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Our Sustainable Tourism Revolution Is Underway

Since before the Pandemic sunk its claws into the tourism industry, we have been planning a new way to operate. A way which connects us legitimately with the communities and the wildlife surrounding us. It serves to bring our visitors closer to the people without ever feeling intrusive or pushy and it begins the move towards a much wider connection across communities, countries and continents.

At the heart of the revolution is a plan developed by the United Nations, a plan which is intended to change the way we live our lives so that we may create a fairer more equitable world for now and for future generations. The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a collection of targets aimed at levelling up and protecting our future. The problem with the UN SDG plan is that it has reached very few people. It takes time and effort to bring people around to a new way of living which entails sharing more of what you have. People need to understand the goals, connect with them and feel the emotional benefit of their philanthropy.

We feel our industry is ideally placed to encourage the new mindset. We bring people from the richer parts of the world to the poorer parts on stunning, sometimes life-changing holidays. Our visitors invariably make emotional connections to the staff and people in and around our camps and hotels. They are in the perfect frame of mind to consider their potential role in the SDG movement.

Our part in the plan is to put our money where our mouth is and to offer gentle encouragement without ever creating pressure. The SDG centres in each camp and hotel serve to show our guests precisely what the SDGs are. The art which adorns the staff uniforms and the walls of our places offer subtle and thought-provoking messages to affirm the SDGs. Most importantly, our own commitment to bold and far-reaching projects which address particular SDGs shows what can be done and offers a perfect opportunity for folk to help in the very communities and parks where they have made their emotional connections.

It can only work because we believe in it and are fully committed to it. It can never be greenwash or whatever the sustainability equivalent to that may be. Our financial commitment is considerable, our emotional commitment is complete and because of this, many our guests will want to help us because they also believe in it.

January 2024 has been the real start of the projects. They are all in their infancy but with sizeable wheels beginning to turn. We will get things wrong, we will  do a few about turns, but before long, each project will be a well-oiled model of sustainable development, there to encourage our colleagues across the industry, across the world to join the revolution.


Sport is a very important part of life in Tanzania as it is in most, if not all countries. There is, however, limited opportunities to take part and a fundamental lack of infrastructure to develop athletes. This is especially true for girls, many of whom are discouraged from ever trying.

Netball provides the perfect example of the issue at hand. Just across the waters of Lake Victoria from our Little O camp, Uganda has a well-developed network of clubs and a national team which is currently 6th in the world. Tanzania, with a significantly larger population, languishes in 43rd place.

2024 is the year we begin to change the dynamic. We have bought an area of 15 acres, and we will turn this into an elite sports academy for girls. There will initially be two netball courts, one football pitch and a clubhouse with changing rooms, a gym, a restaurant and administration office. We hope to have this all operational by mid-2024.

In 2025/26 we will build an indoor facility for netball, football and athletics training, two stands onto the clubhouse for up to 500 fans each side. One to watch the netball and the other to watch the football. We will also be building an accommodation block so that students can live on site once the academy is fully operational.

The plan is to start by hiring a netball coach who will encourage and train local schools before beginning to choose players to join our club. We will add coaches over the first year and spread the net further to find talent across the region and bring them together for periodic training. Eventually, a team of coaches will scour Tanzania for talent and offer them the chance to join the academy. Here, where they will live, go to school and train daily. The most senior coaches, tasked with developing the local coaching staff will come from the professional UK Super League where we have already established connections.

An American football (soccer) coaching organisation “Player One Performance” have offered to take over the entire football side of the operation. They have many years of experience developing elite players for the US women’s league and expect to make a profound difference to the standard of coaching here.

Girls in Tanzania do not currently get these kinds of opportunities and we are certain that the teams we produce will be responsible for completely changing the status of Tanzania in women’s sport.  We are targeting a top ten position for the national netball team inside eight years on the back of this academy. Football is very competitive worldwide, but we have little doubt that our centre will produce members of the national team and help improve the standard of coaching across the nation. This will certainly lead to Tanzania being more competitive at the international level.

The new sports academy plot before any work.

The plot after flattening by the road grader and with clubhouse foundation & netball pitches marked.

