Maasai Slideshow   © 2013   Scattergood-Moore
sound "Rhythm of the Maasai"   ©   Hans Johnson


            A VISIT by SCATTERGOOD-MOORE to A MASSAI BOMA on THE EDGE OF THE NGORONGORO CRATER in THE RIFT VALLEY, TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA         During the afternoon of Monday, July 2, 2007 my safari companions and I visited what was said by our guides to be a "traditional Maasai Boma" near the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. I remain unsure whether this was an actual working boma or a representation there of paid for by our safari operators - whatever - the structures were built in what was explained as the traditional way - using cow dung and mud over a frame of sticks sunk into the ground. I was invited into one which was very dark inside with only one small round window for light and ventilation; beds were made of leather cowhide.   .  .   The next day we left our Ngorongoro campsite, on a cool and foggy morning, for Serengeti National Park via the southern edge of the crater's circumference. We stopped briefly at the monument to Michael Grzimek - who was killed in a plane accident in 1959. Like his father, Bernhard, he contributed greatly in promoting the nature of Northern Tanzania and was befriended by the Maasai tribesmen   .   .   . We descended from the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands into the Malanja depression, coming out onto the open plains of The Great Rift Valley before entering the Serengeti Plains.   .   .         At the end of our safari we flew from the north-western part of the Serengeti to Arusha - we flew over Ol Doinyo Lengai (Oldoinyo Lengai) - "Mountain of God" in the Maasai language. This 9,524 feel strato volcano is located in the East African Rift Valley of Northern Tanzania. The last eruption period was in March 2006 and later in early September - this time more explosively that usual, sending ash hight into the atmosphere. Many Maasai families live around the volcano and most of the younger generation may have forgotten that the holy mountain of the Maasai tribe can - and has - caused death and distruction. . . . .                                    


. . . there is "an undercurrent of bitterness and resentment felt by the Maasai community at how their traditional customs and lifestyles are being swept aside in the interests of big business, the tourism industry, and even in the sometimes dubious name of conservation!."

"A Maasai is good for a tourist's photograph, useful to carry your bags to the camp, or even to guide you to see the animals, but in the end the animals are far more valuable than people."
Moringe ole Parkipuny
Maasai rights campaigner
Tanzania's first Maasai MP


One wonders whether Ortello Business Corporation is a private company or is a sovereign state within Tanzania. . .

In 1992 Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd - an organization managing hunting trips for royalty from the United Arab Emirates – was given the Loliondo Game Controlled Area - the whole of Loliondo Division - as a hunting block and since then their lease keeps being renewed by the Tanzanian Government – not the Maasai landowners.

The core hunting area of OBC is the corridor of land bordering the Serengeti National Park, but in theory they could hunt rats around the District Commissioners office. OBC do not have any land, but only what’s basically a hunting license. Nevertheless, OBC seem to think that they operate in some half protected area where they control the land while having to put up with customary landowners that they shower in charitable projects.

When conflicts flare up they get the support of the government. For the 2009 hunting season OBC together with Tanzanian authorities evicted Maasai from the corridor that’s almost half the size of the Emirate of Dubai. In this operation at least 150 bomas were burnt to the ground, including grain stores and even some young livestock that were burnt to death. Some 60,000 heads of cattle were pushed into an extreme drought area and calves were left behind in the stampede. . . . . .

. . . As of 2013. there are many players in the tourism industry in Loliondo and none of them can be trusted, though occasionally some of them play by the rules entering into proper contracts with the villages. The most destructive force among them is the Boston-based Thomson Safaris claiming 12,617 acres of grazing land as their own “Enashiva Nature Refuge” and harassing the pastoralists as “trespassers” while involved in an aggressive propaganda campaign for their “community-based project”



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Maasai morans, photograph © 2013 Travel Department

We, the guardians of wildlife, understand our moral and cultural obligation to protect and preserve wildlife and environment in our territories. Creation, as in nature, symbolizes the bond between us and our creator. speaker at All Maasai Conference, Arusha Tanzania, 1994

Photograph of Serengeti © 2013 Scattergood-Moore, all rights reserved

While visiting the north-eastern Serengeti, I felt I was visiting the beginning of time and what - if I were a believer - might be called a 'Garden of Eden.'

I couldn't help wondering why the Maasai - the guardians of this paradise - were expelled, like Adam and Eve, from this extraordinary land on earth. Today the Tanzanian government has attempted to build a road across the northern Serengeti; they also would like to removed the Maasai from their shrinking ancestral grazing lands for self-serving governmental, foreign business investors and personal profits. . .


To the Maasai the Serengeti is "the place where the land runs on forever, but beyond the protected core of this iconic wild-scape, the land is running out. . . .
"Heartbreak on the Serengeti"
National Geographic, Feb. 2006

For centuries the Maasai pastoralists have inhabited lands in sub-Saharan Africa. Today Massailand spans across roughly 150,000 kilometers [approx. 94,000 miles] of arid land in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai are commonly identified for their livelihoods dependent on cattle, and, the Maasai belief system stipulate3d that God sent all cattle to the Maasai. As this belief follows, all of the world's cattle belong to the Maasai, and the Maasai live their semi-nomadic lifestyle herding cattle across the Serengeti Plains. But beyond herding cattle, who are the Maasai? To most Westerners, the Maasai are the tribal people of [east] Africa who don red and purple garb and beautifully beaded jewelry. The Maasai may seem like a people that exist in a land far away, in a land unaffected by industrialization, untouched my modernity. In that view, the Maasai continue to live a traditional, primitive lifestyle. These assumptions are false and ironically, Western actions themselves in sub-Saharan Africa have created many of the difficult issues the Maasai face today.

The issue of land rights and Tanzania's Maasai has been a highly contentious matter for decades. Dating back to the colonial era, when British colonizer first aggravated land tenure issues with the Maasai, to the growth of the Tanzanian tourism industry today, the Maasai are all too familiar with land disputes. Maasai land rights were challenged when European powers established conservation zones and game reserves in Tanzania. Many Western voices called for the expulsion of the Maasai from these areas because they were thought to pose a threat to precious natural habitats. Eventually Tanzania gained independence, but the issues for the Maasai persisted. The socialist policies of the newly-independent Tanzanian government affected the Maasai, as these polices pushed for the growth of the country's tourism sector. The growth of the tourism industry has drawn more foreigners to the region, while simultaneously exacerbating land issues for the Maasai. The reality is that sub-Saharan Africa is becoming increasingly marketable as a vacation spot, and the targeted consumers are wealthy Westerners. Ecotourism, a growing area in the industry, is beaming more popular among these targeted consumers from the West. As ecotourism grows and beams the most attractive option for many tourist, it is important to consider its implications for the Maasai. Many indicators suggest that the Maasai's historical struggle for land rights continues today, and their current struggles are rooted in the growth of Tanzania's tourism industry.

National Parks and Game Reserves, north-western Tanzania

The Convention for the Preservation of Animals, Birds and Fish in Africa was signed in 1900 (London) by all of the colonial powers, and became the precedent for subsequent legislation laying out conservation areas, game reserves and national parks in Africa. . . in 1951 the Serengeti National Park was established, followed by he Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Arusha and Lake Manyara National Parks in 1960. . . These parks and conservation areas came with strict restrictions for hunting, often excluding Tanzanians from the sport entirely. . .

In Tanzania big game hunting was permitted for a large number of species including lions, leopards and wild dogs. . . In order to hunt in African conservation areas one had to obtain a license, which most Africans could not afford. . . Africans typically hunted for food rather than for sport, and Tanzanian conservation legislation prevented them from hunting for food or to protect their livestock as they had prior to colonial rule.

