The African continent is home to some of the world’s most amazing wildlife and natural wonders. Yet rural communities see little value in their wildlife neighbors, as growth in human population and changing climatic conditions place increasing strain on the continent’s natural resources.
To some African communities, the presence of wildlife is perceived as a threat to their livelihoods. Elephants are crop eating, water tank tipping nuisances. Lions are cattle attacking predators. Routine chores involve the added danger of stumbling upon a hippo or crocodile at the riverbank.
To others, where there is wildlife, they see opportunity. For many African nations, tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. In fact, Tanzania’s earnings topped 1.88 billion US Dollars in 2013, superseding gold as their number one foreign exchange earner.
AWF has historically used its own, donor-driven capital to support the development of conservation tourism in key areas under threat. While this strategy has proved successful, it also has its limitations.
Want to go sailing on Lake Victoria, discover the scenic route to Murchison Falls, or dance the night away in Kampala, but haven't a clue who to call for advice? You’re in luck, because there’s a new smartphone application (app) to help you figure out how to do all of this yourself, and more. With support from USAID, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and the partnership with the Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda’s first ever travel guide app, the Pearl Guide, was developed.
What's the fuss about wild dogs? Well, it is quite a big deal. Wild dogs are endangered, almost disappearing from Tanzania's northern parks. It is easier to find a leopard, cheetah and lion on the same day than a wild dog. These “painted” dogs, roam far and wide covering great distances - here today but gone tomorrow, not to be seen again for months or years.