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Let's publicize REAL CBET (Community-Based EcoTourism) projects

Let's publicize REAL CBET (Community-Based EcoTourism) projects

Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:53 AM
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Let's publicize REAL CBET (Community-Based EcoTourism) projects

Let's make a list of places, we can choose as an alternative to making the Rich (Neo-Colonialists in many cases) even richer

i'm talking about projects which are independant, Community-Based owned !!
(unlike other projects where some unknown part of huge profits are being donated to the local community)

Please add ! especially such projects you've experienced, but those you've heard about as well !
later, we may consider to sum up according to country in different threads

South Luangwa Accommodation:
(it should be quite an experience as well)

Laikipia eco lodge

"The lodge is a communally owned group ranch. The members have elected a Group Ranch Committee and Chairman to represent over 6,000 people.
It is situated on the 16,500 hectare Group Ranch, opened in December 1996 and is currently seen as 'the success story of Northern Kenya.'
Although the original construction of the lodge was funded by donors and built with the assistance and support of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the lodge is now independent."



There are lots of positive CBET projects that are not independant,
therefore i suggest we refer only to those REALLY community owned
Just to give one example that is not specifically what i mean:
Kirurumu Tented Lodge
"Where Kirurumu operates
There are currently a number of core areas where Kirurumu currently works closely with Maasai communities. We have entered into Community Based Tourism Agreements with a number of Maasai villages that are becoming a means for them of escaping the poverty trap they have been in and thereby helping to secure wildlife corridors and dispersal areas. Each of these areas is scenically superb and exclusive core areas which we like to call Private Wilderness Areas. "


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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:10 AM
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wilderness safaris and their work with community based concessions. It is no doubt that Vumbura and Duba's ability to extract the highest revenue has a lot to do with the management practices and advertising of wilderness safaris. Oh, owned surprisingly by those neo-colonialists!

I fully endorse the running of community based lodges. Though realistically, in the short-term they require a comapny like Wilderness safaris for a number of reasons. On the whole, this is to do with marketing and general running of the lodges. SAnta-wani is a camp in a wonderful position in the Okavango, though it could do with a face lift and some advertising from a major company to gain a client base. Much like Parfuri in Kruger.

A country like Zimbabwe, where the education levels have been historically higher, the system is easier to implement becasue of the higher skill levels. Countries like Zambia, currently require these neo-colonialists or management companies to run the lodges. Within the local communities of the national parks there are not the people with the experience to run such establishments.

The money raised from such community projects, or from lodge owners generous contirbutions are in time raising educational standards. Botswana is currently going through this generatioanl transition, with more black management staff now coming into the safari service.

On interesting point to look at would actually be the overall benefit derived from a "neo-colonialist" project, as you so put it, or a community based project. Take Mombo camp, charging guests $1200 per night. It must run at nearly 80% capacity year round. Wilderness pay a massive lease for that land, which filters its way into the local communities. Following on from that, Mombo has a

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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:16 AM
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Mombo has a large number of staff members. Lets say they employed 40 people for the two camps, it probably works out more beneficial in terms of wages for those from a community than working at a small independent run operation with a low occupancy rate. This includes the returns from guests staying.

Overall, the contributions from privately owned lodges should not be overlooked. Their livelyhood depends on those living in close proximity to the park gaining a direct benefit. Else, poaching etc could become rife. For that reason they are community orientated.

i could go on all day

ones 2 cents worth
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:00 AM
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one question
would a lodge that is actually owned 50% by a local community and 50% by others be what you regard as real CBET?
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:01 AM
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Hi Aby,

I think this is a great idea. There is so much exploitation and as you call them neo-colonialists becoming richer.

I mentioned a place in a message to another writer - Boundary Hill Lodge in the Tarangire Conservation Area. This lodge is 50% owned and managed by the local Masai village at Lolkisale.

THere is no community based tourist agreement or anything like that...the local village actually owns and controls 50% of the Lodge.

I think there should be a lot more like this and that we should support them. Unfortunately I havn't been there myself, but am planning to visit Tanzania again in 2008 and would like to include that in my itinerary.

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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:52 AM
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In the process define: socialism, communism and capitalism.

What constitutes community? Must it be ethnic? if ethnic, does a 200 year old settler family have community rights, or is that only confined to members of bantu origins? Does philanthropy define a community member or is the philanthropist an outsider for initiating a social upliftment project, or can he benefit too?

This can be an awfully poisonous thread, whats your motive aby?
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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Yup. Dangerous thread indeed. I am all for community-based ecotourism -- to the extent that I think the local community should benefit economically -- and we Fodorites should support community-based places. This can take on many forms. Just because a camp may be 50% or even 100% owned by a "white" doesn't mean that the community is not benefiting or for that matter that the "white" is not part of the community. Some "100% independent" places need help and guidance. Il Ngwesi ("100%, for example, could not have been built without the support from Lewa Downs ("Neo-Colonialists" you might say). Should we stop going to Lewa Downs now that Il Ngwesi exists next door? I sure hope not.