Ugly Side of Conservation and Development   |   map


including Sukenya Farm/Enashiva Nature Refuge, Loliondo







image source: Scattergood-Moore, © 2013


Following is a basic description of who the Maasai people are:

Name: Maasai - sometimes spelled "Masai" or Masaai" - meaning 'my people.'

Location: Kenya and Tanzania

Population: Roughly over 3 million and increasing. . . Tanzania does not conduct census based on ethnicity, which makes it difficult to estimate Maasai living in Tanzania.

Language: Maa;

Swahili & English - official languages of Kenya & Tanzania - are taught

Ancestry: Nilotic peoples from southern Sudan.

Economy: Semi-nomadic - primarily cattle herding - along with goats and sheep - some subsistence agriculture with pockets of large-scale farming.

Traditional diet: meat, milk and cattle blood

photograph © 2013 Scattergood-Moore

Maasai boma (village) Tanzania
© Buillamue Baviere, Wikimeda

Community: Live in small villages ("bomas") , made up of mud huts ("manyattas") arranged in a circle. Rudimentary and small, the manyattas are constructed from gathered logs and plastered with a mixture of mud and dung. They stand only about five feet in height and are without electricity or running water. These homesteads are most often temporary. Thorn bush enclosures keep domestic animals safe at night from predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas. Grazing land and water resources are generally shared with other bomas.

Environment: Open grasslands called savannah, much of it surrounded by hills and forests filled with wildlife. Rains fall seasonally, historically from mid March through May, and October through November. However, prolonged and more frequent drought has resulted in a dramatic decline in seasonal rainfall.

Spiritual Beliefs: Belief in 'Enkai,' an omnipresent deity.
There has been a recent introduction of Christianity & Islam.

Significance of Maasai colors:

   green: pastures, vegetation after rainfall, peace
   blue: sky, God (known as Enkai in Maa language)
   white: milk and pure
   red: blood, warriors, danger, bravery
   black: rain

   orange: color preferred by women
   yellow: fruit used for tribal tattoos

Music: Traditional Maasai music is almost entirely vocal, with the exception of the kudu horn, shaken jewelry and rare hitting of sticks. Typically a group will sing polyphonic rhythms in unison while members take turns singing solo above the group’s chant.
Songs can be downloaded here.


A Maasai clan, or family unit, is typically made up of one man, his multiple wives, and their children. They live together in a round, fenced compound known as a boma.

A man's life in Maasai society traditionally revolves around a series of life passages, which are marked by elaborate ceremonies. These passages include childhood (youth), moranism (warriorhood), elderhood (marriage), and finally head elderhood (old age).

A Maasai woman's life traditionally is centered around family. She is married often in her mid-teens - arranged by her parents in exchange for a dowry of livestock and handicrafts. Her (referred to as "mamas" rank in society is marked by the amount of children she has.

"The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the people have continued their age-old customs." - Wikipedia

Popular tourists destinations in East Africa such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tarangire game reserves are located inside the Maasai region. The reserves are now considered protected areas set aside for conservation, wildlife viewing, and tourism. Maasai people are prohibited from accessing water sources and pasture land in game reserves.

Integrating Pastoralist LIvelihoods and Wildlife Conservation   (pdf)
This report was prepared by the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum in 2011, based on technical support and background research from Maliasilli Initiatives. The purpose of the report was to provide a third-party, unbiased technical and contextual review of the Loliondo conflict and the land options for moving forward.

September 30, 2013 - New Updates on Maasai Population
I have just done the math of all Maasai districts in Tanzania based on the released TZ Population census and TZ can never ignore the crucial Maasai votes and Maasai regions. excluding those Maasai unaccounted for, the Maasai population are way over 1.5 millions in Tanzania alone. Add an extra roughly 1.5 million plus Maasai of Kenya and you could get the Maasai population in East Africa at over 3 to 4 millions and rising. How can anybody with a sound mind ignore such a people with a growing population? The Maasai must remain to live with their wild animals. - Sanja Pariken About the Maasai

The Maasai, a pastoralist people who dwell on the fringes of the Mau Forest during the dry seasons, are also being threatened by Kenya's disregard for the rights of indigenous groups.

The Maasai's land once extended over a vast stretch of area from Lake Victoria almost to the Indian Ocean. But diseases and the European colonization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reduced their land substantially. Since independence in the 1960s, more and more of their land has been taken over for private farms and ranches, government projects, and wildlife parks.

Survival International states that six of Kenya and Tanzania's national parks alone cover more than 13,000 square kilometers (5,000 square miles) of what was once Maasailand.

Seeking legal recourse

The Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition (MERC) is a not-for-profit making organization founded in Kenya and Tanzania in 1987 to protect Maasai traditional lands and the rich ecosystems within them. MERC's mission is to advocate for the protection of the Maasai people's traditional lands and to promote conservation, management, and sustainable use of the ecosystems within which they live.

"At the time of colonization, we the Maasai of what is now Kenya and Tanzania lost 75 percent of our ancestral lands and were relegated to what were known as the 'Maasai Reservations,'" said Meitamei Olol-Dapash, coordinator of MERC, in a recent statement.

"We lost most of our dry season grazing lands and sacred sites. Without land, the Maasai cannot survive," Olol-Dapash continued. "Land to us is the foundation of our livelihood, spirituality, and identity. It is the cornerstone of our cultural reproduction."

According to Olol-Dapash, the last two sacred sites remaining in Maasai hands — the only watershed areas in Maasailand — are under threat from external interests. "Namina Enkiyio (Forest of the Lost Child) is the last holy ground on which the Maasai conduct solemn ceremonies and the Mau Forest is the Maasai 'Promised Land,'" he said.

"Powerful economic interests want the Forest of the Lost Child for tourism," Olol-Dapash continued. The "developers" have also targeted the Mau Forest for large-scale tea plantations and the corporate Water-Mafia wants to get it into their hands. With little or no economic resources to seek legal redress, the Maasai are vulnerable and could very well lose these sacred lands."

The Masai in Tanzania face similar problems and the way tourism is organized poses a serious threat. Read was the Masai themselves have to say:

  Tanzanian Cuisine    Maasai Diet

  List of ethnic groups in Tanzania


      Makonde people     Ulanda blog

Maasai History

06-18-2013 Tanzania profile

"The Government seems to see that investors are more important than people born within this district, and it's own citizens. . ." photo credit: YouTube



10-08-2013 What Africa can learn from Tanzania's remarkable
   Maasai lines rights victory
Mobilization by women, online activism, media coverage, use of land laws and elected officials all helped bring Loliondo success. . .

Women have helped lead the way. Masai society is known for being a male-dominated society, but women are beginning to assert their rights and assume a greater social leadership role. On land issues, Masai women in Loliondo have been at the forefront of generating community-level mobilisation and solidarity, many walking dozens of miles across the bush to assemble the community for demonstrations and meetings.

Maanda Ngoitiko and Fred Nelson, The Guardian

10-07-2013 Tanzania ditches plan to evict Maasai for Serengeti
    'wildlife corridor'
Activists have claimed victory in a campaign to stop Tanzania evicting 40,000 Masai pastoralists from their ancestral land to make way for a big game hunting reserve for Dubai's royal family.

"The OBC (Ortelo Business Corporation) called last week and wanted a meeting with us," Samwel Nangiria - co-ordinator of the local Ngonett civil society group - said. "They are feeling very threatened, for sure."

The international effort was led by the online activism site, whose Stop the Serengeti Sell-off petition attracted 1,775,320 signatures and led to targeted email and Twitter protests. It argued that the Masai would be robbed of their livelihoods if their land was used for the commercial hunting of prize game such as leopards and lions by UAE royals.

