The letter below was written by Malcolm Ryen to a recent guest at Lake Manze Camp in Selous, who remarked that elephant numbers are dwindling there.
Photo of 24 elephants passing through Lake Manze Camp in Nov 2015 - by Shaun O'Driscoll
"We understand your concerns in regards to poaching, with which we can only
agree with you. We have been fighting for the past 8 years in order to make
this situation become a global issue and to give it international resonance.
We have been very vocal in the country as well as outside and have been
supporting the NG0 Pams foundation for several years, which we believe is
THE organisation which is really producing results in the country.
Please see: http://www.ed.co.tz/our-friends/
In fact all the various recent arrests you may have heard of in the news, of
the Ivory Queen, Shetani the devil and many more, have been carried out
thanks to Pams. We are also working in strict cooperation with Wild Aid in
order to create awareness both in China as well as in Tanzania. Our motto is
that we believe that tourism is the answer to conservation of natural
resources, historical sites and beauty.
The reason why poaching has been so serious in Selous is first of all
because it had the biggest population of elephant in Africa but also an
equally important reason is because it has so few tourists.
In fact Serengeti and the northern parks have not been affected by poaching
so much because of the high presence of tourist witnesses. This is to say
that though I understand that on one side it may be a natural reaction to
boycott a place that has not managed to conserve its resources properly, on
the other side, the only way we can make sure things will improve is to have
I guess you have seen various elephants in camp, probably more in camp than
on game drives, and this is because where there are tourists elephants feel
safe! So we need more tourists in order to protect more wildlife.
I believe we are now at a turning point in Tanzania history and that finally
we can see change and conservation is becoming a priority for the country.
After many years of sadness we now see the light and hope for recovery, so
please do not abandon us now, when we most need it.
Essential Destinations (owners of Lake Manze camp)"
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