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 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. See the presentation:
For a cost analysis factors 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 done by Serengeti Watch to see the real cost of the northern route.
On June 13, 2014, the German Embassy in Tanzania announced that it had finally received to go-ahead from the Tanzanian government to conduct a feasibility study for the southern route. It will be completed in 2015.
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.)