EXCERPT: Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism by Benjamin Gardner

Over time, the fairly shallow global dialogue begun by the killing of Cecil the lion should take on—needs to take on—more depth. Here is a good start: this excerpt from Benjamin Gardner’s forthcoming study of safari tourism looks at the interplay of cultures, laws, and market forces surrounding the establishment of two private reserves catering to hunters or ecotourists in East Africa.

On an African reserve, the point of contact between a wild animal and a party of tourists is really the tail end of a much longer and complicated story. In this excerpt, that story involves the Maasai people of northern Tanzania, international investors, and Tanzanian state institutions. All are stakeholders in the decades-long struggle surrounding the growth of vast private reserves near the Serengeti National Park.

Gardner’s local and long-term view of the issues underlying safari tourism offers the kind of context lacking in the still-unfolding story of Cecil the lion.

Safari Tourism, Pastoralism, and Land Rights in Tanzania

On August 9, 2012, Avaaz.org, a self-described “global web movement” bringing “people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere,” organized an online petition titled “Stop the Serengeti Sell-Off.” The appeal highlighted the injustice of wealthy trophy hunters buying an area adjacent to Serengeti National Park for use as their own personal playground. The statement read: “At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards.”(1) Avaaz was referring to the Ortello Business Corporation (obc), a hunting company established by businessman and member of the Dubai royal family Mohammed Abdulrahim al-Ali, and the Tanzanian government’s proposed plan to create a new protected area for trophy hunting, which would dispossess the Maasai people of over 37 percent of their land.(2)

Within twenty-four hours, over 400,000 people had signed the Avaaz petition, and after one week there were over 850,000 signatures. The action seemed to work temporarily, putting pressure on the Tanzanian government to listen to the concerns of Maasai activists who claimed it was taking their land simply to appease the interests of powerful foreign investors. The reprieve was short-lived, as less than a year later, in April 2013, the government declared a new protected area that would split the Maasai people’s land, creating a 1,500-square-kilometer protected area for hunting and leaving the Maasai pastoralists with the remaining 2,500 square kilometers. Local leaders and activists protested the action, calling on the president to intervene. The government eventually relented and called for a process to address conservation and tourism in Loliondo.

This remote part of Tanzania was quickly becoming a laboratory for how conservation and tourism were to be managed within a neoliberal context. Efforts to convert Maasai village land into a conservation area in Loliondo were not new. On the eastern edge of Serengeti National Park, conservationists had long wished to resettle the residents, move the villages and incorporate the area into the park. But Maasai leaders had repeatedly resisted efforts to do so, in the process organizing not only a regional social movement but also a new political understanding of the state, international conservation, and what it meant to be a Maasai living in Loliondo. The persistent political resistance shown by Loliondo residents is a direct effect of this legacy. Whether the increased global attention will mark a turn for Maasai activists fighting against this “land grab” is still uncertain. The fact that the remote Maasai area of Loliondo was now a critical site in a global struggle for the future meanings of conservation, pastoralism, and communal land rights was, however, coming clearly into view.

In 1992 the Tanzanian government had controversially granted the obc exclusive hunting rights to Loliondo, an area made up of six villages that share a border with Serengeti National Park (map 1).(3) The obc’s continued presence in Loliondo over the past twenty years and its substantial influence with government officials have been a significant story line for critics of neoliberal globalization in Tanzania. Local journalists named the obc’s unparalleled influence over government officials “Loliondogate.”(4) Examples were cited in the press that included the construction of a private international airstrip in the remote location, lax oversight of hunting quotas, state police working as private security whenever the obc is hunting in the area, and allegations of illegal live animal capture and transport to Dubai.(5) Perhaps the most telling illustration of what journalists called “the privatization of Tanzania” was the obc’s supposed “hijacking” of the country’s telecommunications system. When a cell phone is turned on near the obc hunting camp, a message from the Abu Dhabibased telecommunications corporation Etisalat greets you, “Welcome to the United Arab Emirates.”(6)

National and international media exploited the ethnic and religious background of the obc directors, commonly referring to them as “the Arabs.”(7) Daily papers suggested that their extreme wealth and opulence distinguished their transnational political power and enabled a callous lack of ethics. As the sole leaseholder for both of Loliondo’s designated hunting areas, the company garnered similar privileges granted to other foreign investors. The obc was one of sixty registered companies, mostly foreign owned, that were granted a concession to one of the country’s 140 designated hunting areas by Tanzania’s Wildlife Division. While some of those hunting blocks, as they are called, are in game reserves with no permanent populations, the majority of hunting concessions in Tanzania overlap with established village land in either game-controlled areas or designated open areas.

