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Sustainable Tourism in the Selous Game Reserve

Winning the battle for sustainable Tourism in the Selous Game Reserve are a small staff of about 350 game scouts and technical staff; that is one scout per 140 square kilometers. The headquarters for the Selous Game Reserve staff are in the Northern section of the Selous at Matambwe. The battle for sustainable tourism in this vast game reserve has not been easy and hard lessons have been learnt and now the battle for sustainable tourism is beginning to be realized.

Half the income from the Selous is returned to the reserve to help keep this park in existence. A second scheme is involving the communities around the park; by allowing controlled hunting by the local communities and thereby providing direct tangible benefits for the local people. Without local support from surrounding villages poaching would be impossible to maintain. Working with and through the local communities rather than against them has helped the reserve to flourish.As a direct result of international pressures hunting was banned in the 1980's and an immediate consequence was a devastating decline on animal populations; especially the elephant populations. Hunting has been reintroduced, well away from the photographic safari areas.

The money charged from these hunting safaris generates the main source of income to maintain the reserve. It is though that as a direct result of reintroducing hunting that poaching is no longer a threat and animal numbers had increased noticeably over the past decade. Sustainable hunting safaris are strictly controlled and they are allowed in the reserve between the months of July and November. Without this income the reserve in its present sate would not exist.The reserve has set out restricts for tourism in the Selous to keep the human impact as low as possible.

Tourist numbers are kept low and lodges and camps strictly controlled. Over the past two years there have been several new camps. The lakes in the west of Tanzania and especially the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater in the north of Tanzania have be overwhelmed by a tourism explosion over the past few years. Park fees have been increased dramatically from January 1, 2006 to direct tourists from these areas and into the lesser know areas such as the Selous.

The tourism areas are all in the north of the Selous game reserve and south of the Rufiji River is a true wilderness. However, there are plans to develop this area for the photographic safaris to reduce the pressure on the lake area's and the northern National Parks. Tanzania is keen to maintain its parks and keep tourism under control and human impact to a minimum. For further information on sustainable tourism or for information on how to find your way around the Selous Game Reserve contact us through website bellow.

.For further information on sustainable tourism or for information on how to find your way around the Selous Game Reserve contact http://www. or Using responsible tourism to change lives.

By: Ian Williamson

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