GNF - Protection of Wildlife at Mount Kilimanjaro

Protection of Wildlife at Mount Kilimanjaro



The frontier area of Kenya and Tanzania is one of the most valuable wildlife habitats worldwide. The highest mountain of Africa, the majestic Kilimanjaro massive is located here, along with a large number of national parks and locally organized wildlife reserves. The most famous one is the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which turns into the equally renowned Masai Mara National Reserve on the Kenyan side of the border. The variably used region consisting of national parks and game reserves, agricultural areas and settlements, is home to a variety of endangered wildlife species such as rhinoceroses, lions, or elephants.


The situation for Africa’s elephants has become increasingly dangerous in the past couple of years. Poachers get organized more and more professionally, killing several ten thousands of elephants each year. Tanzania in particular is one of the most heavily impacted countries of illegal elephant hunting. The Selous reserve, once inhabited by one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, lost 65 % of its elephants just within the past four years. The animals are killed for their tusks, which are then shipped to Asia to satisfy the growing black market for carved ivory products.


At the same time the animals are threatened by conversion and loss of habitat to agriculture and other incompatible land and resource uses. As a consequence, fatal human elephant conflicts are a growing concern in the area and inhabitants of local communities frequently kill elephants in retaliation and to protect themselves and their agricultural areas.


As elephants migrate across national borders, conservation efforts face additional challenges. The cooperation between neighbour states is often insufficient to ensure their protection. Competences and responsibilities are not set clearly, which facilitates illegal trade and smuggling activities. Criminals can travel easily between the two countries and move their illegal goods through the porous border.


In cooperation with our local project partner, the African Wildlife Foundation, we will implement several measures in order to coordinate anti-poaching efforts between Kenya and Tanzania more efficiently, reduce wildlife conflicts with the local population, and support the conservation activities through better monitoring of elephant populations in the project area.


For enhancing trans-boundary cooperation, joint meetings for relevant institutions and organizations will take place on a regular basis. This will not only improve experience sharing and coordination between local players in the area. Moreover, these meetings provide an opportunity to share insights and recommendations with high level government officials and might eventually enhance coordination and communication on a national scale. Against this background, a high-level meeting between governmental representatives from Kenya and Tanzania will be organized to share coordination experiences, promote replication and improve wildlife policies in the two countries.


In the course of these joint meetings we also strive for the establishment of cooperative cross border patrols that will be conducted by teams of rangers and Game Scouts, wildlife activists from local communities. The enhanced cooperation on both sides of the border is going to make legal prosecution and the assignment of cases a lot easier. Moreover, if a poaching incident is detected, consulting experienced teams with tracking dogs will be faster and more effective than before.


Game Scouts do not only support rangers, but they are also an important bridge to the local population, with whom they are in close contact. As a result of their great integration in local communities they can gather important up-to-date information about poachers and wildlife conflicts. Then, they are able to trigger concrete measures by sharing those important information with rangers or other authorities, who can initiate further steps and take action.


Besides fighting poaching activities in the project area, conflict potentials between wildlife and residents shall be reduced with awareness campaigns and by providing alternative courses of action. Community members will be trained by Game Scouts to use human wildlife conflict mitigation measures and technologies in order to avoid dangerous incidents on their own. The construction of predator-proof kraals for livestock are further possibility to facilitate a harmonic coexistence of wildlife and herders in the region.

 Elephant in the Lake Manyara National Park
 Bones of an elephant
 Vehicle of the rangers for the control in the project area
 Game Scouts are an important bridge to the local population.
 Elephants at a water hole.
 Game Scout with dog
 Many wildlife species profit by the work of the Game Scouts.
 Elephants at a watering place

Project Partner

 African Wildlife Foundation


 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

on behalf of

 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
 German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Official Project Title:



Project Period:


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Project Partner:




Wildlife Conservation at Mount Kilimanjaro: Fighting Poaching and Illegal Trade in the Kenyan-Tanzanian Border Area


August 2015 - April 2017


Kenya, Tanzania


African Wildlife Foundation


GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)