Between 1992 and 2009, local Maasai communities protested the obcs rights to hunt on their lands. But despite media representations that depicted the obc as the worst of the worst, many Maasai in Loliondo had come to see the obc as a marginally better option than other hunting investors with their own reputations as entitled foreigners and for harassing local communities. As long as the obc’s activities did not interfere with the Maasai pastoralist land-use system that depended on the same designated hunting area for dry-season grazing, they were generally tolerated. However, the fear that the obc could wield extraordinary influence with the government if it chose to do so was substantiated on July 4, 2009. On that day Tanzanian police, using obc vehicles, evicted thousands of Maasai people and tens of thousands of livestock from village land. The evictions were justified in the name of protecting the environment and maintaining the obc’s state-sanctioned right to hunt in the area.(8)

The Avaaz campaign came two years after the evictions, on the heels of the government-proposed solution to the conflict. A new protected area put forward by state wildlife authorities and district officials would permanently create a new space for conservation and big-game trophy hunting, essentially expanding the boundaries of Serengeti National Park. If successful, the state plan would build on past efforts to separate important wildlife habitat from populated village areas.(9) According to officials, this was necessary to prevent future conflicts between “people and nature” in Loliondo. The rub was that the Maasai would lose 1,500 out of 4,000 square kilometers of communal grazing land that until then had been shared by wildlife and livestock. This was the worst possible outcome for the Maasai living in Loliondo, who had already surrendered much land, first when colonial powers placed the international boundary dividing Kenya and Tanzania through the middle of Maasai land and communities and then with the creation of Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in 1959.(10)


Tourism, Neoliberalism and Conservation in Loliondo

I was drawn to Loliondo in the early 1990s to study the relationship between Maasai livelihoods, conservation, and tourism. I came to appreciate how the history of land dispossession in the name of conservation, first by colonial authorities and then by the newly independent national government of Tanzania, had led many Maasai leaders and residents to embrace the promises of neoliberal political and economic reforms as a way to gain recognition for long sought-after land and human rights. Neoliberalization is a term used by geographers and other scholars to describe the set of policies and discourses that promote economic liberalization as a solution to global poverty and underdevelopment. Neoliberalism generally entails promoting free trade, privatization, deregulation, and opening new markets. Invoking neoliberalization as a theory, as well as a set of policy reforms, its advocates call for increasing the role of the private sector and limiting the role of the state to create investment and economic growth.(11) Like most people and social groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the Maasai were thrown into the new political economic context of neoliberalism that came to dominate the world capitalist system in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

Throughout the colonial period (18911961) and under the socialist developmental state (196185), the Maasai had consistently struggled against the government to defend pastoralist livelihoods and protect their land rights. The pressure to take Maasai land for wildlife conservation and large-scale agriculture was supported by a developmental ideology that saw pastoralism as a premodern social and economic system. Ideas for efficient and market-oriented range management based on private-property rights, popularized by ecologist Garret Hardin’s (1968) “Tragedy of the Commons” thesis, gave government officials and development experts the conviction they needed to justify massive interventions in pastoralist communities.

Market-oriented reforms arrived in Tanzania in the late 1980s at the same time that a crisis occurred in the “fortress conservation” model of wildlife protection, which called for the separation of people and wildlife (see chapter 3).(12) Despite Tanzania’s extraordinary commitment to wildlife conservation, which entailed dedicating close to 35 percent of its land to protected status, the 1980s saw the rapid conversion of land bordering parks from rangelands to farmlands. The same period also saw an unprecedented rise in poaching activities within core-protected areas.(13) A lack of resources, as well as hostile relations with bordering communities, put pressure on the conservation community of donors, ngos, scientists, and state agencies to reimagine conservation by including a role for rural communities. Range ecologists at this time began to push back against Hardin’s thesis, arguing that pastoralism was in fact a highly productive system of land use that was more compatible with wildlife conservation than other rural production systems.(14) Presented with opportunities to commoditize their lands for tourism, the Maasai actively adopted market-based community conservation arrangements. The promise of devolved rights to land and natural resources led many Maasai, searching for a tactical advantage in their struggle for land rights, to embrace many of the neoliberal ideas and ideologies that underpinned these projects. Seeing possible benefits such as a path to securing long-term property rights, Maasai leaders in Loliondo often became vocal supporters of policies that enabled direct foreign investment for tourism on village lands. At the same time, they opposed the state’s signature effort to manage tourism investment on village lands, the Wildlife Management Area (wma) policy.

