Tanzania offers some stunning experiences for conservation – from elephant and lion collaring in the beautiful and unusual Saadani National Park on the Tanzanian coastline, to Lake Manyara conservancy in northern Tanzania.
Other factors include simply staying at proactive, conservation led properties who plough large amounts back into their private conservancies for anti-poaching.
Three organisations specifically come to mind, all whom are based in northern Tanzania and one having two concessions which allows one to witness the wildebeest migration, Africa’s most phenomenal wildlife spectacle, in complete privacy, without the hordes that descend upon Serengeti National Park.
Based in the Maswa and Mwiba conservancies, this one company put back $85 000 per annum into anti-poaching – and has changed the area from hunting to a photographic concession. With over 25% of the entire country allocated to wildlife and protected areas – this surely is reason enough alone for you to visit Tanzania.
In Saadani National Park, in particular, this is a fabulous opportunity for anyone who has wanted to get deeply involved in a national park by assisting with funding to introduce zebra, to increase the lion population (through translocation of species as well as strengthening the gene pool) and to assist in funding the collaring of the present small lion and elephant populations.
Already original migratory paths have been reopened – and some farms willingly relocated. The problem being that a migratory route is deeply embedded in the DNA of an elephant and therefore it will tread this path for millennia. This area has a variety of habitats including marshy swamps, lots of palms – borassus and Ilala as well as combretum and a beautiful evergreen forest.
One has the benefit of both marine and land based flora and fauna with green turtles nesting on the beach and herds of elephant, buffalo and sable antelope as well as lion. The birdlife is fabulous too and one can see Palm nut vultures and African fish eagles as well as hippo and crocs whilst boating up the Wami River.
There are several game viewing circuits and salt flats which one can walk across dotted with palm trees and the entire park is approximately 1100 sq. kms. But the remarkable point is that the park is the only wildlife sanctuary that borders the sea.
So, after your morning game drive, you can then take a stroll along the deserted beaches or take a swim in the sea and perhaps take a boat ride in the afternoon. This is not about luxury – but rather about a very laid back approach to a safari in Africa. The most exciting aspect is to see the potential in the area and the fact that the government is starting to be far more proactive about protecting its national parks!
The Lake Manyara Conservancy is a 45 000 acre conservancy and a critical wildlife corridor between Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park. Here one has the chance to be part of a lion collaring exercise. On the edge of Tarangire National Park, lion collars reveal the true extent of human-wildlife conflict between the areas’ Maasai pastoralists and the lions, which were falling victim to retaliatory killing when they ventured outside the Park.
In many other landscapes, collaring continues to result in reduced human-wildlife conflict, particularly in conservancies who employ lion guards whose job is to alert pastoralists to the presence of lions and keep lions away from cattle and people. This is a truly beautiful area!
Another place of great interest, is Chem Chem or its sister camp, Little Chem Chem who are stakeholders of the Burunge Wildlife Management Area and the not for profit Chem Chem Foundation. Fabia and Nicolas’ dream has been to create an area whereby wildlife and communities can exist together peacefully, by uplifting the local rural communities through sustainable development and to preserve the greater Tarangire eco system and its wildlife.
They have turned a barren area into a wildlife haven and they have a strong anti-poaching unit, protecting the wildlife of the future, with the emphasis on elephant and lion. For anyone who enjoys their luxury, this is the perfect place to be!