Statement by the International Gorilla Conservation Program, a joint initiative of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International and World Wide Fund for Nature.
If you ask wildlife managers working in national parks in Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania where they studied, many will give you the same answer: The College of African Wildlife Management in Mweka, Tanzania.
Situated in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro (Mweka is one of the towns that allow access to climb the mountain), the college is a respected regional training school that AWF helped establish almost 40 years ago. Mweka College trains mid-career protected-area and wildlife professionals from all over the continent.
During the last year, AWF doubled its number of Conservation Service Centers (CSCs). The two original CSCs are in Nairobi and Arusha. In 2000, a third center opened in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and a fourth in White River, South Africa.
AWF hired Isidore Gwashure, formerly a top executive in southern Africa's ecotourism industry, to direct the CSC program. Now based at AWF's Office of African Operations in Nairobi, he has concluded agreements with two major southern African tourism companies and is negotiating additional contracts.
For the first time in nearly thirty years, elephants have been sighted in the Central Kajido District, which is located in the Kilimanjaro Heartland. The Kilimanjaro Heartland straddles between the borders of Tanzania and Kenya. The Heartland supports exceptional biological and other values, such as the best known and studied population of African elephants in the world. It is also home to endangered species including cheetah and wild dogs, and contains an important system of wetlands welling up from Mt. Kilimanjaro.
by R. Michael Wright, President, AWF
Fifteen-foot crocodiles slithered across the sandbanks and plunged into the river as the vibrations of the South African National Park Service helicopter reached them. We seemed perilously close to the red rock walls of the canyons of the Olifants River, but the dexterity of the pilot was remarkable. Pulling up at the last minute, we swung over the lip of the gorge. To our right lay the wildlife-rich expanse of Kruger National Park, and to the left was the vast empty wilderness of Coutada 16 in Mozambique.