The recent evictions to create a lucrative hunting reserve and another controversial land deal in Loliondo to establish a private nature refuge expose the contingent practices through which the meanings of neoliberalism are produced. The Maasai in Loliondo have learned that trying to harness capitalism’s power to make claims for collective rights is a politically fraught undertaking. Neoliberalism provided new opportunities for both Tanzanians and foreigners to exploit their land and labor. A market approach to development also meant fewer state resources devoted to public services and basic state functions. How Tanzanians view neoliberal reforms depends largely on their identities and where they are situated within the nation-state. The Maasai people in Loliondo had rarely enjoyed the benefits and protections of the Tanzanian state. Because of this marginalized position, they often viewed neoliberal reforms differently than did many other Tanzanians. Informed by this history of state-society relationships, Maasai leaders have attempted to use their ability to negotiate directly with foreign investors, participating in commoditizing their landscapes, to create openings that they believe will help them realize the level of autonomous development for which they have long strived. Such independence or freedom from the state is often seen as a key aspect of neoliberal reforms. For many Maasai people in Loliondo, pursuing economic and political freedom turned on their ability to advance their status within the nation-state. I argue in this book that the Maasai have attempted to achieve these new forms of recognition by reimaging the village as a legitimate site of community belonging and rights and representing this image of the village to different audiences including tourism investors, state officials, and their fellow Maasai citizens. As I describe in the following chapters, this process has opened up political spaces as well as presented challenges.

Safari Tourism as a Site of Meaning and Profit

This book is an ethnographic study that examines how tourism investment in the Loliondo area of northern Tanzania remakes the ideas and meanings of economic markets, land rights, and political struggle. I consider three tourism arrangements in Loliondo: village-based tourism joint ventures in which foreign-owned ecotourism companies lease access to land from Maasai villages; a “private nature refuge” established by Thomson Safaris, a U.S.-owned tourism company that purchased 12,617 acres of village land in 2006; and a government hunting concession on village land managed by the obc.(15) I examine these projects to explain how state authority depends on articulating national agendas with the interests of private foreign investors; how the context of neoliberal development remakes social and spatial relationships, animating a new cultural politics of ethnic difference; and why Maasai activists have embraced some forms of investment as a way to assert their rights and defend their lands.

I contend that the context of neoliberalism has reshaped the meanings and values of Maasai landscapes and communities. This reshaping has altered the political tactics available to marginalized social groups like the Maasai. I argue neither for nor against the fairness of markets. Instead, I attempt to show that communities like the Maasai in Loliondo have little choice but to work within the discursive context of neoliberalism and attempt to use the techniques afforded by markets, such as contracts with investors and village land-use plans, as tactics in defending their right to land and access to natural resources. These tools were part and parcel of a development policy based on private property and the rights of landowners. History would tell the Maasai that such cadastral practices have rarely if ever promoted the interests of farmers and herders who depend largely on customary and collective rights that were dismissed under colonial rule. However, the promise of securing communal land through the market rationale of proof of ownership has appealed to many Maasai who have spent decades trying other strategies to defend their land. In doing so they open themselves up to risks, including deepening capitalist social relationships, enabling state interests to claim resources in the name of maximizing value and efficiency, and increased ethnic conflict based on new meanings of land as private property. I am especially interested in the cultural dimensions of neoliberalism and how incorporating market logic and relationships to pressure the state for recognition simultaneously transform landscapes and subjects, and the social relationships that reproduce them. My main argument in the book is that in the context of these entanglements between nature, capitalism, state authority, and social movements, historically marginalized communities such as the Maasai actively participate in commodifying their land and identity with the desire to fulfill long-standing aspirations for what they see as economically and socially just opportunities to secure their pastoralist livelihoods. For these reasons what we see as resistance to the current framework of neoliberal development might include acts that embrace commodification with the goal of gaining long-sought and long-denied land and citizenship rights. This seemingly contradictory practice of challenging some market ideologies while embracing others is an increasingly common practice of marginalized social groups and movements around the world. This book examines what such contradictory resistance looks like in practice.

A Happy Place for Tourism?

