Maasai vs Wildlife (Nat Geo Article)

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Feb 25th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Maasai vs Wildlife (Nat Geo Article)

Hello,

This month's issue of National Geographic has an interesting article called 'Heartbreak on the Serengeti' about the conflict between the needs of the Maasai and the wildlife.

http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0602/feature1/

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 25th, 2006, 08:58 PM
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Thank you for the link Julian. The article is almost TOO thought ignorant about the facts and politics of this kind of situation but the community development as envisaged by Grumeti sounds rather patronising and top-down. I am not sure Mr Labuschagne makes a very good public relations mouthpiece, but perhaps he is naive and has been quoted out of context.

I am very much on the conservationists' side but am wondering... didn't anyone notice Robanda was there when the grand plan was hatched? And from a "big picture" point of view is all the stuff about the bush meat trade perhaps something of a PR smokescreen to help demonise people - it's not that big is it? And if it is, doesn't it need to be discouraged? Sasakwa Lodge is certainly not doing that, and neither I believe are the Tanzanian government. I would ask to be enlightened, but am perhaps better off ignorant

Like I said, I am so pathetically ignorant about this I probably shouldn't even be posting, but as long as things stay this way I have definitely gone off bushmeat.

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Feb 25th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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Hey Jules - Just FYI - I posted on this article awhile back...

Cheerio~
Sharon
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Feb 26th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I saw Cooncatís post long before I got the magazine.

Thanks, Julian, for the link to the on-line article. The article could have been more in depth, but still itís more complete than most articles about the Serengeti that Iíve seen. The paper version is a lot more complete though. The most telling parts are in a couple of pictures and captions that are missing in the on-line version. Those captions make Ikoma Bush Camp appear a lot more attractive than Sasakwa Lodge. In the captions, the comment about Ikoma from a local leader is ďThey are good neighboursĒ and about the Grumeti Reserves: ďThey think they can buy anythingĒ. Now I wonder why Ikoma has been renamed Serengeti Tented Camp. Iím thinking of writing to Moivaro saying that Iíve become interested in staying at Ikoma Camp after reading the NG article. Though the truth is that Iíve been looking at in for a long time because it might be more reasonably priced than other camps and I canít go anywhere anyway.

I donít know that much about the bushmeat trade, but itís obvious that to stop it, something has to be done about the demand. I think itís safe to say that a Nairobi restaurant owner who has got an offer to buy some bushmeat would be a bit less tempted if it wasnít because the most successful restaurant in town has meat from wild animals as its speciality and that itís an almost obligatory stop for tourists. This is probably a very insignificant part of the problem, but something tourists can think about.

I also wonder why the tourist in the last picture is wearing a ďTintin in the CongoĒ t-shirt.








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Feb 26th, 2006, 11:08 PM
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You forgot your smileys again Nyamera, but the final line was a good substitute.

I didn't see the article yet, even though I just realised that I have a copy of the magazine at home.. the Tintin in the Congo t-shirt could be an ironic comment on colonialism, but more likely the wearer is gay and finds the t-shirt a) hilarious or b) a subtle communication of lifestyle preference that non-tolerant people will not understand.

Did you expect an answer to that question... or was it rhetorical? I think the rest of your post is interesting too, but I need time to absorb it and have so much work to do today...

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Feb 27th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Kimburu,
I had no idea Tintin was gay! I must be a non-tolerant person. I saw some Tintin films as a child and I remember Captain Haddock (his boyfriend?) and a soprano. Iím not a reader of comic-strip albums, but Iíd heard there was extreme racism and cruelty to animals in Tintin in the Congo. And, that Hergé regretted the animal cruelty part. In my twisted mind I entertained the idea that Belgian right-wing extremists were selling t-shirts like that because they were upset that they ďwerenít allowedĒ to feel proud over the Belgian colonial history in Congo. It wasnít even a rhetorical question, I was just thinking aloud. Only the tourist in the pictures knows why heís wearing that t-shirt and, judging from the way heís wearing his cap, itís because he doesnít want to be a grown up person. He probably likes comics-stips and found an Africa themed t-shirt suitable for his trip to Tanzania. The photographer, on the other hand, is definitely saying something about neo-colonialism.