Sam Barratt, a spokesman for Avaaz, said: "It's been amazing. The Tanzanian government did all it could to stop this becoming a national story but I think the confidence of the Masai has grown and grown. . . This is a nomadic tribe thousands of years old that lives by ancient tradition, but modern technology unlocked their cause to the world."
The Guardian

10-02-2013 Tanzania allows Maasai herders to stay in disputed
   wildlife corridor
. . . Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, has decreed that the Maasai can continue living in the 1,500 square km (580 square mile) region in the far north, reversing an earlier government order that required them to keep off the land in a move aimed at protecting wildlife and water catchment areas.

"This land was meant for conservation, which is a good idea, but on the other hand, we have come to the conclusion that the Maasai pastoralists who have inhabited the area since time immemorial are good conservationists themselves, thus can still take good care of the area," said Pinda, who travelled to Loliondo to make the announcement, amid jubilation from thousands of herders who had gathered to hear him.
Thomson Reuters Foundation

smiling Massai celebrating in Maasai land
photograph © 2013 Survival International

  09-25-2013   Tanzanian PM scraps eviction plan

      Conservation Refugees

"Across the world millions of people – the majority of them indigenous – have been evicted from their homes in the name of conservation.

A statement from the Indigenous peoples' Forum at an international conference in 2004 summed this up: 'First we were dispossessed in the name of kings and emperors, later in the name of state development, and now in the name of conservation.’

It should be no surprise that tribal communities that have been evicted from their lands go from being 'the original conservationists' to 'enemies of conservation' - as Maasai leader Martin Saning'o told a shocked group of conservationists.

Alienating communities from their lands in the name of conservation breeds poverty, resentment and anger – all of which undermine conservation.

  09-25-2013   PM Ends Loliondo Long-Running Land Conflict

  09-2013   hopefully now and forever
I'm misquoted and made to look like an idiot by a "journalist"! - for - I DO NOT, of course, think that Pinda showed his "love" for the Maasai. . . Kizito Makoye had my blog post where it's clear that I think people should stay vigilant. . . Susanna Nordlund
06-19-2013 Case against the five herders dismissed but two were
   children prosecuted illegally
Earlier this month the case against five herders, which had been going been going on nearly a year, was dismissed with the magistrate ruling the five herders had "no case to answer.” The prosecution had failed to show there was sufficient evidence that would require the accused to put up a defense. So the DC's attempt to ‘make an example of them’ has failed and only strengthened the communities determination to oppose Thomson. According to the case charge sheet from July 2012 - click here to view - two of the herders (Kikanay Rogei and Somito Mingini) are in fact children. Therefore the prosecution against these two minors for criminal trespass was illegal as well as seemingly malicious.

June 2013   Maasa "Eviction" in Loliondo: A Land-Use conflict or
   Human Rights' Violation?
Prof. Borner: The Loliondo Game Controlled Area (GCA), to the east of the Serenget National Park, with a size of more that 4,000 km forms an important past of the Serengeti ecosystem. It is an integral part of the migration routes. At the same time it is an important grazing area for the Maasai communities, and a production area for tourism activities. For the past 20 years, conflict over the land between the government, investors andd communities has carried on, with all side firmly entrenched in their positions and seemingly no end in sight. Through out this time, growing numbers of inhabitants and livestock as well as increasing climatic uncertainties including severe droughts have added to the challenges. . .

Dr. Baldus: . . . How do you judge the fact that a million people sign (AVAAZ website) petitions against decisions of a sovereign African Government without informing themselves properly first?

Prof. Borner: The Maasai are an interesting and handsome people that evoke all the dreams of western society for a life in harmony with nature. It is true that they are very tolerant of living together with wildlife and are consequently a good neighbor to the Serengeti National Park. Unfortunately, like the "American Indians" their lifestyle has been idealized by the western media. The truth seems to me that they are a people that are caught in the impossible situation to keep a traditional lifestyle and their obvious needs for development and integration into the modern Tanzanian Society. . . it seems very difficult to be able to get a balanced picture of the situation through the media and the reports from the human rights organizations. . .

Dr. Rolf Baldus interviewing Prof. Dr. Markus Borner
African Indaba, Vol 11, Issue 3

Also see:
Tanzania: Selous Game Reserve
World Heritage Committee discusses Selous Game
Dr. Richard Leakey proposes elevated highway
   over Serengeti
"The Serengeti in Watercolurs"   by   Bodo Meier
    • Afrika
    • Wildlife Art

05-27-2013 Why nomads might trademark their name BBC News

05-23-2013 African tribes losing ground to conservation
   Al Jazeera

05-07-2013 Tanzanian Land Grab Threatens Maasai Way of Life
Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism announced in March that it plans to forbid 30,000 Maasai tribespeople from entering a 1,500-km stretch of their traditional homeland bordering Serengeti National Park. The Maasai, who depend on this land to support their cattle herds, will face abject poverty if the measure goes through.

This is not the first time the government has denied the Maasai the right to live in Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA), which they legally own under Tanzania's Village Land Act. In 2009, the government evicted more than 3,000 Maasai from eight villages bordering the national park. More than 200 Maasai huts were burned down and some 50,000 cattle were driven into an area plagued by extreme drought, plunging the community into an immediate crisis. Members of the community also reported rapes and beatings at the hands of government riot police.

Maasai have also been evicted from a total of 13,000 square kilometers of parkland in Tanzania and neighboring Kenya. In addition to the imminent Loliondo evictions, the Tanzanian government has also proposed the removal of 40,000 more people from Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which borders Loliondo to the south.

Maasai women's organizations have organized sit-ins to protest the Loliondo measure after broader protests failed. At least 1,000 women have participated in the sit-ins, despite a government ban on public gatherings and intimidation from police forces.

The highlands encompassed by the proposed "wildlife corridor" in Loliondo are crucial to Maasai herdsmen during the dry season, and comprise 40% of their total cattle grazing area. Cattle are already stressed by increasingly later rainy seasons as a result of global climate change.

According to Tanzanian officials, the Maasai are overgrazing the land and must be removed in order to protect the area’s wildlife. To drive the point home, the country’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, recently told a group of Maasai pastoralists that “living a nomadic life is not productive."

Contrary to the government’s stated reasoning, studies show the Maasai are especially good at managing livestock sustainably without taxing the land, and that their methods actually improve conditions for wildlife. Several Maasai organizations, in a recent press statement, claimed that wild animals take refuge in their villages when fleeing recreational hunters. The Maasai also lived in stable balance with the now "protected" ecosystem for more than two centuries before the national park was established. In fact, the LGCA was created with the intention of allowing the pastoralist Maasai to continue their traditional way of life within its borders, but the area’s tourism industry, along with its conservationist façade, has muddled that purpose and whittled away the Maasai's territory.

Enter the Ortello Business Corporation (OBC), a hunting tourism company from the United Arab Emirates. In 1992, the Tanzanian government gave OBC free reign of the LGCA, where it constructed high-end hunting lodges and a private airstrip for use by UAE dignitaries arriving on hunting excursions. OBC security forces have clashed with Maasai tribespeople ever since, and they are reported to have been involved in carrying out the evictions in 2009. Another tourism company, the US-based Thomson Safaris, has also been accused of violently pushing Maasai herdsman off of its land
- Tanzanian Land Grab Threatens Maasai Way of Life by Mark Betancourt for First People of Worldwide

04-30-2013 Battle over the Serengeti pits Maasai against Dubai

04-18-2013 . . . Maasai battle game hunters for grazing land
In a remote corner of northern Tanzania, Boeing 747 planes land on a private airstrip, trucks with United Arab Emirates (UAE) number plates drive across the plains, and anyone with a cell phone receives an unlikely text message:

"Dear guest, welcome to UAE."

For centuries, the sprawling savannah in the Arusha region of the East African nation was home to the Maasai people, but these days it can feel more like Dubai, one of the states that make up the UAE.

That is because this chunk of land in Arusha's Loliondo area near the Serengeti National Park has been leased to an Emirati hunting company called the Ortello Business Corporation (OBC).

