Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.


In Tanzania, closeness to nature cuts both ways

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  • Manyara Ranch Primary School  Craig R Sholley
  • Manyara Ranch Primary School Billy Dodson
  • Manyara Ranch Primary School Craig R Sholley
  • Manyara Ranch Primary School Billy Dodson
  • Rungwe Avocado Company Caroline Schmidt
  • Rungwe Avocado Company Caroline Schmidt
  • Rungwe Avocado Company Caroline Schmidt
  • Rungwe Avocado Company Caroline Schmidt
  • Esilalei Women's Cultural Boma Mohamed Hashim

A third of Tanzania is protected.

From its stunning Indian Ocean beaches to the shores of Lake Victoria, from the arable plains of its central plateau to the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is a jewel of East Africa. It is the biggest country in the region, formed in 1964 by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Among Tanzania’s neighbors are Kenya to the north and Mozambique to the south, with multiple landlocked nations to its west relying on it for access to the coast.

Agriculture is Tanzania’s economic mainstay, employing four of five workers and accounting for 85% of its exports. The economy has been growing at about 6% each year since 2009, thanks to gold and other mineral production plus a healthy tourism industry.

Tanzania’s natural beauty and sheer density of plant and wildlife species make it a top destination for ecotourists. Almost a third of the country is protected, providing habitat for scores of species across 14 national parks. A fifth of Africa’s large mammals can be found within its borders, including lions, hippos, elephants, zebra, and wildebeest, whose mass migration through the Serengeti is a major draw for safaris.




When humans and wildlife fight over land, no one wins.

As with other African nations, the majority of Tanzanians are forced to live off the land, which, in turn, compromises it. With trees often the only source for fuel, deforestation has led to soil erosion. That and overgrazing by livestock has led to desertification in some parts of the country. Subsistence farmers then venture closer to wildlife to find fertile land.

Clashes are inevitable. Elephants, zebras, and other species destroy crops. Distraught farmers resort to killing wildlife to protect their own livelihood. Individual conflicts like this pale in comparison to the massive wildebeest migration: Only 15% of this natural phenomenon occurs on protected land. As the herds move, predators follow and nomadic herders’ helpless livestock is caught in the middle.

Protection alone isn’t enough. Providing Tanzanians with sustainable ways to raise crops and livestock, as well as providing other economic opportunities, will not only take the stress off the land, it will avoid deadly run-ins with wildlife.



Will you show Tanzania your support?

Two of African Wildlife Foundation's priority landscapes fall within Tanzania’s borders. From our Livestock to Livelihoods Program to establishing wildlife corridors, explore our work in this East African nation, and donate for a cause that helps the people of Tanzania, its wildlife, and its wild lands.

  • Manyara Ranch Tented Camp
    Bridging the gap between tourism and conservation

    A failing cattle ranch endangers local wildlife. 

    Originally established as a cattle ranch during Tanzania's colonial period, Manyara Ranch is now a 45,000-acre...

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  • Close up of chimp in a tree.
    African Apes Initiative
    Saving Africa’s great apes from the brink of extinction.

    All of Africa’s great ape species are either endangered or critically endangered.

    Africa is home to four of the world’s five great apes: the...

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    All Projects

  • Lion protected by the Ruaha Carnivore Project
    Ruaha Carnivore Project
    Creating common ground for communities and carnivores

    A critical location for Africa’s top predators.

    Across the continent, Africa’s large carnivores are facing an uncertain future. Lions, cheetahs and African wild dogs have all disappeared...

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    All Projects

  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab Amy Rizzotto
    Manyara Ranch IT Lab
    Connecting local communities to the World Wide Web

    Information accessibility is low in rural communities.

    Though computers may be a part of everyday life for many students in Western countries, computers—and the...

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    All Projects

  • Manyara Ranch Primary School Craig R Sholley
    Manyara Ranch Primary School
    Rebuilding educational facilities in Tanzania

    The Maasai School was dangerously dilapidated.

    The school formerly located on 45,000-acre Manyara Ranch was dilapidated, having seen no physical maintenance or repair in...

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    All Projects

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