Let's not talk about "Neo-Colonialists". All were born in Africa without choice. All consider themselves African.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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Aby, I understand what you’re looking for. It’s quite difficult to get any good information. This looks like a real thing. http://www.ecotourismkenya.org/view-...ity.php?key=89
Some really dangerous ladies…
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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I try and help these guys when I can
they dont have their own website but steve is doing some grea stuff.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I think this is a perfect thread for you to show the world what you have done for your poeple. We are waiting to hear from you.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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Personally I am a big believer in encouraging Community based/owned projects. I have first hand experience staying at two that I very highly recommend.

1) Damaraland Camp in Namibia. It is marketed by Wilderness Safaris but is owned by the community and there is a phase out time frame for WS. I have never felt more exposed to the local community aspect of a camp or learned more about their lives than staying at this camp. It has won some big awards for its community based approach.

2) Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge, Madikwe, S.A.

Buffalo Ridge is the first lodge in South Africa to be owned 100% by the local community. They have done a fabulous job building a gorgeous camp. And due to their success another community owned camp is being built in Madikwe but I don't recall its name.

I don't discount that any well run lodge/camp can bring great benefit to the community but I think the model that involves true ownership is a critical aspect that cannot be duplicated in any other way. For the community to be involved in every aspect and derive their own profits is building a sustainable framework for the long haul. There is plenty of room for all types of ownership models but personally I think it is critical to have as much direct involvement from communities as possible and I have made an effort to support them and I can say that the experiences at both of the above camps had a different feel from any other camps I have been to and I really enjoyed that and benefited from it.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM
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This is a great thread. I have noticed there has not been a lot of discussion on this board regarding eco-tourism that truly benefits local Africans, so this post could be a great reference.

There are two lodges in northern Mozambique that, although they are not community owned, are very positive iniatives for the communities in which they are based. Please take a look. I hope to visit and report back next year.

Guludo -on a deserted beach in northern Mozambique
"Guludo has been built using strict ethical principles that have ensured our host communities and environment receive maximum benefit through the lodge. Guludo has recently won an award for its innovative design, which develops on local architectural styles, using exclusively local materials guaranteeing minimal environmental impacts."

Guludo Social & Environmental Regeneration Fund

Manda Nkwichi Lodge and Manda Wilderness Community Trust - Lake Niassa Northern Mozambique


One of the main goals of the lodge is to ensure the lodge helpes to protect wildlife and provide social and economic benefits for local people.
"The Manda Wilderness Community Trust works closely with Nkwichi Lodge to ensure local communities also benefit from the growth of responsible tourism in the region. The Trust also manages the Manda Wilderness Game Reserve which was created to protect and manage a 100,000 hectare community reserve on the shores of lake Niassa. The MWCT is registerd as a UK Charity."

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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Let’s de-Toxicate the poisons right away !!!
(I may even consider apologizing for the term “neocolonialists” )

Come-On gals & guys; all I wanted is to create a list of places, where more profits go to the community (preferably the less rich community)
Did not mean to ban anything
Hopefully, Fodorites will be able to choose an alternative night here and there

Go ahead & YOU define any community you’d like
& add to the list of the CBET projects

– yes add those 50% (better than %5)
but on the second row after the 100% ;-)

Thanks to all of you who posted

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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 02:45 PM
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I will go to the second row
owned 50% by Lolkisale Village and 50% by local investors
before boking my upcoming trip to Tanzania I researced a lot
books, the fodors board
other websites including that of the World Bank (IFC) and received a lot of info from the operator I am using for my trip.
I chose to stay at Boundary Hill Lodge mainly because of the 50% Village ownership and what I have since found out from the management and websites this is the info I have from one of the owners
"Boundary Hill Lodge has been built in the Lolkisale Conservation area which borders Tarangire national park
this conseravtion area is village land set aside by the local community to preserve the environment and wildlife. the World Bank and Boundary Hill Lodge contributed to the expenses in setting up this conservation area
there are 2 lodges in this consevation area
1. Tarangire Treetops formerly owned in part by Boundary Hill Lodge but now owned by Sopa lopdges and 2. Boundary Hill Lodge
Both lodges pay 15$ as a bed night fee to lolkisale Village
however BHL is also owned and run by the same village as such they have a 50% say in the management and profit sharing etc.
The Tarangire Conservatin Area is part of a hunting block and the villages in conjuction with both lodges are trying to stop hunting in this area.
Already farming land has been returned to the Conservation area
this infomation I received from Boundary Hill Lodge itself and confirmed it on the World Bank website.
For some reason some fodorites who probably haven't stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge dont have nice things to say about it.
After reading one posting the other day I asked the owners to send me a photocopy of the last page of the guest book to see if it was still under construction as I am staying there in early Feb. and was a bit worried.
This is one quote from a guest who stayed there in the last two weeks
"a stunningly beautiful lodge, perfect location excellent food and service
didnt want to leave."

