Simanjiro Grazing Easement Project

Critical grazing areas for wildlife are quickly disappearing and the health of Tarangire National Park and the Maasai Steppe is under threat. Every rainy season, with water sources now in abundance, thousands of animals migrate out of the Tarangire National Park boundary and into the surrounding areas, no longer restricted by a need to be close to the Tarangire River, which flows year round. The grasslands of the Maasai Steppe’s Simanjiro Plains, on the outskirts of the park, are crucial grazing areas for both wildlife and cattle for the local Maasai. Historically, a fine balance was maintained between the grazing needs of the wildlife and the livestock, but over time hunting, farming, population and other pressures have severely diminished the grazing lands and wildlife numbers. 

An alarming amount of land has been and is currently being transformed into farms which are marginally productive and often owned by non-village outsiders, with no ‘return’ going to the local Maasai pastoralists. This has resulted in a severe decline in wildlife numbers and an increase in pressures on Maasai livelihoods and cultural values. In 2004, alarmed by conversion of this critical habitat to agriculture in Simanjiro, an informal group of concerned tour operators with vested interest in the integrity of the ecosystem enlisted the help of the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) to help them engage with Simanjiro villages. The easements, voluntary agreements by the villages of Terrat and Sukuro to keep large areas of grassland from being farmed, were an outgrowth of several meetings. These contractual agreements stipulated land use conditions, e.g. no agriculture or permanent settlement in return for annual fees paid directly into village accounts. We have supported annually ever since.

If you'll be staying with us at Kuro Tarangire you will see first hand how incredible the wildlife population is in this park, and how close they live alongside local communities. If you'd like to support the work being done by the Simanjiro team please get in touch.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

37
Protects one square kilometer of grassland for a year
700
Will send one village scout for training at the Wildlife Department School for six months
1350
Will equip a village scout for one year with a stipend, bicycle, phone and binoculars