A highway through a World Heritage Site vs. a southern route bypassing the whole ecosystem? An alternate southern route clearly makes the most sense for Tanzania’s economy.
The southern road passes through important agricultural areas in Tanzania, the northern road does not. It would provide a major opportunity to increase agricultural output and distribution across Manyara-Shinyanga and Mwanza-Regions.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society has prepared a detailed presentation comparing the geographical, human, economic, educational, agricultural, and political aspects of the northern route through the Serengeti vs. two different southern routes. Download the presentation here.
To view on FZS website, clear here.
For a more complete cost comparison, factor in the loss of tourism revenue and employment if the northern route through the Park is built. See the Economic Impact Statement on this site to calculate the real cost of the northern route.
A southern route is clearly the best way, but it too must be carefully designed to avoid social and environmental impacts. The Hadza people live in this area, and their way of life as indigenous people must be respected. The Tarangire area has its own migration, and this must be respected as well. But all this can be done, while still maximizing economic benefits, with the right planning and support from donors.
What should be the exact route of the southern highway? Both the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the African Wildlife Foundation have made initial proposals.
The FZS highway would connect with existing roads and help link the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as shown below.
The AWF has proposed two possible southern routes, plus northern routes as well. (We feel that the northern routes will create unacceptable pressure on the northern Serengeti, as it will increase settlement, population, agriculture, and conflicts between humans and wildlife. It would also leave the door wide open for connecting the two road segments through the Park.)