A Qantas Boeing 747 with 298 Australian tourists on board landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) this weekend.

Natural Resources and Tourism Minister of Tanzania, Dr Hamisi Kigwangala, said the government was thrilled to receive the visitors, saying more strategies were under way to boost the sector. “We have already launched the strategy to attract more tourists and open up new markets in various countries. The arrival of the Australian tourists shows that our strategies are working.”

This is the first time a Qantas aircraft has landed at KIA. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Public Relations Officer, Paschal Shelutete, said: “We always receive 100 or up to 120 tourists at once. This time around we have received over 250 tourists at once; this is history.”

Soon after landing, the visitors boarded smaller aircraft bound for the Seronera Airstrip in the Serengeti where they were met by more than 50 four-wheel-drive vehicles to begin their safari experience. They will spend three days in the park before heading to Morocco. The round-the-world trip ends back in Sydney on May 12.

Kigwangala added that the sector expected 200 000 new tourists every year and his department was marketing Tanzania as “The Land of the Unforgettable”.