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Review from under Kilimanjaro

Posted By Guru4Travel on Jan 08, 2014 at 8:46AM

2013 was a challenging year with many obstacles and ups and downs.
Here is an update of the challenges Hatari and Shu'mata camp have faced and the opportunities ahead.

Tanzania and the entire tourism industry have felt the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Personally, we are still struggling with the deliberate destruction of our computer-server and reconstructing the past nine years of work. The poaching of our wild animals has also increased enormously, however it is finally being addressed by the international media.

The Constant Gardener

Unfortunately, many do not understand what the extermination of elephants would mean for tourism in Africa: it would be the downfall!
The elephant, known as the “constant gardener” is important for the entire ecosystem. Steppes would become desolate and food and water sources for smaller animals would dry out without him. Consequently, millions of jobs are threatened in Africa.
However, we are trying to raise peoples’ awareness by drawing attention to this threat by the local population as well as by tourists through various campaigns.

Review from under Kilimanjaro

At Hatari and Shu'mata we care about sustainability and responsible tourism. For our meals the fruit, herbs and vegetables are largely obtained from our own garden and all other products are sourced from trustworthy local suppliers. Our kitchen can also accommodate any special wishes, diets and any food intolerances.
Our contracts contain detailed job descriptions (this is not always a given in Africa!) to strengthen our employees’ personal responsibility.

Further challenges await us yet. Solutions for the water-intensive cultivation of tomatoes and the use of pesticides, which have already reached the borders of Arusha National Park, have to be developed. In addition to that, solutions also have to be found for the felling of trees, which are used for producing charcoal for cooking. This is all happening without a thought about reforestation programs, or the results it will have on the ecosystem.

50% off first night stay
We are working closely with the administration of the National Park to find arrangements to solve these problems.
As of next year we will be offering a 50% discount on the first night at Hatari Lodge due to the increase in the entry fees for the Arusha National Park.
With the "throttle the bottle" campaign, our aim is to preserve natural landscapes and to protect the wildlife by supporting the reuse of plastic bottle and thereby reducing huge mountains of garbage.

MomellaFoundation’s work is progressing well.
Our WatotoMomella School has merged for the benefit of its’ students, and, as of 2014, the MamaMomellas will be receiving their salaries per finished product, to support their personal responsibilities and productivity as designers.
In addition, the Sparkling Elephant has mastered his first public appearances with flying colours.

At Hatari, we are offering more and more leisure-oriented incentive trips that differ immensely from the typical business trip. This year we also had the honour of accommodating a few hollywood celebrities, to whom we offered a balanced program.

Our son Donyo is becoming a true bird expert and identified more than 300 local birds. Joerg works in the field and has devoted himself to the intercultural communication with the Maasai in Shu'mata this year. An extensive exchange, traditionally held in the shade of a large acacia, took place, during which a lot of important topics were discussed. For example, the reasons as to why the Maasai see no benefit in tourism came to light. These exchanges are very beneficial to both sides since information can be shared and can be negotiated amicably. At the same time, Marlies is in charge of the exquisite interior decoration of the lodges, the marketing and all of the MomellaFoundation projects.

And finally, our friend Lilli will be taking over the management at Shu'mata camp, until the end of the season in spring 2014.

Best regards for 2014

Marlies, Jörg and Donjo Gabriel

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