Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I had a slight problem with my stomach, so thought I'd be conservative about what I ate at breakfast. My mouth watered for the fresh fruit, but I was content with “over easy” eggs. No sense in tempting fate.
Our first appointment the next morning was with ITV—Independent Television Limited, a station that began in 1994. The majority of its programming is locally produced, and the gentlemen with whom we met were very knowledgeable about the equipment needed for our project. We felt comfortable that between the three media companies we visited, we would be able to find qualified people to work with us.
The day was busy but not as hectic as the one before. We met with B.M.C.M. Madala, Assistant Director, Anti-Poaching, in the Ministry of NRT, Wildlife Division. Ms. Eliwasa E. Maro, Principal Conservator of Antiquities, from the same Ministry joined us. What a fascinating session.
In the United States, wildlife is protected, but the animals are not owned, whereas in Tanzania the government owns them as long as they are in the country. Kenya owns them once migrating wildebeests and accompanying animals have crossed the border into the
As one can imagine, many laws regulate wildlife. They will become even more strict when the human population grows and encroaches on land now occupied by animals. There are also tribal laws and taboos, i.e., tribes are not allowed to kill monkeys.
Unlike Kenya which allows hunting only on private lands and won't let herds be culled, Tanzania issues permits for hunting, but quotas exist. In addition, endangered species are protected. A saying among the Africans is, “Only white people kill for sport.”
Animals may be killed if they threaten human life or destroy property. Because wildebeests migrate in search of water and tender grasses, their route is unpredictable. In some instances, they go through villages. If there's a barrier, the animals will smash it. Sometimes they block the passage from one part of a village to another, and children aren't able to reach their school.
Poaching is increasing. Animals are hunted for the food they provide because of the high demand for meat. Wildebeests get snared in wires and traps while many fall into pits.
On the other hand, the migration affects human social behavior and causes destruction of antiquities. In the
first case, people previously gathered outside for community events or ate meals in the fresh air; they no longer do it when the animals are passing through. Imagine two million large creatures trudging through your front and back yard when you're trying to barbeque, and you'll begin to appreciate the problem.
In the case of artifacts and archaeological digs, those along the wildebeest route may become crushed. They may also be exposed to wind and rain, causing irreparable damage to valuable sites.
A delicate balance exists between man, animals and nature. Lessons learned in Tanzania may help the rest of the world.
We returned to the Southern Sun for a meeting with Richard Rugimbana and Scott Coles from the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania. The organization represents the country's private sector in travel and tourism. They told us of new ways to reach out. One was very timely and related to our last appointment. Poaching, as we know, is a big issue that has motivated people who are interested in ecology. Ironically, visitors are coming specifically for those kinds of tours as well as for cultural tourism.
Although we were invited to meet Adam Fuller, General Manager
With her Houston Seal letter opener
of the Southern Sun, afterwards, I was so tired that I planned to call it a night. I didn't even want dinner and went straight to bed.
Shortly after I dozed off I was awakened by the phone. My “Sister” Lillian Mwasha was waiting for me in the lobby. We met last year in Arusha at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge where she was the Marketing & Conferences Manager. We continued corresponding and grew close despite the miles. She is now the Events Manager of Dar es Salaam's Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski, known as “Kili.”
How great it was to be together again. She really enjoys her job, and she's good at it. She has a rare combination of intelligence, efficiency and charm. We had lots to catch up on, but unfortunately she couldn't stay long. We made tentative plans to see each other again when I returned to Dar from our travels in the Serengeti.
After she left, Bill and I took a long walk. Although it was dark outside, he wanted to show me
parts of the city where he jogged. Eventually we wound up at the ocean and the “Kili” where Lillian works, though we knew
Scott Coles and Richard Rugimbana
Give an overview of Tanzanian Tourism
she wouldn't be there. It was built in 1965 as the premier hotel for foreign guests, especially dignitaries and famous celebrities. When Tanzania experience rough times in the 1980's it lost prestige. In recent years, the hotel underwent a $40 million renovation and has regained its status under the guidance of the Kempinski organization.
Bill and I were so engrossed in conversation as we walked back to our hotel that we went several blocks past where we should have turned. We had a late dinner, then ended the long, productive day. Please click on PREVIOUS Entry to continue. Click on photos to enlarge.
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