
development. The articulations of this module include:

✓ Biophysical and tourist presentation of the country;
✓ Fundamentals of forest ecology and ecotourism;
✓ Fragility of natural spaces and the need to protect them;
✓ Visit of national parks;
✓ Ecotourism issues and its relationships with local development;
✓ Discovery of ecotourism sites in the country such as Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, etc.;
✓ Meetings and exchanges with managers, local guides, visitors and local communities;
✓ Ecotourism circuit;
✓ Safari photo, fishing, taking part in cultural events.

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