Re: bushmeat Iíd say thereís demand from:
People that traditionally are hunters and take pride in keeping their traditions alive against the law.
People who prefer meat from domestic animals and look down at bushmeat-eaters, but who can get bushmeat at a more affordable price and just donít ask what kind of meat it is preferring to pretend itís goat.
Urbanized people with money who see eating illegal and expensive bushmeat as something interesting and status filled.
Fodorites at the Carnivore.

There is nothing on the Grumeti Reservesí website that tells you that they do hunting safaris and that their neighbours consider them enemies. Here Iíve found some information about what the conflict really is about: http://www.ippmedia.com/ipp/guardian.../10/51527.html
A minister giving away village lands as hunting blocks to foreign millionaires and the foreign millionaires acting as if they were the owners of the land. Sounds familiar.







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Feb 27th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Nyamera - I do believe you would be one heck of a fun travel partner! ;-)
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Feb 27th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Read the article. Can't really add much here. Sigh.

Off topic, but finally saw "The Boys of Baraka," about very poor inner-city American kids going to school in Kenya. I call it the feel-bad movie of the year. Some lovely shots of Kenya but grim, grim, grim.

On a lighter note, when we were flying from Zanzibar to Dar there were some (black) Africans on the plane, Swahili speakers who had been on holiday. They were wearing t-shirts from Mercury's bar that said "Mzungu" on the back. So I guess irony is alive and well in East Africa.
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Feb 27th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for the article link, Nyamera. It helps fill in some of the blanks of the Natl Geo article.
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Feb 27th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Cooncat,
Thereís a reason why Iím a solo traveller and it's not because I'm too funny.

Leely,
I hope to catch ďThe Boys of BarakaĒ somewhere sometime.


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Feb 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Nyamera - Let's just say I like your "slant" on things.....
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Feb 27th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the link Nyamera -- it definitely adds more to the picture.

I'm not sure I'd want to visit Grumeti Reserves' camps after reading this.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 27th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Nyamera,
Thanks for the article; since my comments were based on nothing but wild speculation and a seriously unjustifiable distrust of the altruism of anyone who has made his/her fortune on the financial markets and gets his kicks from hunting, it is interesting to see them supported. :-"

Tintin is not gay, but he is a farily well-known gay icon (or at least he used to be not so long ago). Variations of his haircut, which were recently popular, became so through the gay community.

The right-wing extremist Belgian theory is unlikely. Your other theory is the most likely, but not as interesting.

Julian ... why the reluctance about the Grumeti camps rather than Sasakwa - the concern about getting shot by Ted Turner, or did I miss something in the article (quite possible since I skimmed)?
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Feb 28th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Hello,

Sasakwa is one of the Grumeti Reserves camps, so it's all much of a sameness...

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 28th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Sorry, like I said I was skimming. Point taken now.
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Feb 28th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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While I was in TZ I heard that Grumeti Reserves hires only whites for its staff--or perhaps those that come in contact with guests. Can anyone corroborate this?
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Feb 28th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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bat,
The photos on the website seem to contradict that (see http://www.grumetireserves.org/), but it's interesting to think about why and how those rumors might get started. When we stayed at the Wildlife lodges, then (now?) owned by a South African company, I got the distinct impression that our guide and cook thought they were quite unwelcome on the premises because of the color of their skin and/or their "class." I have no idea whether this was in fact the case but they thought it was.
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Feb 28th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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Leely:
I see what you mean about the photos.
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Apr 13th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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As far as TinTin goes, I saw some of these t-shirts for sale in curio shops in Tanzania. I doubt it has anything to do with sexual orientation or colonialism, it is just meant as a comical t-shirt (lighten up, people).

There were TinTin in the Serengeti t-shirts, TinTin in Zanzibar t-shirts and even TinTin in the Ngorongoro Crater t-shirts.
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Apr 13th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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(somebody just posted a link to this thread...it was not like I was so passionate about the issue that I searched back six weeks for it!)
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