Since 1992, OBC has flown in wealthy clients to shoot lions and leopards, angering nomadic Maasai cattle herders who are blocked from pastures in the hunting grounds.

Now, Tanzania's government wants to give more land to the hunters by establishing a 1,500 sq km (579 sq mile) wildlife corridor exclusively for OBC.

04-05-2013 Tanzania's Maasai To Be Kicked Off Land in Favor
   of Hunitng Company

04-05-2013 Maasai face eviction from ancestral lands to make way
   for Dubai hunting firm

04-01-2013 Maasai Land in Loliondo in Danger

03-30-2013 Maasai fear Tanzania game reserve will banish them
   from ancestral land

03-26-2013 The Latest and Greatest Loliondo Land Grab   •   map


03-22-2012   Maasai land dispute with safari tourism group

Big-Game Hunting Threatening Parks
Tanzania company is accused of altering migratory patterns of animals in the region to benefit business.

At a dirt airstrip in rural Tanzania, a desert camouflaged cargo plane from the United Arab Emirates air force taxis up to pallets stacked with large coolers full of game meat, the harvest of a successful hunting season.

As Tanzanian immigration and customs officials fill out documents under a thatched shelter, new, four-wheel-drive trucks and dune buggies drive to and from a nearby luxury campsite, the base for one of Tanzania's most expensive - and secretive game-hunting operations, Otterlo Business Corp.

Hundreds of members of Arab royalty and high-flying businessmen spend weeks in the Loliondo Game Control Area each year hunting antelope, lion, leopard and other wild animals. The area is leased under the Otterlo name by a member of an emirate royal family who is a senior officer in the UAE defense ministry.

Although neighboring Kenya outlawed big-game hunting in 1978, the Tanzanian government says hunting is the best use of the land and wildlife. But villagers and herders say big money has led government officials to break all the hunting rules, resulting in the destruction of most of the area's non-migratory animals and putting East Africa's most famous national parks under threat. . .

Los Angeles Times

Revisiting Loliondo


Pastoralists of Northern Tanzania Face Extinction

02-15-2011   Maasai Pastoralists of Soisambu Village assert their
   rights to ancestral lands



09-30-2009   Maasai Village/People

09-05-2009   Conservation and Tourist Dollars

Photograph: Caroline Irby, The Observer
Masai from all over northern Tanzania and Kenya gather for the Saturday cattle market in Soitsambu village. Two enormous tracts of land nearby have been taken over for tourism.

'Tourism is a curse to us'

The Maasai have been herding cattle across the great plains of Tanzania for generations, their nomadic lifestyle helping to preserve the wildlife of East Africa. Now, they are being forcibly evicted so that tour operators can turn their homelands into vast "nature refuges" for wealthy holiday makers. . .

. . . In the past two years the Tanzanian government has been serving (residents, mainly Maasai, of the Ngorongoro conservation area) with letters ordering their removal to Oldonyo Sambu, a process that the government has assured worried observers from the international community is voluntary. It is not. . .

. . . more people from Ngorongoro will be sent to this harsh place on the north Tanzania steppe. Some 4,000 more people have received eviction letters. The government authority has proposed a reduction of the population of the conservation area from 65,000 to 25,000. There are plans being considered for 14 more luxury tourist hotels, so people can access "the unparalleled beauty of one of the world's most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries", as a Tanzanian government brochure puts it. Unchanged, that is, except that 40,000 people will have made way for 25 rhinos and hundreds of thousands more tourists. . .

"A Maasai is good for a tourist's photograph, useful to carry your bags to the camp, or even to guide you to see the animals, but in the end the animals are far more valuable than people." - Moringe ole Parkipuny, a Maasai rights campaigner and Tanzania's first Maasai MP.

by ALEX RENTON, The Observer

07-04-2009   Drought Kills Hundreds of Cattle

A prolonged drought has killed hundreds of livestock and is threatening human life in Ngorongoro District.

Ngorongoro District Commissioner Elias Lali told The Citizen that scores of animals had died due to lack of pasture and water in the district, which has in recent months been overwhelmed by an influx of starving cattle from other parts of the region and as far afield as Kenya.

Mpoki Bukuku, allAfrica


07-04-2009   Video: "Loliondo is Burning"

8 Maasai Villages were unlawfully evicted & burnt out of their homes in Loliondo, Ngorongoro, Tanzania in July 2009. The burnings and harassment continued into late August 2009. The evictions were carried out by the Police Paramiltary Unit (FFU) and employees of Ortello Business Company (OBC) during a harsh drought. The evictions have been carried out because OBC - and the Royal Family of Dubai - think that the area is theirs. IT IS NOT! It is village land, occupied by the Maasai for about the last 300 years. The Dubai Royal Family only has the right to hunt in Loliondo allocated to them by the Government on a Presidential License. This license effectively allows them to flout all appropriate and sustainable hunting practices at will. It seems also that they can burn people out of their homes. A Dubai Royal Family and a Tanzanian government with double standards and complete disregard for peoples basic human rights and dignity:

Maasai family in Loliondo, August 2009

Arab hunter inspecting Maasa1 'manyatta'
Loliondo Game Controlled area

fires set in Loliondo Game Controlled Area, Aug. 2009
photo: F a z z a,   C r o w n   P r i n c e   o f   D u b a i

remains of boma after the fires set in Aug. 2009
photo source: Survival International

More than 200 bomas (homesteads of extended families) have been totally burnt.

Food stores and maize fields have been burned.

It is estimated that up to 3,000 people have been made homeless without food and shelter.

Several maize farms, which were ready for harvest, were set ablaze exacerbating an already alarming hunger situation.

More than 50,000 cattle have been pushed into areas hit by extreme drought with no water and grass. Some cattle have been lost and some burned to death.

Property worth millions of Tanzania Shillings has been destroyed.

Other women who were chased from their homes have had miscarriages.

Family units have been broken and some children have been lost in the bush due to the chaos and panic during the evictions.

Communal and traditional worship places have been destroyed.

Many people are now suffering from psychological traumas

YouTube - video uploaded 08-29-2009


Lesingo Nanyoi's gunshot wound to chin
photograph by Trent Keegan, April 2008

05-27-2009   Murder unsolved

24-year old Maasai tribesman, Lesingo Nanyui, told Trent Keegan on April 18, 2008, that he and a number of his peers had been approached while they were tending their stock when seven Thomson Safari officials instructed them to leave and, when they had refused, the police turned up and opened fire on them without warning. Nanyoi was struck on the chin and the shoulder but managed to escape before collapsing. Five other were caught by the police and taken away. The Maasai who had fled to the villages in the area alerted others, who came back once police had left and carried Lesingo to the closest village, Posimoru. . .

Ollvier Laurent, BJP

05-17-2008   Wounded Masai Moran fights for dear life
Someone shot off the jaws of a Maasai Moran during a recent confrontations between a tour company and pastoralists in Loliondo. The victim lies in critical condition at the Muhimbili hospital in Dar es Salaam . . . The Maasai Moran Lesinko Ole Nanyoi was shot and badly wounded during heated confrontations between youths from the villages surrounding Sukenya farm and security men employed by Thomson Safaris. . . The tour company alleged to be at loggerheads with the Maasai locals denies responsibility, while the Loliondo police who were summoned to add reinforcement to the company guards’ battalion, also refuted shooting claims, saying they were not the ones who gunned the youth.   The Arusha Times


05-20-2004   Maasai speak out for the Bushman

Maasai from Kenya and Indians from Canada protested outside the Botswana High Commission in London yesterday about the government's treatment of the Bushmen, which they say mirrors the destructive treatment carried out by the governments of their own countries.

The Maasai held placards proclaiming 'Bushmen have a right to their land' and 'Respect the rights of the Bushmen'.

