Latest safari and other news from Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Canine additions to the anti-poaching squad in Tanzania !

Elephant's best friend (Tanzania), Daisy Fletcher, The Independent 23 September 2015

In Mkomazi National Park, North Eastern Tanzania, the anti-poaching team have decided to hire some unusual employees for their infantry patrol. Bandit and Chocolate are two of eleven puppies that were donated to small charity Animals Saving Animals, in order to be trained as part of the park’s anti-poaching initiative.

The two dogs, donated to the park under the direction of Tony Fitzjohn OBE in October last year, have been taught to patrol the park's grounds with a handler, tracking the presence of poachers. Once detected, the dogs are released to follow the scent of a poacher and hold onto them with their teeth until the rest of the anti-poaching team catch up. In good weather, the dogs can track down a poacher who is up to a kilometre away. Recently, Bandit and Chocolate managed to catch three poachers who were trying to check their snares for bush meat. The men, who were in their early twenties, were arrested and handed over to the Tanzanian police. The dogs have also been trained to pinpoint the exact location of gunfire, a skill that humans find much harder to do out in the African bush.

Dogs are not the only new addition to Mkomazi Park's team. The rangers have recently started using drones as a method of anti-poaching surveillance too. The drones can last for ten hours in the air, identifying anything suspicious in the bush and sending data back to the park's ground control system. Using the drone's data, rangers can then locate the poachers, track them down and arrest them. Both surveillance drones and anti-poaching dogs are not only imaginative but essential measures to prevent the elephants in Mkomazi Park being killed for their ivory. 35,000 elephants have been killed in Africa every year since 2010, and at the current rate, the population will be extinct within our lifetime.

September 2015 - Latest Conservation News

Elephants at our Sable Mountain waterhole - a great start to the week !

Having been some considerable time since we last witnessed consistent visits from our elephant families drinking at our water hole, at last they are back in force ! Mbasha, visiting the tree house on foot with some of our Sable Mountain guests, marvelled at the wonderful spectacle of more than 40 elephants drinking and frolicking at the Sable Mountain water hole. This is clear evidence of the strong and improved patrolling now being carried out by the Selous rangers in and around our area. Long may it continue ! 


Ivory smuggling accomplices arrested in Dar es Salaam

It’s good to see that the Tanzanian government is taking the plight of the country’s elephants seriously. “The Citizen” newspaper recently reported the arrests of soldiers who were responsible for the security screening process which allowed the 262 kilo ivory haul seized in Switzerland last month to leave Tanzania. The consignment left aboard a Swiss Air flight. CC TV showed which soldiers were on duty when the bags were let through unchecked. The government are investigating further.


The Dar es Salaam “Daily News”: “Three charged for organised crime & illegal possession of elephant tusks”

There has been a significant increase in reporting by the Tanzanian press regarding those apprehended for organised crime in elephant tusk poaching. The Daily News had the following report on 2nd September:

“Three people appeared before Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam charged for organised crime and being found with elephant tusks valued at 126m/-, property of the government, without any permit.

They are Suleiman Mohamed (36), a mobile phone repair, who resides in Zanzibar, Ahmed Msabaha (35), a businessman residing at Tandale in the City and Steven John (35), a businessman from Mbeya City.

The trio was not allowed to enter plea to the charges when they were brought before Senior Resident Magistrate Emilius Mchauru as the charges against them fall under Economic and Control Act.
Such cases are heard by lower courts after securing consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Upon issuing such consent certificate, the accused persons will then be called upon to enter a plea to the charges before commencement of the hearing.

The prosecution informed the court that investigations into the matter are not complete. The case was adjourned to September 14, for mention and the accused persons were ordered to remain in remand.”

Safari Camps News Update

STOP PRESS !!! The Safari Suites: The very latest in luxury mobile safari launches this month in Selous & Saadani

This month sees the launch of our fantastic and unique Safari Suites. We have converted Land Rovers into amazing double-storey safari suites complete with solar lights and a full bath with hot water! Being mobile, we can drive to the best game rich areas in Selous Game Reserve and Saadani National Park. The suites will be based out of Sable Mountain Lodge in Selous and Babs’ Camp in Saadani National Park. Come and see for yourself. More details can be obtained on our website www.tentwithaview.com – click on Babs’Camp. Find out more about our special introductory rates : please email info@tentwithaview.com


Fantastic Selous wild dog activity out on safari at Sable Mountain Lodge

Two packs of wild dogs with dens have been seen in the first few days of the new season.
On 12th June a pack of at least 8 dogs brought down an impala near Matambwe gate and have been seen in the area each day since, indicating they have young pups nearby and cannot move too far. 

On 15th June, a large pack of at least 16 dogs raced past our car chasing impala, with hyenas following them looking for a cheap meal. One female had clearly given birth recently. Looks like they are moving in a restricted area.


Dental care NGO Bridge2Aid in conjunction with A Tent With A View Safaris visit Selous Game Reserve & Saadani National Park

We have been working with the UK NGO Bridge2Aid and last month saw the first round of UK qualified dental personnel training medical staff in villages outside Saadani National Park and Selous Game Reserve on tooth extraction. Until now, there was nobody qualified to carry out tooth extractions safely. All of the trainees passed and more than 1000 patients were seen over the 9 days that the team were in Selous & Saadani and surrounding areas. We accommodated the dentists at Sable Mountain Lodge & Simply Saadani Camp (formerly Tent With A View) on a complimentary basis and set up the meeting with the village chairmen and local medical personnel as our part of this successful initiative.

"On A Lighter Note"

Important July dates in Zanzibar for your diary

Holy month of Ramadan
Ramadan ends with Eid el Fitri on the 17th or 18th July. During Ramadan, some shops and restaurants will close for parts of the day, particularly in Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar International Film Festival – July 18-26 2015
The historic Old Fort overlooking the stunning Indian Ocean is the setting on July 18th for the opening day of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) which showcases films, animation and documentaries from all over Africa and around the world. This year’s theme is “Seasons of Visions”. A range of film & musical offerings are shown all over Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, the grand finale being an awards ceremony on the night of the 26th. If you happen to be in Zanzibar during this time, it is well worth a visit. Details can be obtained on transport and tickets from our very own Zanzibari boutique hotel in Nungwi. (info@thezanzibari.com

Mwaka Kogwa – July 18-22 2015 - as advertised on FEST300 (the definitive guide to the world’s best festivals)
Every year, Makunduchi, in the South part of Zanzibar is the largest venue for the annual four-day-long celebration, Mwaka Kogwa which usually takes place in the 3rd week of July. This year the festival opens on July 18th. The origins of the festival are Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the Shirazi New Year and some of the events include the burning of a hut and mock fights. These fights are between men who defend themselves with banana stems (in place, thankfully, of the sticks that were traditionally used). The idea behind the banana flaying is to allow everyone to air their grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in. As the men fight, the women stroll through the fields singing songs about life and love. They dress in their best clothes and taunt the men after the fight is over. The festivities vary from village to village throughout Zanzibar but Makunduchi is where the biggest event take place. All are welcome (even tourists) for the festival because it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this holiday faces unhappiness in the new year. If you are offered food, you should accept it because locals take offence if their hospitality is refused. If you find yourself in Zanzibar during this festival, it is well worth a visit. Transport can be arranged from our Zanzibari boutique hotel located in Nungwi. (info@thezanzibari.com)

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