Tanzania Ecotourism

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Sand Rivers Selous Rhino Project

The Sand Rivers Rhino Trust is concerned with the game conservation and protection of the Selous eco-system with the objective of providing security surveillance of the area and to monitor, establish and assess the status of the black rhino.

The black rhino population in the Selous declined from more than 2,000 rhinos in 1970 to less than 150 in 1996 mainly due to poachers reacting to the huge commercial value of rhino horn. In 1995 the Sand Rivers Rhino Project was set up with two main objectives: to provide security over the area and to monitor, establish and assess the status of the rhino and ensure that those that remain constitute a viable breeding population.

This is the first pioneer project of its kind in the Selous Game Reserve and is greatly assisting with game conservation and protection throughout the eco-system. The project relies heavily on donations to support, train and equip the rangers. For further information contact :

Community Conservation Programme Under Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, conserved by Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, established in 1959 prompted by the need to reconcile conservation issues with the interests of resident pastoralists and those of the tourism industry.

During high seasons, the crater, which is only 250 square kilometres, is visited on average by over 80 vehicles at any one particular time. Environmentalists are concerned that this congestion not only disturbs the ecology and the behaviour of animals, but also reduces the enjoyment of visitors who prefer wilderness experience.

Maintaining the Balance

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) being a multiple land use area, has three major functions:
To conserve and develop the natural resources of the conservation area,
To promote tourism within the conservation area
To provide and encourage the provision of facilities necessary or expedient for the promotion of tourism and to safeguard and promote the interest of Maasai citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania engaged in cattle ranching and diary industry within the conservation area.

To achieve the above functions the community conservation practice within the Ngorongoro conservation area and to neighbouring communities has been playing the following roles:

Bring about conservation awareness by involving communities in conservation issues and imparting conservation knowledge to village councils and to the community at large.

Mobilisation of the community in protecting resources such as Northern Highlands Forest Reserve (NHFR), and to put in practice such issues like controlled burning, fight illegal forest harvest, control livestock grazing, protection of wildlife corridors and combating poaching.

Benefit Sharing

Supporting community initiated projects (social services) as a mechanism of having good relations and benefit sharing between the authority and the communities. This is to ensure that the local communities are getting tangible benefits from wildlife conservation. Revenue from wildlife tourism provide funds for the construction / rehabilitation of schools, cattle dips, dams, grain stores and other social facilities.

Community involvement in decision making called for the establishment of a Pastoral Council (PC) in 1994. This organ links the authority and the residents. The Pastoral Council meets to discuss the issues related to social development for local residents.

Income generating activities

Community Conservation Programme also advocates income-generating activities to bring about sustainable development for local people and to the adjacent communities. These income-generating activities include Bee-keeping projects at Olbalbal, Nainokanoka and Endulen; and handcraft projects at the cultural bomas of Loongoku, Emanyatta and Irkeepusi cultural bomas.

Brick processing technique to reduce exploitation of the natural forest:
The Community Conservation Programme works hand in hand with other stakeholders such as "Mazingira Bora Karatu" and HlMAKA (Hifadhi ya Mazingira Karatu). The latter NGO recently introduced brick processing techniques (making bricks without burning) to Karatu communities, This has dramatically reduced the exploitation of the forest.

Other tangible benefits being enjoyed by local communities in NCA include: free Secondary School education, vocational training among youngsters both male and females.

More than 90 students are attending secondary school education for the last three years. More than 50 residents have already attended vocational training in various fields.

Immediate / Future Plan

NGO involvement in Community Conservation Programme includes developing Biogas technology to those who practice zero grazing in Karatu. To date there are 11 biogas units, which have been established in Karatu. Through the Community Conservation Programme, NCAA is looking forward to establish Buffer Zones to reduce pressure on the Northern Highland Forest Reserve.

Tarangire National Park

Covering approximately 2,600 square kilometres, Tarangire National Park is known for its extraordinary natural attractions, which includes tree-climbing pythons, high concentration of wildlife species and abundant birdlife. The park is spectacular in the dry season when many of the migratory wildlife species come back to the permanent waters of Tarangire River. Huge herds of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, eland and oryx gather to stay in Tarangire until the onset of the rains when they migrate again to good grazing areas.

Nowadays however, the survival of the national park has become a matter of grave concern to conservationists following the growing threats confronting the park's bio-diversity. The threats consist in an increased incompatible land use on core areas - wildlife migratory routes and corridors, breeding sites, dispersal areas and foraging grounds.

There has also been a constant increase of unsustainable exploitation of land resources and land uses that is not compatible with wildlife conservation in areas adjoining the park. The consequence of this is the growing threat of land degradation and fragmentation, which puts brings the risk of declining wildlife populations, genetic erosion and species extinction.

Cultural Tourism in Northern Tanzania

In 1995 the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV started to develop a programme that would enable local people to offer cultural tours to tourists. The aim was to provide local communities with a new source of income and tourists with a real cultural experience. The programme has proved to be popular and tourists now have the opportunity to choose from a variety of cultural tours organised by local people through the Cultural Tourism Programme. Cultural tourism refers to a form of tourism which closely involves the local people. They design and organise the tours, show tourists aspects of the area in which they live and of their daily life. During the tours local people often show their development projects, like irrigation and soil conservation activities, or income generating projects of women's groups.

Last Updated on Wednesday 25th November 2009