Napes Ashini, an Innu man from eastern Canada, said, 'The Innu were nomadic hunter-gatherers like the Bushmen. We were coerced into settling in permanent villages by the Canadian government and now we are seeing the devastating consequences of that policy. Our communities suffer from chronic alcoholism and drug abuse, and have the highest suicide rates in the world. My own son killed himself because he was confused about his identity as an Innu. We don't want to see the same tragic fate for the Bushmen. They should be allowed to live on their own land and hunt for their own food, and choose their own way of life. Without their land, they will not survive.'

image source: Scattergood-Moore, © 2013


AFRICAN INITIATIVES   •   Facebook group   •   Facebook

   Talking Stick Summer 2013 (pdf)

Arfican Wildlife Foundation

   African Wild Dog Scouts   (Kenya)
   Amboseli-Chyulu Wildlife Corridor   (Kenya)
   Canine Detection Unit   (Kenya and beyond)
   Esilalei Women's Cultural Boma   (Tanzania)
   Ewaso Lions   (Kenya)
   Kolo Hills REDD+   (Tanzania)
   Maasai Olympics   (Kenya/Tanzania)
   Maasai Steppe Predator-Proof Bomas   (Tanzania)
   Manyara Ranch IT Lab   (Tanzania)
   Manyara Ranch Primary School   (Tanzania)
   Satao Elerai Lodge   (Kenya)

I often get asked by Avaazers, “what happens after I sign a petition?” Here's a recent example:

Remember how almost 2 million of us rallied to stop the Maasai tribe in Tanzania from being kicked off their land for a hunting reserve? Last week, the Prime Minister announced they could stay! The petition provided a powerful basis for what the team did next:

Got CNN and the Guardian to visit the Maasai and break the wider story to the world.

Advised Maasai elders on their campaigning strategy.

Flooded Ministers and the President with messages - forcing debate in cabinet and Parliament.

Ran a hard hitting newspaper ad in an influential paper which publicly shamed the government.

Persuaded diplomats worldwide to raise the issue - embarrassing the government.

Financially supported Maasai elders to travel to the capital where they gathered to 'occupy' land outside of the Prime Minister's office for weeks, refusing to leave until he met them.
Gordon Brown said: "A million dollars has been raised via the brilliant, in just a few days."

The victory belongs to the Maasai people, but our community helped them win by making this a global issue the government could no longer ignore. This hopefully ends a 20 year land battle!!

Ricken Patel -


Beyond F.G.M. is group of UK and African midwives who are committed to helping their African sisters in overcoming this cruel, harmful and outmoded traditional practice. Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The harmful effects of FGM can include hemorrhage, shock, sepsis, psychological trauma and even death. The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths. . .

An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. (World Health Organization figures)



   05-28-2008 Trent Keegan - Journalist Killed

   06-26-2008 One suspect in custody for Trent Keegan's murder
      in Kenya

08-21-2009 E N A S H I V A   N A T U R E   R E F U G E, The
In the heart of the former Sukenya Farm in northern Tanzania runs a half-mile-long creek lined by whistling and umbrella acacia trees. Long ago, Maasai cattle herders called the creek Enashiva, the Maasai word for happiness. Today, Thomson Safaris and Tanzania Conservation Ltd. (TCL) are working alongside the Maasai to conserve this vast wilderness of wooded savannah and open grassland covering 12,600 acres within the Serengeti ecosystem. . .

Thomson Safaris
   Enashiva Nature Refuge   -   good works in Tanzania

   07-19-2010 US Ambassador Celebrates with Maasai beside Enashive

U.S. Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt receives a beaded scepter as a gift from the Enyuata Women’s Collaborative, a group of Maasai women working to empower their communities and establish small businesses for women. photo credit: Thomson Safari © 2010

   Predators of Enashiva

   01-01-2010 Maasai Update


   Land Grab Threatens Maasai way of life


   FZS presentation on Serengeti Alternative Route

F A Z Z A  •  C R O W N   P R I N C E   O F   D U B A I

   • Safari   •   Africa Trip 2010

Global Alliance against Female Genital Mutilation

J U S T   C O N S E R V A T I O N

   09-25-2013 PM Ends Loliondo Long-Running Land Conflict

   08-30-2013 In memory of Moringe Parkipuny

   07-11-2013 'A story from Tanzania on being too busy. . . '
      by Nicholas Winer

   05-21-2013 Samburu video testimonial 1

   05-19-2013 A personal perspective on event in Loliondo

   03-30-2013 Lekiji: a Village in a Wildlife Corridor - Conservation
      and Corruption

   04-24-2013 Tanzanian Government Insists on Grabbing Masssai
      Land in Loliondo

   2-02-2012 Grabbing Land for Conservation in Loliondo, Tanzania

   10-18-2012 Samburu Testimonial Series No 4

   10-11-2012 Samburu Testimonial Series No 3

   10-04-2012 Samburu Testimonial Series No 2

   09-27-2012 Samburu Testimonial Series No 1

   09-17-2012 Tanzania's Land Right Violations

   07-25-2012 The Negotiations. . . in Loliondo

   03-03-2012 Kenya Continues To Drag Its Feet. . .

   01-26-2012 Revisiting Loliondo - a Safari Report

   12-15-2011 Kenya's Samburu people 'violently evicted after
      US charities buy land

   12-01-2011 Evictions in Tanzania

   11-27-2011 Conservation and the Violation of the Rights of
      the Sanmburu

   11-11-2011 Video - The Endorois Case

   11-07-2011 Kenya: Rights Groups Threaten to Sue. . .

   07-21-2011 The Corridor - Loliondo

   05-02-2011 Nothing to show for tourism billions

   03-15-2011 Vido - voices from Loliondo

   03-13-2011 Long running conflict of Loliondo in Tanzania

   01-25-2011 NGOs and WMAs in Tanzania

JASON PATINKIN  -  I am a Journalist in Nairobi

L I O N   G U A R D I A N S

   04-11-2013 The Loliondo Land Dispute   •   map

Maliasili Initiatives   •   local partners

   Integrating Pastoralist Livelihoods and Wildlife Conservation?

M A A S A I   A S S O C I A T I O N

   The Maasai People

   Maasai Ceremonies and Rituals

   Facing the Lion: by Maasai Warriors

   Maasai Art

   Commercial photographers in the Maasai region

Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition


Maasa Intellectual Property Initiative

Maasai Music Project II


P A S T O R A L   W O M E N' S &  C O U N C I L

   Maanda Ngoitiko, director and founder
The Pastoral Women's Council of Tanzania was founded to conceive and implement long-term structural solutions for the poverty and marginalization of Maasai pastoralist women and children. PWC is women-led and encourages other Maasai women to openly discuss the positive and negative aspects of Maasai culture, to act on their findings, and to mobalise local efforts and resources. There is no other organization in Tanzania that is solely focused on reducing inequalities and promoting justice for Maasai women and children. PWC works to address three key problems facing Maasai women:

Lack of education for Maasai girls. Normally Maasai women are expected to concentrate on building and repairing houses, fetching firewood and water, and milking animals, as well as raising and feeding children and cooking for the male family members. The lack of educated and professional Maasai women to fight for gender equality and against patriarchal household structures is therefore self-perpetuating.

Lack of financial independence and property ownership rights. Lack of financial assets and resources deprive women of the right to access basic needs such as health care, a balanced diet for them and their family, clothing, shelter and educational opportunities for their children.

Lack of participation in political decisions. Traditionally, Maasai women are not allowed to speak in public/community meetings or participate in decisions. As a result, community agendas are determined by men and issues of concern to women, such as domestic violence, forced marriage, women’s property rights and HIV/AIDS are not given appropriate attention or priority.

