Our founding principle and continuing drive is bringing people on amazing safaris to help the wildlife, habitats and people that live there. The safari industry provides huge opportunity for the economy; visa fees, park fees, big business that build camps and operate fleets, small business that sell supplies and make crafts. This revenue and the supply chains that are built on it are the most water tight reason we have come up with yet to protect wildlife. An equation everyone can appreciate, whether you live in Kitisi or Manhattan. With no safaris running, jobs are threatened, school fees go unpaid, anti-poaching budgets are squeezed.
So what to do? There are fantastic projects working right now with local communities and wildlife who need your support. Please give what you can here.
- Mkuyu Guide School. Just outside Tungamalenga, the last village on the road to Ruaha, Mkuyu has grown and grown from a couple of old tents at a campsite in 2013. Inspired by a career in the safari industry, young people from all over Southern Tanzania come here and Leonard Fidelis makes it happen for them. Donations go towards scholarships, park trips, books, binoculars and so on.
- PAMS. Or Protected Area Management Services, are fighting elephant poaching in Tanzania by empowering Tanzanians, in villages, in towns and in the courts, to do so themselves. They were instrumental in bringing ‘The Ivory Queen’ to justice last year.
- Ruaha Carnivore Project. If you have been to Ruaha you’ll know it is one of the last strongholds for lions in Africa, and packed with plenty of other carnivores. But lions are threatened by contact with people, which is happening more and more. RCP use all sorts of innovative ideas to bring the community onside including one of my favourites, a competition amongst local villages to get the most valuable (most points) animals on their camera traps.
- STEP. Southern Tanzania Elephant Program, engaging remote communities around Ruaha through football, researching elephant populations in Ruaha and Udzungwa, supporting anti-poaching in the buffer zones around Ruaha. STEP have a long list of work protecting elephants. Trevor supports Arsenal and likes punk rock but please don’t hold that against him. See our talk with STEP's Jo Smit here.
- Sea Sense. Known for safari and its great land wilderness, a lot of people don’t know about Tanzania’s wonderful coastline and incredible marine life. Sea turtles, whale sharks, dugongs, dolphins, whales and so much more. I saw turtles hatching at one of their protected sites on Juani island last year and it was emotional!
- Wildlife Connection. My first day in Ruaha was on a Wildlife Connection park trip from Isele village, we got three flat tyres and burnt out the brakes, got back at 2am and everyone had a great time! Now Wildlife Connection are working with local communities to improve chicken farming, reducing the devastating impacts of this years flooding and combating the demand for bush meat.
Please make sure to check out everyone’s websites as these are only very brief summaries of all the great work these projects are doing.
Sincere thanks to everyone who reads, shares and donates.