Some years ago a lodge near Tarangire was set alight, and then burnt down by a professional hunter from Texas, a person died in that fire. The hunter was seen setting the grass on fire. This incident was eventually swept under the carpet by the then DC from Monduli.The same professional hunter months later threatened a tourist at gunpoint as she was entering one of the lodges near Tarangire. That hunter disappeared from Tz. for some months. He is now back and business as usual. At lolilondo with the hunting concession owned by Arab interests ( the use of the word Arab is not used in any racial or derogotory manner purely as a means of easy identification) there is a lot at stake here. Money from the UAE is being used to fund much needed infrastructure around Dodoma.Most hunters are rich influential people hence they have influence. The Masaii those dispossed or forcibly moved off the Arab hunting concession are small fry in the greater scheme of things rightly or wrongly. It is difficult for the normal tourist visiting tanzania to understand the complex issues involed in hunting or the enormous amounts of money involved. As such you can't make a difference. If the World Wildlife Fund and Frankfurt Zoological society couldnt stop the hunting,just shows you how entrenched the Wildlife dept. is in Tanzania.
Now Thomson safaris is another example, I can as an ethical traveller not use that company if I choose not to.
What have they done wrong, probably not much. After 30 mears of operating in tanzania they decided to reinvest some of their profits, here they get a tick. Bought Gibbs farm invested more than a million dollars. The governement wants tourist investment.another tick.
Bought a piece of land of Tanzanian breweries with a title deed ( long term lease) pretty inviolate in Tanzania. Wanted to set up their own private game reserve.Others have done it why couldnt they. However what they didnt realise or choose to ignore was the fact that this land had been idle for years and the Masaii as they do moved in to graze their cattle,sheep, and goats. Thomson or the ground managers if they had of been more sensitative to local conditions would've realised that there were other issues involved and the Masaii did have rights. Afterall they had been there for more than 100 years. All Thomson had to do was sit down with them, the Masaii, negotiate allow then some grazing rights even if a little and then the issue wouldnt have got out of hand. However they used the rough arm of the law to protect what their saw as their legal right. Somewhat insensitive. Here they get a cross.
They get another x from me because of what they have done in the Ikoma area. Lets not be fooled here.
Thomson set up a trust whereby tourists contribute to their projects, not a bad idea others do it. where they went wrong in my opinion here is with the good will they have gained from other peoples money they approached the village and got land to put up their camp in the area.I doubt if profits from the company where used here.
Philanthropic no acquiring assests for the benefit of the shareholders yes.
Can you make a difference here with the Hunting companies doubt it by not using Thomson safaris you can if you wish express your dissapointment at their insensitiveness towards the local community and make a difference albeit a small one.