   2012 Annual Report

The Role of Wildlife Education   (pdf)

Sand County Foundation   •   Tanzania (pdf)

   Communities, conservation, and conflicts in the Tanzanian Serengeti

Save the Serengeti - Serengetiwatch   •   MAP

   A case for the Southern Route Around the Serengeti

Stop The Serengeti Sell-off   •   northern Tanzania map

S T O P   T H O M S O N   S A F A R I   •   Facebook

   History of Sukenya Farm Conflict

   Stop Thomson Safaris on Twitter
The Stop Thomson Safaris campaign is run by a group of people who have seen first hand the effect of Thomson's occupation on the residents of Loliondo, Tanzania.

Would Thomson release their finances for FoTZC
   so we can really see the impact of their
   women's groups?


   Tribes & campaigns

   Survival International: Maasai

      03-28-2013 Land grab could spell . . .

      09-25-2013 Celebrations in Massai land

   Help Stamp It Out   (racism)
Survival’s Stamp It Out campaign aims to challenge racist descriptions, however unwitting, of tribal peoples in the media.

Terms like ‘stone age’ and ‘primitive’ have been used to describe tribal people since the colonial era, reinforcing the idea that they have not changed over time and that they are backward.

This idea is both incorrect and very dangerous. It is incorrect because all societies adapt and change, and it is dangerous because it is often used to justify the persecution or forced ‘development’ of tribal peoples. The results are almost always catastrophic: poverty, alcoholism, prostitution, disease and death.

"All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one." Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux.

Tengeneza Jimbo La Ngorongoro

R.I.P.   12th August 1974 0 28th May 2008

T R E N T   K E E G A N   photographer

09-23-2011 Who Killed Trent Keegan?

   British Journal of Photography

      Murder Unsolved
05-27-2009 One year after Trent Keegan was found dead by the roadside in Nairobi, friends and relatives of the photographer say important questions about his murder remain unanswered. Chief among them is why the travel company he was investigating has not been questioned.

Olivier Laurent





Maasai Shield





  Galerie Bruno MIGNOT

      galeries       ethnic groups

          The Masai   aka   Maasai
          O-rinka - Massai - Kenya
          shield painted leather - Massai - Kenya/Tanania

          Knife Broadsword - Kenya/Tanzania (circa 1900)

          Makonde (Wamakonde plural)



  Douglas YANEY Gallery -

     African utilitarian tribal objects

     Maasai African tribe, Kenya & Tanzania

     Makonde African tribe, Tanzania




African Travel Resource   •   maps


EXPERT AFRICA: Tanzania safaris

2010 marked "the 30th anniversary of Thomson Safaris in Tanzania - a luxury safari company based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in Watertown. In 2009, the Tanzania Tourist Board honored Thomson Safaris with the 2009 Conservation Award primarily for its community-based initiatives at the Enashiva Nature Refuge, where the company frequently brings its guests.


Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC) is a US-based NGO that collaborates with Tanzanian communities throughout northern regions to overcome economic and social challenges through a working partnership that directs resources towards sustainable projects.

Tanzania Conservation Limited is an independent Tanzania-registered organization that oversees community and conservation efforts at the Enashiva Nature Refuge, works with Thomson Safaris to support ecotourism initiatives, and collaborates with FoTZC on community projects in the area.

   Focus on Tanzanian Communities   (FoTZC)

      Press release: US Embassy, Dar Es Salaam, Tansania

   Tanzania Conservation Limited (TCL)

   Gibb's Farm   -   artist-in-residence




1908 - Maasai Lion Hunt

Video of lions hunted by Massai
2013 - Maasai on the Hunt for Lions
photograph by Joana Roque de Pinho
2013 © Colorado Arts & Sciences

Conservation might encourage lion hunting
To many observers, East Africa's Maasai pastoralists hunt lions for two distinct reasons: to retaliate against lions that kill livestock or to engage in a cultural rite of passage. But that binary view reflects mistranslations of Maasai terms and simplification of their cultural traditions and their relationship with wildlife, a team of researchers led by a University of Colorado geographer has concluded.

Some conservation initiatives designed to save lions from being hunted have either failed to work or in some cases appear to have incited Maasai to hunt more lions as a form of political protest, the researchers report.

Lion-hunting is limited in Tanzania to mostly tourist hunting with permits, unless the hunt is to eliminate a lion in defense of life or livestock, and outlawed in Kenya. Still, lion-hunting regularly occurs in both countries, usually without the hunters’ following the law.

Although the primary motivations for lion hunting differed somewhat between Tanzania and Kenya, the researchers emphasize that Maasai have multiple, overlapping reasons to hunt lions: to reaffirm the protective role of young warriors, to help select brave leaders among warrior groups, for individual warriors to gain prestige, to eliminate lions that prey on livestock and to prevent lions from becoming habituated to eating livestock and sometimes harming people.

"“If you want to protect lions, it’s not just about teaching Maasai how to protect lions but also about understanding to begin with why they’re hunting lions and then recognizing that this is partly related to conservation politics.” says Mara J. Goldman, assistant professor of geography at CU-Boulder.

  Maasai Association - Facing the Lion

"Early in the morning, a group of male warriors creeps out of the village and heads for the savannah. They must be careful not to wake the other members of the tribe, lest they be accosted by the women or elders. Once they have regrouped on the plains, the warriors begin preparing for the hunt. The eldest members of the group choose the most qualified hunters, known as ilmeluaya, meaning men who are not afraid of death. Warriors who are not selected are sent home in shame.

Once the select group has been chosen, the warriors begin the hunt. They scour the plains for footprints or droppings, and search for dense bushes or tall termite mounds that might conceal their resting prey. The search can take ten minutes to ten hours, but once a lion is found, the warriors quickly move into place.

Selected hunters ring bells and rattle the brush, forcing the lion away from its protected hiding spot. The goal is to face the beast one-on-one on the open savannah. There will be no tricks or cheating, simply warrior against warrior. If all goes as planned, the lion will be brought down with a single spear.

When the warriors return to the village with their trophy, it is the beginning of a weeklong celebration. Although the hunt must be planned in secret, news of the warriors’ success spreads quickly, and all village members come to congratulate the victors. The warrior who wounded the lion first is honored and given a nickname based on his accomplishment. Songs are sung about the warrior, and from now on he will be remembered and acknowledged throughout the community, even among other tribes.
,br> To the Maasai, lion hunting is about more than food and security. It is a way to strengthen the bonds of community and the hierarchy among the hunters. Disputes over power are settled before the hunt, and roles are reinforced at the end, with the bravest warrior receiving the lion's tail as a trophy. Although Maasai society is very different from contemporary America, both share the human need to cooperate and live together in order to survive.

  July 2013   Conservation efforts might encourage lion-hunting

"To many observers, East Africa’s Maasai pastoralists hunt lions for two distinct reasons: to retaliate against lions that kill livestock or to engage in a cultural rite of passage. But that binary view reflects mistranslations of Maasai terms and simplification of their cultural traditions and their relationship with wildlife, a team of researchers led by a University of Colorado geographer has concluded.

Further, some conservation initiatives have either failed to work or in some cases appear to have incited Maasai to hunt more lions as a form of political protest, the researchers report.

Such nuances are important, because it’s harder to control the hunting of lions unless society knows precisely why lions are hunted, the researchers contend.

Many populations of 'Panthera leo' (African lions) are falling, and the species is classified as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List.

Lion-hunting is limited in Tanzania to mostly tourist hunting with permits, unless the hunt is to eliminate a lion in defense of life or livestock, and outlawed in Kenya. Still, lion-hunting regularly occurs in both countries, usually without the hunters’ following the law.

“We saw an inaccurate representation of the exact reasons for why Maasai hunt lions, and we had a lot of ethnographic background to correct that,” says Mara J. Goldman, the assistant professor of geography at CU-Boulder who led the study.

