Conservation projects: Singita Grumeti Fund

Protecting 350,000-acres of the famous Great Serengeti corridor that plays host to the annual migration of over a million animals at Singita Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania

Black Rhino and anti-poaching projects at Grumeti

Black rhino conservation at Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania © Grumeti Fund. www.luxurysafaricamps.com

Black rhino conservation at Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania © Grumeti Fund. www.luxurysafaricamps.com

 

Although the Serengeti is the most intact grasslands ecosystem on earth, the problems of poaching, over-hunting and encroachment of developed lands have taken their toll. Among the “big five” (lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhinoceros), one member was completely hunted out in the Western Corridor over the last four decades: the surprisingly shy yet awesome black rhinoceros.

 

Shamefully, most of the slaughter of the rhino was not even for meat but for the use of its horn in dagger handles and for its presumed medicinal properties. From 65,000 animals in 1960, poaching reduced the rhino population to less than 2000 by the 1980s. Today, the black rhino population in Tanzania is estimated to be somewhere between 60-70 individuals. Shocking to think that such a lordly lineage, one that thrived for nearly 50 million years could be exterminated in so short a time. The mission of Singita Grumeti Reserve is to preserve the unequalled biodiversity of this ancient ecosystem. For that reason, one of the highest priority wildlife goals has been to return the black rhino to its native range. The Grumeti wildlife management team is among Africa’s most experienced veterans of re-introductions of the black rhino. From Kruger to the lowveld of Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe to the caldera of Ngorongoro, the Grumeti team has time and again taken on the arduous, exacting and delicate task of seeking out suitable stock to start a new population and then transporting and acclimatizing them to their new home. Under the auspices of the Grumeti Fund, which was established to promote the welfare of the local people and the ecosystem, it is commited not only to the re-introduction of the species but also to assuming the financial responsibilities for safeguarding our rhino into the future. In this regard, the resources that tourism makes available to local conservation results in each and every visitor to Singita Grumeti Reserves becoming an indispensable partner in rhino conservation.

 

RHINO CONSERVATION NEEDS MORE THAN JUST A DAY – 

Get involved and learn more about the Grumeti Fund and the Black Rhino relocation program.

 

The  program involves the introduction of two captive-bred rhino, fully funded by Singita Grumeti Reserves.  One female and one male were re-introduced to Singita Grumeti, into a sanctuary as a part of the “Save the Rhino” repatriation programme, in the hope of stimulating population growth and increasing genetic viability and diversity of the existing population within the Serengeti ecosystem.

 

The plan is to repatriate and introduce 34 wild rhino into the area through this program.

 

To protect and ensure safe habitat the anti-poaching relief requires economically-viable fencing, employment, training and management of a team of 120 scouts from the local areas, who in addition to patrols also help contribute to wildlife research and monitoring on the property spanning an area of 350,000 acres private to Singita Grumeti Reserve.

 

To sustain this effort in one of the most unique and pristine wilderness areas left in the world,  the program is dependant on contributions  from guests and members of the international community concerned about widlife welfare. A budget of approximately $1.5 million is required to fund this major initiative. A portion of the funding from the luxury safari lodges at Grumeti reserve help fund the community and conservation work, however direct financial contributions lend substantial income to these efforts.

 

Singita Grumeti Fund


 
 
The Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund in Tanzania  is Singita Grumeti Reserve’s outreach program funded in part by the hopitality revenue generated from the luxury safari lodges managed by Singita and financial donations from friends and fellow travelers. The programs support rural villages in Serengeti and Bunda districts surrounding the private reserve.
 
About the Conservation projects and community support at Singita Grumeti Reserve:
 
Vocational training and scholarship fund for the Field Guide Academy
Singita Grumeti reserves has financed and established one the best guiding schools in the country dedicated to wildlife tracking and other related field studies.
 

School and childrens’ educational programs
Singita Grumeti has been involved in both the contruction of new schools as well as renovation of existing facilities where available to strengthen educational initiatives. Learn more about the Grumeti school program.
 

Environmental Educational Center at Grumeti
A 5-day program for youth in the community schools to learn about their wildlife heritage and gain a sound level of understanding on the Serengeti ecosystem and its importance for future conservation.
 

Anti-Poaching initiatives and Black Rhino Conservation
Learn more about the Black Rhino introduction effort at Singita Grumeti
 

Sustainability and support for small agricultural businesses in the local community
Training and support for self-sustaining jobs in cash crops and development of markets for bee-keeping, fish farming, sunflower oil production, poultry and egg farming, vegetable gardens and provision of food resources all run by the community and supported by the lodges at Singita Grumeti reserves. The Ikorongo-Grumeti Co-operative Society was established under the Tanzania law and today, has over 100 farming groups from the villages as members.
 

Access to clean water
Establishment of 95 deep wells of which over 50 supply fresh water to the villages and maintenance of boreholes as a continual source of this core neccessity.
 

Right to play
The Grumeti Fund provides financial support to the ‘Right to Play’ international organisation that uses structured play to bring about healthy physical, emotional and social development of the youth of the Serengeti district. The project trains teachers as coaches to engage children in regular sport and play activities devised as part of this initiative.

Grumeti Environmental Education Center

Video: The Environmental Education Center at Singita Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania.
Singita’s commitment to conservation, development and community outreach come together in perfect harmony in the establishment of the Environmental Educational Centre to engage and educate the community’s next generation of leaders on the importance of a balanced, sustainable ecosystem. The Environmental Education Centre conducts approximately 25 week-long courses per year. These are attended by 300 youth from the 26 secondary schools in the Bundu and Serengeti districts, which border Singita Grumeti. The content of the course is aligned to the school curriculum and, as such, enables the youth to be better prepared for their formal education. Knowledge shared includes soil and vegetation usage and management; water conservation; as well as the protection of local wildlife including birds, animals and insects. The Centre also includes teachers in its 5-day on-site programmes to help better teach their students about these crucial topics. In order to ensure the long term sustainability of the ecosystem and the rich biodiversity within it, it is essential that the local communities be empowered, informed and engaged with conservation. The Environmental Education Centre ensures that local youth are being brought into the conversation at an early age and helps to create well informed and responsible decision makers for future generations.