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 largest 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.
In Kenya, conservation is a cornerstone of the economy.
Kenya is a country of diverse, rich habitat. The humid broadleaf forests along the coast of the Indian Ocean give way to lush grasslands and savannas. The Kenya Lake System of the geologically dramatic Great Rift Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And, Mount Kenya — the nation’s namesake — is the second-tallest mountain on the continent.
Iconic mountains and an impressive array of wildlife.
With UNESCO World Heritage Sites dotted around the signature high central plateau and mountainous geography of Ethiopia, this country is an excellent destination for wildlife enthusiasts, adventure travelers, and tourists alike. The area contains 20 peaks that rise above 4,000 meters, including Ras Dashen in Simien Mountains National Park, which, at over 4,500 meters, is the country's highest peak and the third highest mountain in Africa.
As a young lawyer, I was nervous yet excited to be stationed in Tsavo — the largest wildlife ecosystem in Kenya. This landscape carries the biggest populations of elephants in the country. Working amid this beautiful natural resource in southern Kenya is one of the reasons I took up the job with African Wildlife Foundation monitoring wildlife crime cases in the four law courts located in Tsavo.
The newcomer to Manyara Ranch was not hard to flush out. Two rangers crept around a bend toward its hiding spot — a thicket at the edge of a large pond. With a sudden rush from the foliage, the hippo flew out and into the water with a decisive splash.
At its southern reach, Kenya’s Tsavo Conservation Area crosses into Tanzania, encompassing Mkomazi National Park and critical dispersal areas for the region’s iconic wildlife. The area, covering more than 47,000 sq. kilometers, is home to more than a third of Kenya’s elephant population and 18 percent of its black rhinos. Comprising three national parks and reserves, as well as community conservancies and ranches, Tsavo is the biggest contiguous wildlife area in Kenya.
Sugarcane grown in southern Tanzania’s Kilombero landscape makes up 33 percent of the total sugar produced in the country. African Wildlife Foundation partner Kilombero Sugar Company, the largest sugar producer in Tanzania, works with 8,000 outgrower sugarcane farmers who supply the company to complement harvests from its plantations.
AWF Statement Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) CoP18
Recommendations on Proposals to amend Appendices at the 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. August 17-18, 2019, Geneva, Switzerland.
From wildlife artist to wildlife scout: the conservation champion of Murchison Community Conservancy
Lakica Diana never dreamt that her passion for wildlife would translate into a career allowing her to protect some of Uganda's most vulnerable species. For the past nine years, she has lived in the Murchison Community Conservancy, near Uganda’s famed Murchison Falls National Park — growing increasingly fond of its wildlife, and even developing a hobby of drawing her favorite animals. The elephant, despite being one of the more frequent ‘visitors’ to her homestead, is still her best-loved muse. Since April 2019, Diana leads the team of community wildlife scouts securing the conservancy. The 21-year-old head scout has broken the mold to seek out a life she could hardly have imagined, especially when she was a young girl doing household chores, and even after the birth of her daughter when she was 18.
As building blocks for protecting critical wildlife habitats, national parks, reserves, and other protected areas are ecological havens and recognized for their contributions to poverty alleviation, water security, and carbon sequestration. They also provide opportunities for economic development and disaster risk reduction as well as a means of delivering nature-based solutions to climate change. And while recent reports from Africa highlight the strides that African governments have made in designating protected areas, there remain challenges.