Wildlife conservation in style with a feel for African communities
In Ngorongoro in Tanzania, local communities are benefiting directly from tourism gains accrued from over 600,000 tourists visiting the park every year. In a partnership, the animals and the communities live together peacefully where poaching is not tolerated. This is a win-win situation promoting sustainable tourism as well as the livelihood of the people.
Counted as the best tourist magnet in Tanzania and Africa, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in northern Tanzania stands as a good example of wildlife conservation – a place in the world where wild animals and humans live together in peace, sharing pastures and other resources available within the conservation area.
Visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and its famous crater could be a lifelong memory in which a person from any corner of the world would appreciate the wonders of nature.
Poaching of wild animals for commercial or business purposes is not observed in Ngorongoro, taking the fact that local communities are benefiting directly from tourism gains accrued from over 600,000 tourists visiting the park every year.
Addressing the status of life in both wild animals and people inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, senior conservation official Mr. Elibariki Bajuta said the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage has been a target to promote sustainable tourism and livelihood of the people.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit, pulling photographic safari tourists and other holidaymakers from all corners of the world to visit this part of Africa for wildlife safaris.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority is tasked to conserve and protect all the natural and cultural resources the area is endowed with. Conservation and protection of wildlife has been going in tandem with provision of social services to the local Maasai communities sharing the land with wild animals.
Sixty-one years since its formation, Ngorongoro has been striving to live up its assignments, prompting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare the Conservation Area as a Man and Biosphere Reserve.
Seven Maasai homesteads known as cultural bomas have been developed for cultural tourism activities inside the conservation area so as to offer cultural services to the tourists visiting the area. These including locally-made jewelry and bracelets which are exposed and sold to tourists as souvenirs.
Tourists visiting these homesteads pay substantial amounts of cash as fees to experience the local Maasai culture, thus contributing directly to the local communities.
Now, the Maasai communities are looking at tourism as an alternative income-generating activity to support their daily livelihood other than a total dependence on livestock.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Authority management believes that good relations with communities would make wildlife conservation and tourism development match smoothly through direct benefit sharing between the local communities and the Tanzanian government.
Direct sharing of tourist revenues between the local communities and conservation authorities under the Tanzanian government created peace and harmony between the people and wildlife, making the locals the best conservators and guardians of nature.
Other than the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, wildlife remains the leading tourist attraction and major source of tourist revenues in Africa with a great need for protection and conservation.
In recognition of the noble task on conservation of wildlife in Africa, Polar Projects in association with the African Tourism Board (ATB) are scheduled to present the African Tourism Showcase Series-2 via a zoom meeting with 8 Tourism Ministers from 8 African countries to discuss efforts on anti-poaching in African tourism.