Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. So AWF has defined areas across the continent that are critical to conservation. These Priority Landscapes can cover public and private lands alike and often cross borders.
2,463,422 hectares (9,511 sq. mi.)
Africa’s highest peak rises in the center of the scenic Kilimanjaro Heartland, surrounded by a variety of ecosystems from wetlands to savanna. This heartland contains three national parks and vast community lands tended by the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania.
Wildlife needs room to roam. People need land to farm.
The Kilimanjaro Heartland 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 Heartland 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.
Our solutions to the challenges in the Kilimanjaro Heartland:
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 Heartland’s forests and their wildlife inhabitants.
Explore some of our related projects.
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