Architects impression of the finished academy with clubhouse, stands, sports hall and accommodation block


Our sustainable development goal focus here in the Zanzibari Hotel is education. However, we want more. The plan is not just to take the brightest children from poor families and give them a better education, it is to turn them into true global citizens. Our students will not only prove themselves in the academic field, but they will also receive additional teaching in sustainable development and, we hope, they will one day become powerful advocates for creating a fairer and more caring society.

We have started by choosing students from the local area, all of whom did relatively well in the government standard 4 exams (9-10 year olds). All will be given extra tuition in English and will be taught about environmentalism. Ten will be chosen, based on a number of factors including their family means, and given the chance to take the entrance exam for the AlBaayan private school in Nungwi. All those who pass will be given a place at the school and we will pay for their education up until Form 4 (16 years old) or Form 6 (18 years old), if they are able to reach that stage.

Along the way, all our students will receive extra tuition in sustainable development from our own team and expert tutors from outside. They will take part in programmes to address development goals and will eventually begin to lecture younger students on SDG subjects.

We hope to grow an army of global citizens by encouraging other organisations both here in Tanzania and across the world to take a similar approach and to share experiences to build best practice and to connect students from all cultures.

If anyone would like to help in anyway, whether it be to develop the students or possibly sponsor new ones, we would be very keen to hear from you.



Saadani is unique in East Africa as a true coastal wildlife park. It offers the chance to see elephants feeding in large numbers, turtle nests by the beach and lions, denning with their cubs. All of this goes on within earshot of Indian Ocean waves lapping onto the beach. How the animals use the coastal ecosystem is fascinating. Hyenas follow the receding tide, looking for dead sea creatures. All manner of herbivores rest on the open sands of the salt flats for safety and, of course, predators patrol the perimeter, hoping for a hidden approach. At least two of the lion prides in Saadani spend much of their time outside of the park in community land where many animals can regularly be found. The conflict potential is considerable and the need to find a long-term solution is urgent.

We have long advocated for a lion research project to provide answers and, at last, we have our wish. A Tent With A View with collaborate with Macalester University, Minnesota on a long-term study of lions in Saadani NP, aimed at identifying numbers, territories, behaviour and the viability of current human-animal relations. 

In June 2024, we will start collecting data on lion groups in Saadani to ID individuals, estimate pride ranges and establish diet through scats. This will be followed by the collaring of lions from key groups to further study group dynamics, behaviour, and preferred/available prey species.

The study will investigate potential human-lion conflict issues in the area, particularly in the coastal prides which spend time outside of the park. We hope that the results we allow TANAPA to develop a management plan which offers the brightest possible future for this potentially isolated national park and for the people who live around it’s boundary.

Green Turtles

Since building our Simply Saadani Camp (eight years after establishing the first camp in Saadani NP) A Tent With A View has been at the centre of turtle conservation in Saadani.

Hamisi, then just a teenager, was employed to encourage fishermen to inform us of green turtle nests rather than eat the contents. A reward scheme ensured this happened and we found ourselves moving eggs to the safety of the camp confines for incubation and release back into the sea. The work encouraged Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) to protect a significant part of the Saadani coastline. It became known as Madete Marine Park.

Since then, Hamisi has patrolled the, now safe, beach at Madete each morning, GPS marking each nest and counting the successfully hatched turtles. He is still employed by A Tent With A View and combines this work with his job as a guide at the camp. 

We would now like to help him analyse all his data and estimate the full extent of the turtle breeding beach, assuming it is compromised by the fishing communities which fringe the marine park. This could lead to community cooperation in patrolling the beaches and safeguarding this vulnerable species.

As more results emerge from the analysis, we would like to establish an information centre for the park at Madete entrance gate. This will encourage greater interaction between visitors and the marine park, hopefully leading to more support and a chance to further enhance the protection.

Nurseries and tree planting in community land   around Saadani

Although Saadani is a coastal national park with a large area of beach-fronted habitat protected, much of the coastal environment lies outside of the park boundaries and suffers from overuse and even illegal forest clearance. Both the essential mangrove forests and inland woods have been decimated in these areas, removing essential habitat for wildlife and creating dangerous corridors which many animals need to use to cross between the protected lands.

As part of the conflict mitigation project, we are working with the local school in Mkwaja village and have created nurseries at the school and at our Simply Saadani Camp to begin the process of reforestation in some of the worst affected areas. This will also serve to teach the students about the importance of trees, not just as wildlife habitat but also for carbon capture, drainage, fruit for the students and shade.