We have said many times before but Singita truly are pioneers with their conservation for both communities surrounding their properties but also with the conservation for wildlife too. One of their newest projects is to immerse Singita’s guests in a ‘participating safari’. Singita runs a non-profit conservation project within Tanzania – the Singita Grumeti Fund – whereby they tirelessly think up new ideas and new projects to help conserve the African landscape, wildlife as well as helping teach the local people about the wildlife and the land in which they reside. They often employ ex-poachers, training them up and teaching them about the wildlife and the knock-on effect of how devastating poaching is and can be to the area they and their families live in.
New challenges are always cropping up and Singita are constantly re-strategizing and thinking up new ideas in order to help prevent certain devastating situations from arising. One major issue that is constantly evolving is the human-wildlife conflict.
In Singita’s most recent newsletter, they explain that the problem with this, is it manifests between subsistence farmers who live on the edge of the private concessions and the elephants who trample and eat their crops. In order to prevent the farmers from attacking the elephants, they have recently embarked on a new venture. Introducing the elephant collaring project. This started with fitting 6 bull elephants and 6 cow elephants with GPS enabled satellite collars, so that they could identify which were the true crop raiders. Once being able to identify these crop raiders, the human-wildlife conflict mitigation unit are deployed to steer the animals back on the right course, therefore preventing human-wildlife conflict.
Part of this project however, is to allow guests of the Singita Tanzanian lodges the chance to experience first-hand what it is like to participate in one of these tracking and fitting operations. Led by executive director of the fund, Stephen Cunliffe, guests were allowed to get up close and personal with the action. Involving the guests not only offers a once in a lifetime experience of being up close and personal with a wild elephant first hand, but this hands-on experience also means that by assisting they will have a deeper understanding in what they are aiming to achieve out of the project – both in conservation for not only this endangered animal, but conservation for the community that live alongside.
Singita say that ‘the personal participation and financial contribution of these guests has a profound and positive impact on the fulfilment of the funds mission to conserve the Serengeti eco-system for future generations.’ Because of this positive feedback it has meant they are now on for tracking and collaring a further 18 more elephants at a later date!
In a world where bad news seems to litter our newsfeeds, this positive news really is the icing on the cake and lets keep all our fingers crossed that this will help both the conservation of the community, but that of the endangered African elephant too – Get in touch if you would like to hear more information on Singita’s fantastic new conservation projects.