In short I think this lodge deserves our patronage and according to the feedback I have seen is hardly "mediocre" and deserves to be publicized as a real CBET
especially considering
Tarangire Treetops is owned by sopa lodges
and Swala camp is owned by A@K
and Olivers dont know?
after I have been there I will ofcourse see for my self
thanks David

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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Thanx David

so, Tarangire Treetops is supporting the local community $15 pppn
out of $475 pppn

well it is a bit over 3% ...

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Old Dec 24th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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As others have pointed out the true benefits of CBET versus private or corporate ownership is very difficult.

When you state "all I wanted is to create a list of places, where more profits go to the community" and then later say "so, Tarangire Treetops is supporting the local community $15 pppn out of $475 pppn...well it is a bit over 3%" you are not making sense. If Tarangire Treetops' profits are $3 pppn, then it's 100%. Clearly neither your 3% nor my 100% accurately reflect the percentage of profits (what you originally stated the thread was about) going to the community.
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Old Dec 24th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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I should add that I am aware of one company-owned lodge that hasn't shown a profit for years (although it is finally approaching break-even) and yet during that period has contributed greatly to the local community. If a CBET had been running the lodge, the community would have lost money or the lodge would have gone out of business and the local economy would have suffered greatly. Now I am not saying that the issue you raise isn't important, just that you can't take an overly simplistic formula for determining which lodges to support.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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There’s is definitely a need for information about which private company/local community partnerships are good, bad or ugly, but Aby is asking for 100 % community owned accommodation.

There’s the well-known Il Ngwesi in Laikipia.

The very unknown Il Motiok Women's Group owns Ol Gaboli Lodge, also in Laikipia.

I’ve also found Kasigau Bandas in the Taita Hills, though they’re probably too basic for most Fodorites.

And hopefully, Koiyaki Wilderness Camp will open in June 2007

Does anyone have more examples??? This is important consumer information. Travellers seeking “small (white African or ex-pat) owner hosted lodges/camps” are very well catered for at Fodor’s. I understand travellers paying through their noses for being treated as family friends by people whose lifestyles figure in their (our) most erotic dreams. Wouldn’t this treatment by, for example, a group of Maasai women, also be of interest as a product in a capitalist economy?

As for the partnerships with private companies it’s difficult to know if their landlords are getting a fair revenue, jobs and a respectful treatment or if the company only hire outsiders, has paid some politician to forego all laws regarding landrights, and beat up “trespassers”. Either way, on their website there will be smiling children that have got a new school thanks to the company, and that’s also the story that tourist will be told. More information is needed.

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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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BTW, CBET is not only about money, but also about who makes decisions.
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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I like the thread
and seem to be one of the few people on this board who have stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge
I wish to make the following for what it is worth
I stayed there in August 2006 for three nights
and was ( I think) fortunate enough to talk to one of the owners Hartley King
he was there at the lodge having a meeting with the board of directors
I was eating lunch at the time and was introduced to them all.
I cant remember the names except that the meeting was in Kiswahili and Hartley was the only "white" person there.
He also told me he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors having been nominated by the Village involved
It was amazing to watch this meeting in a language I didnt understand and then to talk to them and get some first hand feedback was also fantastic this visit was the highlight of a 10 day safari I did with friends of mine
the projectas i found out was started in 1996 and the village have returned to conservation 80,000 acres of what could've been farm land bordering Tarangire National Park
I read a few reports at the lodge and it seemed this conservation area is critical to Tarangire National Park and was a first in Tanzania with Village ownership and is funded by the Global Environmental Facility.
Hartley did tell me there were initially a lot of problems with farmers and other
operators in Tanzanaia as his company had secured exclusive rights to some prime tourist land around Tarangire National Park
He also did tell me that the Village received US$ 50,000 when Boundary Hill Lodge sold their interest in Tarangire Treetops.
Not bad
I dont understand why some on this board are so critical of the project when they haven't even stayed at the lodge
hence my post
The lodge is fantastic and has a real attention to detail
the views are exceptional and the linen out of this world
there is hot water all the time and when I was there
the food was also excellent
As Rocco points out it is only 10mts from the park gate
and the lodge does offers night drives
and village visits
so Aby I like your thread and think people should be more positive on this board about this project and stop pushing the 'small white owned " and dare I say as well another "life style"
type lodges/camps

Just for your info I do visit East Africa every two years and have done so for the last 16 years
one of my pet projects is saving the World Apes and I know a little about Malaria.
This is the second time I have posted (the first one was taken off the board)
even though I have read fodors on and off for a few years.
But I am what some others arent on this board a bonafide traveller.
thanks and Aby well done I like your posts
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