Yesterday in a presentation at The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism renowned Ivory Room - Charles Dobie proudly passed over cheques totalling 42,500,000 Tsh ($26,563) to Mr Benson Kibonde, the Manager of Selous Game Reserve. (The above photo is press in Mwananchi, a Tanzanian paper)
At a time when the Wildlife Division requires more financial support to tackle the elephant poaching crisis, the safari camps within the Selous Game Reserve have risen to the urgent call and pooled donations together to aid the cause. This crucial donation will augment the ongoing government efforts to bring the poaching system under control. The funds will specifically go towards providing fuel and maintenance to anti-poaching patrols within the Northern Photographic Sector of Selous Game Reserve. The poaching within Tanzania has reached the global stage and it is time to support efforts on the ground to save the African Elephant, rather than just talk about it.
Charles Dobie commented, “Within this difficult economic environment, all the Lodge Operators had to dig deep to raise this amount of money, but it's a reflection of both the urgency and seriousness of the situation but also the faith we have in the Wildlife Division and their efforts to put a stop to poaching. The money is best in their hands. It is estimated that within 7 years the elephant will be extinct. If this tragedy happens with no elephant, there will be no tourists; with no tourists, there will be no safari camps; and with no safari camps, there will be no employment or tourist economy; and Tanzania will cry for the elephants then.”
Mr Kibonde thanked all the Lodge Operators for their generous donation and their continued support, “With a 50,000 sqkm reserve to patrol, our resources are severely strained. The confidence and funds provided by the Lodge Operators to the Wildlife Division are vital and will go a long way to supporting our ongoing grass root efforts to crush poaching in Selous Game Reserve. Tourism can make a remarkable partner for conservation by providing much needed funding but also by marketing these extraordinary landscapes to the world. Today we have even more reason to thank them”
Selous Safari Company, the Wildlife Division and the Elephants also owe a huge thank you to you, our wonderful guests, as Selous Safari Company was able to personally donate 10,000,000 Tsh ($6,250) to the cause with half of the funds coming from the business and the other half from our charity pot which grows through guest donations. Our guests realise that donating through us we will support and manage sustainable projects on the ground which will not just help one person but many. Thank you all so much and if you would like to donate please visit our Charity page on the site or email us.
Selous Game Reserve Photographic Lodge Operators and their donations
Amara Selous 2,500,000 Tsh
BehoBeho 5,000,000 Tsh
Lake Manze Assistance with anti-poaching materials and equipment
Rufiji River Camp Land Rover and use of their planes for air patrols
Sand Rivers 5,000,000 Tsh
Selous Impala Camp 8,000,000 Tsh
Selous Serena Camp 8,000,000 Tsh
Siwandu 10,000,000 Tsh (including a 5 million Tsh guest donation)
The Retreat 4,000,000 Tsh
(listed in alphabetical order)