The first lesson of conservation is that conservation is about people, not animals. Of course we need to know about wildlife, their habitats and the environment. But the route to preserving these lies in working with people, and most importantly local people.
The tourism business, like any business, is about making money. But it should also be a crucial driver of conservation. This is especially the case where safaris are concerned, in the forests, savannahs and coastlines of Africa. The safari industry is uniquely positioned to foster the development of local communities and national economies alongside the protection of wildlife populations and wilderness areas, two complementary processes. It is possible to secure both, and in the case of Tanzania, an undoubtedly prudent path.
In Tanzania tourism provides employment and opportunity for people who would otherwise struggle to see the virtue of setting aside vast tracts of land for the enjoyment of foreigners. However this is just a minimum and it is the responsibility of safari businesses to regularly ask what more they could be doing for local people and for the environment. Sponsoring students, using solar power, hosting researchers, the possibilities are endless.
Paul Tickner Safaris has a strong conservation and development commitment, starting locally in Ruaha, no green washing here. We encourage all our guests to learn about local areas. Guests can donate directly or contribute a proportion of their safari costs. We only work with partners who share our values and we encourage guests to keep conservation and local communities in mind when booking safaris, whether in Tanzania or beyond.
You can find out more about our work with Mkuyu Guide School here.
Read on below for more information about some fantastic organisations we support:
The Wildlife Connection works to reduce human-elephant conflict in the communities surrounding Ruaha national park and improve the perception of wildlife; using education programs in schools and innovative beehive fences that protect farms from raiding elephants and allow farmers to harvest honey. Wildlife Connection and Paul Tickner Safaris partner on unique concept safaris where you can experience real conservation work and enjoy a private guided safari.
PAMS Foundation expanding their reach in Tanzania, the PAMS team are bringing their relentless work ethic to Ruaha to combat poaching and support conservation.
Ruaha Carnivore Project does exactly what it says on the tin, looking after one of the largest remaining populations of lions left in Africa.
Southern Tanzania Elephant Program STEP provides aerial and technical support to anti-poaching, does elephant monitoring and research, and works with local farmers affected by elephants, in the Ruaha-Rungwa and Udzungwa-Selous ecosystems.
Wild Aid are targeting the root of the problem, reducing demand for ivory and other illegal wildlife products in China and the Far East with highly effective advertising campaigns. Thankfully, they have just launched a public awareness campaign here in Tanzania.
Seasense looking after whale sharks, turtles, local communities and all the other amazing things one can find on the Tanzanian islands and coast.
Vikapu Bomba is a new community project close to Iringa that supports local women by selling their baskets all over Tanzania and internationally. You can visit them and try your hand at basket weaving when passing through Iringa.
Neema Crafts gives disabled people employment and education opportunities from their cafe/guesthouse/workshop in Iringa. Their products are now for sale in the UK and beyond. The coffee is great and so is the chocolate cake, a must stop if you are ever in Iringa.
If you are concerned about your carbon footprint flying over to Tanzania, you can offset your emissions with Carbon Tanzania.