In order to gain insight of the ecology of Burunge Wildlife Management Area and learn about its cultural, natural and historic values, it has been felt vital to establish a tourist or visitor centre where tourists can get interpretive information of available resources and legacy of the area
The centre will strive to boost revenue for local communities of ten villages of Mbugwe Division in Babati District, Manyara Region. The Centre which is situated in Olasiti Village about 100 kilometres from Arusha is near the turn-off to the Tarangire National Park. It was established under the auspices of the International Technical Assistance Programme (ITAP) of the Department of the Interior of the US Government.
The Centre is located significantly at Kwa Kuchinja Area S -3.690782, E 35.938050, as in November 1928, when Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII visited Tanganyika and was guided by legendary Baron Bro Blixen, who in his book titled, THE AFRICAN HUNTER wrote:
"But on the first we had no luck. I had set my bait near the village
of Kwa Kuchinja and the lion had been there and had a feed all right,
but when the royal party came , the ungrateful brute had cleared off.
We had to return to Babati with long faces, though the most
crestfallen of the party was naturally myself..... and I swore that the
Prince should have his lion. And so he did."
The initiative will convey the overall system of WMAs in Tanzania and the Wildlife Policy in regard to conservation and how the community is gaining tangible benefits from protection of wildlife.
One of the objectives of the Wildlife Policy of Tanzania launched in 1998 is to promote the conservation of wildlife and its habitats outside the protected areas by setting up Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) so as to establish an environment that will ensure that legal and sustainable wildlife schemes benefit local communities in the respective areas.
Burunge Wildlife Management Area safeguards an important wildlife migration corridor between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks for biodiversity threatened by human settlement, pastoralism, farming, and poaching. Its habitats, especially wetlands of streams cascading from Rift Valley escarpment support abundance and diversity of wildlife population including 500 species of birdlife.
The establishment of the area also enhances the protection and preservation of Burunge and Manyara lakes, the water sources which are important for birds, amphibians, fishes and plants. The lakes are also potential for sports fishing and canoeing. The area is home for four tribes namely the Bantu speaking, Mbugwe, and the non-Bantu tribes, Maasai, Datoga and Iraqw. The tribes in the area with different traditions customs, dresses, do not only preserve and showcase their traditions and livelihoods, but also represent three amongst the four African major linguistic families, who are Bantus, Nilotics and Cushitics
Also the WMA plan of giving equal opportunity to all ethnic groups would create sense of appreciation, recognition and conservation awareness in a bid to eradicate the ritual hunting, the malpractice done by pastoralist societies in the area. Each year young warriors from the Nilotic Maasai and Datoga kill lions with spears to culminate youth bravery and courage as a necessity for their rite of entering manhood or prestigious status. The practice goes unabated as is done in secrecy and the event is done in pretension of retaliatory due to livestock predation.