Goldman collaborated with Joana Roque de Pinho, a post-doctoral researcher at the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Sociais e Politicas (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal), and Jennifer Perry, a CU-Boulder geography alumna now studying law at the university.

Goldman and her fellow researchers conducted 246 in-depth interviews of Tanzanian and Kenyan Maasai between 2004 and 2008. They found that Maasai hunt lions for multiple overlapping reasons, some relating to predation on livestock and some not.

In some cases, Maasai said they hunted lions to prevent the potential killing of livestock, especially by lions that had killed livestock before, rather than just as a retaliation.

And while Maasai still celebrate successful lion hunts and the prowess of the warriors who hunt, that cultural tradition can be less of a motivation to hunt than political discontent.

In Kenya, for instance, conservation programs aim to curb Maasai lion-hunting by financially compensating Maasai for livestock killed by lions. In Tanzania, suggestions have been made by some to start such ‘compensation’ programs, but the Maasai themselves explain why this strategy has limitations:

“We cannot agree (to compensation) because we do not have cattle to be killed every day,” an elder Maasai told the researchers. “If they pay money today, then tomorrow, they will pay every day because the lion will keep coming back to eat cattle until all the cattle are gone. And then what will we do with the money?”

These sentiments were expressed in a village bordering the Manyara Ranch, a Tanzanian conservation trust on which hunting is prohibited but over which Maasai from neighboring villages are meant to share governance . In the beginning, the elders kept the warriors from hunting lions, the researchers found.

After Maasai representation in ranch governance was diminished, the Maasai felt disenfranchised. Lion hunting increased in frequency and severity and was no longer discouraged by elders, the researchers report.

“We have no reason to follow the rules,” one elder told the researchers. “We no longer have any faith in the Manyara Ranch.”

Goldman researches human-environment relations with the Tanzanian and Kenyan Maasai, one of the most recognizable ethnic groups in Africa, known for its distinctive, colorful dress and social customs, and most recently for their lion hunting practices.

Although the primary motivations for lion hunting differed somewhat between Tanzania and Kenya, the researchers emphasize that Maasai have multiple, overlapping reasons to hunt lions: to reaffirm the protective role of young warriors, to help select brave leaders among warrior groups, for individual warriors to gain prestige, to eliminate lions that prey on livestock and to prevent lions from becoming habituated to eating livestock and sometimes harming people.

“The overlapping reasons reported for hunting lions illustrates the limitations on the dichotomous explanation of Maasai lion hunting as either a cultural manhood ritual or a retaliatory act,” the researchers write.

Further, they observe, lion-hunting patterns by Maasai are not static. “They fluctuate with social transitions and conservation politics.”

“Participatory conservation interventions that respect Maasai knowledge and promote full engagement with management processes are likely to have far better success in persuading Maasai to change or moderate such behaviors themselves,” the research team states, adding:

“Lion conservation projects rarely address such complex politics.

By Clint Talbott

05-20-2013   The Maasai art Hunting Lions

June 2012   Lion Killing in Kitenden


dull yellow
yellow green
orange red
red - link
light grey
medium light grey
medium dark grey






Elephant Herd, Tsavo, North Kenya
photography by Peter Beard

Mkomazi (outside Tsavo) elephant herd, 1976
from the "End of the Game" by Peter Beard

Using photography, Peter Beard starting documenting, in the 1960s, the destruction of East African wildlife habitat and the death of over 35,000 elephants and 5,000 rhinos among others. "His first works were in the form of more-or-less 'straight' documentation of the process of destruction. . . the images were a powerful testament to the impact of man’s interaction with his environment.

". . . “ When I first went to Kenya in August 1955, I could never have guessed what was going to happen.   . . it was authentic, unspoiled, teeming with big game - so enormous it appeared inexhaustible.

Everyone agreed it was too big to be destroyed. Now Kenya's population of over 30 million drains the country's limited and diminishing resources at an amazing rate: surrounding, isolating, and relentlessly pressuring the last pockets of wildlife in denatured Africa.

The beautiful play period has come to an end. Millions of years of evolutionary processes have been destroyed in the blink of an eye.

Nor Dread Nor Hope Attend, 1971-72
aka Machine in the Garden, Tsavo, Kenya
photograph with writing by Peter Beard

photograph © 2013, Peter Beard

The End of the Game
The Last Word from Paradise
Researched, photographed, and compiled over 20 years, Peter Beard's End of the Game tells the tale of the explorers, missionaries, and big-game hunters whose quests for adventure and "progress" were to change the face of Africa in the 19th and 20th century. This landmark volume is assembled from hundreds of historical photographs and writings, starting with the building of the Mombasa Railroad ("The Lunatic Line") and the opening-up of darkest Africa. The stories behind the heroic figures in Beard's work -Theodore Roosevelt, Frederick Courtney Selous, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), Denys Finch-Hatton (the romantic hero of Out of Africa), Philip Percival, J. A. Hunter, Ernest Hemingway, and J. H. Patterson (famous for hunting down "Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo") - are all contextualized by Beard's own photographs of the enormous region. Shot in the 1960s and '70s in the Tsavo lowlands during the elephant-habitat crisis and then in Uganda parks, Beard's studies of elephant and hippo population dynamics document the inevitable overpopulation and starvation of tens of thousands of elephants and rhinos in a wasteland of eaten trees.
Originally published in 1965 and updated in 1977, with new foreword by Paul Theroux.

Beard's Eye View
"We are all animals now" Peter Beard
What Happens When an Elephant Dies in Zimbabwe
Dispatches from the Vanishing World


dead lion, "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858-1919)
African Safari & Scientific Expedition
April 21, 1909 to March 14, 1910

Dead lion shot by Kermit Roosevelt, 1908

   "Teddy" Roosevelt's African Safari

"In March 1909, shortly after the end of his presidency, Roosevelt left New York for a safari in east and central Africa. Roosevelt's party landed in Mombasa, British East Africa (now Kenya), traveled to the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) before following the Nile up to Khartoum in modern Sudan. . .

All told, Roosevelt and his companions killed or trapped over 11,397 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. These included 512 big game animals, including six rare white rhinos. The expedition consumed 262 of the animals. Tons of salted animals and their skins were shipped to Washington; the quantity was so large that it took years to mount them all, and the Smithsonian was able to share many duplicate animals with other museums.

Regarding the large number of animals taken, Roosevelt said, "I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned." However, although the safari was ostensibly conducted in the name of science, there was another, quite large element to it as well. Along with many native peoples and local leaders, interaction with renowned professional hunters and land owning families made the safari as much a political and social event, as it was a hunting excursion. . .

   What Areas Have You Hunted in Tanzania?

   Tanzania North Eastern Hunting Area Map

   What Areas Have You Hunted in Tanzania?



   Lion Hunt

   Canned Lion Hunting, South Africa

   Lion Hunt Goes Wrong

   Lion Hunt, South Africa, 2012

   Hunting the African Lion

   Hunting The Hunter (Lion Hunt)

   Early film of Maasai Lion Hunting

   3 Maasai's against 15 lions

   Hunting Lesson


"Rann Safaris and Safari South are the longest operating hunting outfitters in Botswana specializing in dangerous game. Rann Safaris has more top ten record book dangerous game animals than any Safari outfitter in Africa. This includes previous #1 and #2 lion, current #1 leopard and current #1 white rhino. Allow Rann Safaris and Safari South to unlock your dreams to a Hunting Safari in Botswana. . ."

LIONS hunts

"The Lion is the icon of wild Africa and a trophy species important to the safari hunting industry. . .
The African Lion is the biggest of Africa’s cats. To some it is "The King" of the ‘Big 5'. Botswana's lions have earned a reputation for being big and aggressive.

Tracking lion on foot . . . is an exciting and successful way to hunt big cats - but it is not for the fainthearted. . .


