Kilimanjaro | AWF

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The Kilimanjaro Landscape:
The roof of Africa

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Kilimanjaro

Land

  • Quick Facts:

    Area

    2,463,422 hectares (9,511 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    1. Mt. Kilimanjaro
    2. Kilimanjaro National Park
    3. Amboseli National Park
    4. Arusha National Park
    5. Lake Natron

Overview

Africa’s highest peak rises in the center of the scenic Kilimanjaro Landscape, surrounded by a variety of ecosystems from wetlands to savanna. This landscape contains three national parks and vast community lands tended by the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania.

Tags: East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania

Challenges

Wildlife needs room to roam. People need land to farm.

The Kilimanjaro Landscape is home to the world’s most studied population of African elephants as well as endangered species of cheetahs and wild dogs. These animals depend on having large, uninterrupted landscapes to survive. But, people also need living space, and farming offers them high incomes. Farms obstruct animals’ paths to food, water, and other resources. And, when people settle in wildlife habitat ranges, they also heighten the risk of human-wildlife conflict.

Rising energy needs can bring down forests.

A paved highway on the Kenya side of the Kilimanjaro Landscape is speeding up local development and putting increasing pressure on natural resources and land. In rural areas of Southern Kenya, 80% of the population relies on charcoal and firewood for cooking. As towns grow, people need to chop down more trees to fuel their stoves and build housing, causing forests to shrink. For local wildlife, deforestation means habitat loss and fragmentation.
 

Solutions

Our solutions to the challenges in the Kilimanjaro Landscape:

  • Provide a tourist lodge in exchange for wildlife corridors: win-win.

    African Wildlife Foundation helped the Entonet/Elerai Maasai community establish Satao Elerai, a luxury tourist lodge set on a 5,000-acre conservancy. The lodge invests its revenues in conservation and contributes a portion of bed-night fees to the community—income that provides an incentive for local people to protect the wildlife that tourists come to see. Meanwhile, the conservancy itself supports lions, cheetah, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, serval cats, and leopards, giving them space to thrive away from farms and settlements.

  • Provide efficient stoves that save trees and money.

    AWF funded the first-ever jiko shop in the town of Kimana in Southern Kenya. A jiko is a cooking stove designed to use charcoal and firewood more efficiently. Aside from conserving trees, the jiko’s popularity stems from the money it saves. A jiko can last for more than five years and pays for itself in energy savings within just one year. The jiko gives people a more environmentally friendly way to cook meals and also helps save the Kilimanjaro Landscape’s forests and their wildlife inhabitants.

Projects

Explore some of our related projects.

  • Canine Detection Unit
    Sniffing out illegal wildlife trafficking in Kenya and beyond

    Poaching epidemic threatens elephants and rhinos.

    Illegal poaching in Africa is at an all-time high, with elephants and rhinoceros the most popular targets for well-...

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  • Amboseli-Chyulu Wildlife Corridor
    Connecting two invaluable ecosystems

    Amboseli­-Chyulu Corridor is threatened by agricultural expansion.

    The historic wildlife dispersal area and corridor that extends from Amboseli National Park to...

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  • Maasai Olympics
    Replacing lion hunting with competitive sports

    It is Maasai tradition to hunt lions. 

    In Maasai culture, young men who are entering warriorhood traditionally hunted lions to show their physical prowess and...

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  • Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
    Protecting black rhinos from poaching

    Black rhinos in danger of extinction.

    The black rhino population in Kenya’s Tsavo ecosystem was estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 in the 1970s. By 1989, there were no more...

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  • Satao Elerai Lodge
    Promoting conservation and ecotourism in Kenya

    Kenyan wildlife is diverse but threatened.

    Kenya is home to some of Africa’s most diverse ecosystems and identifiable species. Lush savanna landscapes play host to...

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