Tanzania is considered to be one of the top safari destinations in Africa with almost a quarter of the country set aside for conservation. It is home to Serengeti National Park, the great wildebeest migration (well over 1 million animals), Ngorongoro Crater, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. The wildebeest migration is one of the world’s last great spectacles of nature that is constantly on the move, traversing in a clockwise pattern. This pattern of movement allows for incredible wildlife viewing any time of the year. For those looking for a quieter experience, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks offer exceptional camps and game viewing (with great opportunities for walking safaris and night game drives) and can easily be added on to an itinerary to include the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. This is often referred to as the Northern Circuit.
The more remote areas of Tanzania, Katavi, Ruaha and the Selous, are beautiful but we do not offer safaris here due to several reasons. First and foremost, we have not found a safari operator who satisfies our criteria of supporting a Trophy Free Africa. Secondly, the trophy hunting industry appears to be well entrenched here. Lastly, the recent history of the Tanzania government has oversaw a gross mismanagement of these areas.
Widespread poaching over the last three decades has wiped out almost the entire 100,000+ herd of elephant within the Selous. Trophy hunting in the southern and western regions of the country is directly responsible for the huge decrease in the lion population since the 1990’s. Though the Tanzania government, pro-hunting groups, and photo safari operators will tout the “large” population of lions found in these areas, the fact remains the future of lions is being put in a more precarious position by trophy hunters since lions are already threatened with habitat loss, disease, poaching, and retaliatory killing.
One of the biggest arguments to allow trophy hunting is that it helps keep out poachers. Its a lie and the stats back it up. Tanzania is and has been riddled with hunting areas, especially in the areas above where we have seen a devastating loss of animal life. Hunting has done nothing to keep poachers out. There are studies and evidence to even prove it has even escalated it. Trophy hunting is not a tool to fight poaching.
On the positive side, we may be witnessing some positive change within the leadership of the Tanzania parks and wildlife department. Our hope is the government will support and encourage more non-hunting areas to protect wildlife.