"Elusive and dangerous are the first thoughts any hunter should have when hunting leopard.

The leopard is the 2nd largest of Africa's big cats, and the most secretive. . .

Of the "Big 5", the leopard is the most likely to maul a hunter when wounded. . .


"The African Elephant is considered by many as the Ultimate African Trophy and many hungers dream of the day they can relive one of Africa's oldest hunting traditions.

Elephants are worthy of their status and offer one of the most arduous challenges available to today. It is the world's largest land mammal. . .

. . . Rann Safaris has consistently taken the largest elephants in Botswana since elephant hunting reopened. Taking over 300 trophy bulls with an average over 60 pounds per tusk.


. . . For many sportsmen, the ultimate dangerous big game animal is the Cape Buffalo. It is well-respected member of the 'Big 5".

Although buffalo are not normally aggressive, if wounded,, they become one of the world's most dangerous animals. They are one of the only animals that purposefully circle back on their own trail to "hunt the hunter." . . Rann Safaris specialized in tracking buffalo on foot, taking most within 20 yards.

• RHINO hunts photo 1  | 

   • Hippo  |  2  |  3
   • Zebra  |  2
   • Warthog  |  2
   • Crocodile
   • Wildebeest
   • Waterbuck
   • Kudu
   • Puku
   • Topi
   • DikDik

   Rann Safaris Brochure (pdf)


"During my time in Africa I often heard about an organization in the USA called ‘Safari Club International’ (SCI). These fellows have even created a bronze, silver and gold-system whereby hunters have to shoot rare animals on every continent. By the time you reach the gold-status, you have a trophy room full of heads, an elephant foot for your umbrellas and a lot of ‘adventurer stories’ to impress your millionaire friends. In the photographic safari world we refer to fellows like this as ‘those with the short man syndrome’: kill something dangerous (with a high powered rifle at 300 yards) and you are a real hero!"

SCI Blog
• 06-11-2010   Should I save rhino from big guns?


   • Rhino Information

    • 05-30-2010   Trophy hunters fund rhino charity

"Save The Rhino, the British charity set up to protect one of the world’s most endangered animals, is endorsing the shooting of them for fun and is directly profiting from “trophy hunts” of other species.

The London-based charity has decided to endorse the controversial practice of rich hunters shooting rhinoceroses after being approached by a hunting lobby group offering money.

Safari Club International (SCI) has so far donated about £32,000 to the charity, much of it raised by auctioning the trophy hunts of other animals to shooting enthusiasts.

The charity said it adopted its stance, which is at odds with many other wildlife organisations, after deciding to be “not sentiment-driven” about conservation and encourage the “sustainable use” of animals . . .
" by Daniel Foggo

• 05-12-2010   Shoot to Kill?


    • 06-03-2010   Should hunting for pleasure be stopped?

"The whole camp cheered as the hunting vehicle with the Arab and his freshly shot lion arrived. My heart pounded as I had the chance to see my first dead lion. The still bleeding carnivore got dragged from the car and now lay at my feet. I was suddenly not sure if I was in the right job."

I am not proud that for one season I worked for a Tanzanian hunting company, but at the time I didn't have a choice. Despite the reassurances of my boss that everything was done in an ethical way, I saw multiple laws being contravened. I was even being asked by a white 'conservationist' hunter to keep certain things for myself. Like the bribing of a Tanzanian wildlife official in front of my nose.

That hunting is a very sensitive matter shows the sign in the image. The sign is from Maun (Botswana) and was erected by anti-hunting individuals. The original text on the sign read: "Kill me once or photograph me a thousand times". Two weeks later the text at the bottom was sprayed over it at night by hunting lobbyists.

The (African) hunting industry smells. And not only after carcasses.

• 05-12-2010   Should the Maasai Dance for Tourists?

The Dying Lion (Neo-Assyrian, ca. 645-640 B.C.)

From the North Palace of Ashurbanipal
Nineveh, northern Iraq
© The Trustees of the British Museum

"Among the artistic wonders from the North Palace of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (r. 668-631 B.C.) is a relief sculpture called The Dying Lion (ca. 645-640 B.C.). It portrays the intentional slaughter of a massive feline wounded by an arrow during a royal hunt. Lunging forward, the maimed beast violently spews forth streams of blood from its gaping mouth. In Assyrian culture, lions represented forces opposed to the accomplishments of urban society. Artistic renderings of them being killed by Assyrian monarchs suggest the king's triumph over such perceived forces of evil. "

Flickriver: lionhunt
BBC: Assyrian Lion Hunt Reliefs



   Tribute to a friend and colleague, Trent Keegan


Ololosokwan, Tanzania - 23rd May 2008
A Good Friend and a Great Photographer

The above photo was taken by Brian MacCrmaic of Trent Keegan during his stay at the Emanyata Secondary School in Ngorongoro District of Tanzania on Friday 23rd May, only three days before his murder in Nairobi.

The map of Tanzania shows the region, between Lake Natron and Serengeti National Park
outlined in green.

A beautiful landscape in the Maasai heartland of Tanzania, but with an undercurrent of bitterness and resentment felt by the Maasai community at how their traditional customs and lifestyles are being swept aside in the interests of big business, the tourism industry, and even in the sometimes dubious name of conservation!


I started this blog to have a safe place to tell what happened when I went to Tanzania to ask people on the ground about a piece of land that Thomson Safaris have grabbed and call “Enashiva Nature Refuge”.

   07-28-2013 Loliondo Land Threats - Latest Developments

   03-18-2010 The Sukenya Farm Conflict


   10-06-2013 Prospect of more lodges inside Ngorongoro
      Conservation Area prompts protests

   10-06-2013 Tanzanian officials react angrily over renewed
      conservation criticism
Critics of a recent conservation award given in the US to President Kikwete, which some described as making the goat the gardener in reference to his time in State House presiding over an unprecedented slaughter of elephants in Tanzania going into the tens of thousands, have been told to shut up by the Director of Communications at State House Dar es Salaam Mr. Salva Rweyemamu. . .

Rweyemamu in fact exposed the government’s true intent, willingly or just by shooting his mouth off as has been suggested, that the highway across the migration routes of the Serengeti will be built by hook or crook, Uranium in the Selous would be mined by hook or crook and the soda ash extraction plant at Lake Natron too would be built, even though it would destroy the only breeding place for the entire East African flamingo population.

   08-06-2013 Lion encounters in the Masai Mara. . .

   05-21-2013 Not Leakey's finest hour. . .

   05-06-2013 Mwambani evictions denounced by residents and
      human rights groups

   03-27-2013 Kagesheki insists that Loliondo will be split in the
      interest of conservation
No nonsense Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Amb. Khamis Kagesheki was blunt in his response to objections over his plans to split the Loliondo game area into two major parts . . . "there is no government in the world that can just let an area so important to conservation be wasted away by overgrazing. . ." "It is amazing for a small area like Loliondo controlled area to have more than 30 non-governmental organizations . . . But now the end has come and the nation cannot be driven by the pressure of individuals or NGOs."

Loliondo has been mired in controversy for long periods of time over the hunting concession given to a UAE based company for over 20 years, which often caused conflict with local communities who felt they were pushed off their own ancestral land and denied a right to make a living at the expense of favoring "a few rich sheikhs over the wananchi [people/citzens]."

   02-15-2013 Serengeti Highway case update. . .

   07-10-2012 Is Tanzania's Coelacanth Marine National Park
      at Mwambani damned for destruction?

   06-07-2012 President Kikwete's World Environment Day speech. . .

      01-18-2012 Corridor of Destruction reloaded

   04-02-2011 Kikwete stirs fresh controversies when demanding
      'soda ash plant must be built'





Rhythm of the Maasai by Hans Johnson

Maasai People of East Africa | Format: MP3
turn off sound below



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