Conservation and Community News
Great News for Lion Conservation!
The Minister of Environmental Affairs in South Africa recently announced their support for a ban on the captive breeding of lions for canned lion hunting, the lion bone trade to Asia, and controversial tourism interactions like cub petting and walking with lions.
This is an important step in promoting the true conservation of wild lions and, in a broader context, changing the way in which wild animals, such as lions, are "used" for tourism purposes. Classic Africa ceased booking lion-interactions for our clients several years ago, when the true fate of the lions involved was revealed by organizations such as bloodlions.org, and we applaud the South African government's move to end the abusive and exploitative captive breeding of lions.
Serengeti Elephant Population on the Rise
According to researchers at the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, the population of elephants on the Serengeti rose nearly 20%, from 6,000 to over 7,000 between 2014 and 2020. The population increase is ascribed to the effectiveness of anti-poaching measures instituted by the government, and increased security along the Park's borders. The growing elephant population on the Serengeti can be seen at great camps like Sayari, Kuria Hills, Nanyukie, and Namiri Plains.
Rhino Tourism Launches in Tanzania
Tanzania is spearheading "rhino tourism" in East Africa as it welcomes guests in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mkomazi National Park, a five-and-a-half-hour drive south of Mount Kilimanjaro, has been declared a rhino sanctuary where guests can view the critically endangered animals. The 2,032 square mile park is the first of its kind in East Africa to specialize in rhino tourism, and also facilitates an African wild dog breeding program.
The Maa Trust Plants Trees
The delicate balance of the Masaai Mara ecosystem in Kenya is threatened by population growth, land conversion to agriculture, livestock overgrazing, and the introduction of non-native plant species. The Maa Trust is launching a project to restore Savannah habitat through the planting of indigenous species to revive a portion of this thriving ecosystem. The project will be based at The Maa Trust headquarters which borders Olare Motorogi Conservancy (Mara Plains Camp and Mahali Mzuri), Naboisho Conservancy (Naboisho Camp), and the Maasai Mara National Reserve (Sand River Maasai Mara Camp).
Children in the Wilderness in Rwanda
In June 2021 Wilderness Safaris and Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Rwanda were able to complete several important projects, and implement a number of others in the communities in the vicinity of Magashi Camp at Akagera National Park, Bisate Lodge at Volcanoes National Park and the community around Gishwati-Mukura National Park, utilizing $61,480 raised primarily from guest donations.
In addition to improvements at all of the area schools, such as water purification systems, the Tuzamurane Co-operative initiated a large-scale agricultural and indigenous tree nursery at Bisate village. The nursery will provide indigenous saplings to the national park when the park expansion begins, and will also provide agricultural trees as a food source for the community. Further, funding has been utilized to support those families most in need with a community-based medical insurance called Mutuelle.
Wildlife Warriors in Kenya
The Land & Life Foundation's Wildlife Warrior Program is designed to promote inter-generational knowledge sharing, innovative thinking, and proactive wildlife conservation in East Africa. Despite disruption to schooling over the past year, twelve new Wildlife Warriors have graduated and will now embark on an educational journey in conservation. The 12 selected students will not only receive scholarships for further education but also have the opportunity to become part of a network that comprises young diverse conservationists from many parts of Kenya. "Communities are far more likely to protect wildlife if they can benefit directly from tourism. Based on this principle, we have been committed to providing tangible benefits to communities for over 30 years" the foundation states.
News and Notes
Great News for Vaccine Production in Africa
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