Feature: Chinese company protects wildlife while building hotels in Tanzania

(Xinhua) 09:10, March 03, 2022

DAR ES SALAAM, March 2 (Xinhua) -- At a hotel in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, Zhang Cuishan, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, was checking the status of the project. Not far behind him, a herd of elephants was drinking leisurely at the edge of a pond, oblivious to human activity.

This is the photo Zhang left when the hotel was just completed. The hotel, built by Zhang, has become a local celebrity, attracting tourists from all over the world every day.

"Building hotels in Africa has given me a deeper understanding of the relationship between human and nature," Zhang told Xinhua before the World Wildlife Day that falls on Thursday.

Zhang, 42, General Manager of Tanzania Branch of China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (CRJE), has been in Africa for 15 years. In 2012, Due to his outstanding performance, he was appointed as project manager of a five-star hotel in Serengeti National Park.

As Tanzania's largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Serengeti is famous for the annual migration of millions of wildebeests, zebras and other wildlife.

Since the project is located in the hinterland of the Serengeti, the requirements for ecological and environmental protection are extremely strict.

"Any construction waste and household waste generated during construction must be packed and taken away in time. After the construction, the working and living places of the construction personnel will be dismantled to restore the original ecological appearance," said Zhang.

If wild animals enter the construction site, the construction should be suspended and notified to the forest police immediately. Only after the animals are driven away, the construction can be resumed.

Wild plants are also protected in high standards. In one case, the construction team found an acacia tree blocking the hotel during construction. In the end, Zhang chose to revise the design drawings and re-construct around the tree.

"It's not easy to grow a tree on the prairie, and we have to do everything we can to protect it," Zhang said.

Tanzania is rich in tourism resources and tourism is recovering from the pandemic. According to Damas Ndumbaro, Tanzania's minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania's tourism industry has received 923,000 foreign tourists in 2021, with tourism revenue of 1.254 billion U.S. dollars, up 76 percent year on year.

In Zhang's view, with the implementation of the achievements of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China-Tanzania cooperation will embrace more opportunities.

"More tourists from all over the world will come to Tanzania in the future, and Tanzania's tourism industry has a promising future," Zhang said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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