The same week of the August 2012 Avaaz.org petition, a group of European and Tanzanian activists launched their own online campaign through the social media sites Weebly and Facebook to boycott a U.S. safari company for illegally purchasing land near the obc concession and for taking critical grazing land from Maasai communities. Their campaign was titled “Boycott Thomson Safaris and Stop Them Land Grabbing from the Maasai People!” Unlike the obc, Thomson Safaris was not a big-game hunting company. It was a niche tour operator from the United States that specialized in adventure camping and family safaris, ecotourism, and philanthropic travel tourism in Tanzania.(16)

Unlike many larger companies, Thomson Safaris operated only in Tanzania, and working from its office in Watertown, Massachusetts, it marketed its tours largely to United States clients. The company has won several prestigious awards, including being honored by Travel + Leisure as “World’s Best” in the category of top safari outfitter, and as one of the “best adventure travel companies on earth” by National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company markets itself as a leader in sustainable travel and provides a guide with eleven green and sustainable travel tips on its website.(17) In 2008 the company was a finalist for Condé Nast Traveler’s “World Savers Awards,” which are given to socially responsible tour companies.(18) And in 2009 the company received the Tanzania Conservation Award for “their community-based conservation project at their private nature refuge” in Loliondo, the project that I describe in this book.

In 2006 the owners of Thomson Safaris had purchased a defunct farm, known locally as Sukenya, in the middle of Soitsambu village in Loliondo. The land had a brief history, from 1987 to 1989 as a national farm for the state-owned Tanzania Breweries Limited (tbl). The farm was one of several areas identified by government-employed consultants as prime properties to nationalize. The consultants saw the relatively large communal grazing land with few permanent settlements as a great opportunity to grow large amounts of barley for the rapidly expanding beer industry. However, the remote location far from major cities and towns coupled with the lack of all-season roads proved costly. The unreliable rainfall and a two-year drought signaled the project’s demise. After cultivating only seven hundred out of ten thousand acres over the first three years, the government abandoned the scheme in 1989. With few physical changes and no more government resources directed at the farm, the property reverted to communal grazing land used by Maasai pastoralists.(19) Questions remained about the property status of the land, but from 1989 through 2006, local Maasai residents exclusively used the area for grazing and watering their livestock.

In February 2006, to the surprise of Maasai leaders who had strongly challenged the initial tbl project and the government’s claim that the land was not being effectively utilized, local newspapers advertised the land for sale. Mike Saningo, a Maasai man about thirty six-years old at the time, showed me a tattered copy of the announcement, posted in the Arusha Times on January 21, 2006.(20) It stated, “The farm comprises 10,000 acres” with “a labor camp and boreholes, for water supply.” Potential developers and investors were told that “the farm is suitable for barley cultivation or eco-tourism undertakings.”(21)

The Thomson Safaris owners, who lived part time in Tanzania and part time near Boston, Massachusetts, heard about the property and saw it as an opportunity to create a landmark community conservation project.(22) They created Tanzania Conservation Limited (tcl), a subsidiary of Thomson Safaris’ parent company, Wineland-Thomson Adventures Inc., in order to purchase the farm.(23) Thomson Safaris/tcl was the highest bidder in an auction process, paying $1.2 million for a ninety-six-year lease for 12,617 acres. In one of their first acts, the new owners renamed the area Enashiva, a Maasai word for happiness. In its publicity material, the company states that it adopted the name from that of a creek running through the middle of the property.(24) Few people I interviewed knew the important seasonal watercourse by that name. Without any supporting documentation, the company explained that Enashiva was the name the Maasai had “long ago” called the creek. Thomson’s rechristening of the property was seen by many local Maasai as an attempt to brand the area and to promote itself as a preservationist and restorer of the land.(25) For many Maasai this was just the latest episode in a history of conservation as dispossession.

When Maasai leaders learned of Thomson Safaris/tcl’s imminent arrival, they wondered who had sold their land. Village leaders learned that the brewery, now a subsidiary company under the global corporation sabmiller was granted a title deed to the property in 2003, seventeen years after tbl first obtained the farm and fourteen years after abandoning the area.(26) The history of the transaction included forged minutes from a supposed village meeting where villagers willfully granted the land to tbl.(27) The title deed for 12,617 acres was significantly more land than the initial farm size of 10,000 acres. Nonetheless, and despite opposition to the sale by many village leaders Thomson Safaris/tcl was granted a sublease from tbl for the remaining ninety six years. Given the suspect nature of the lease, Maasai village leaders demanded that Thomson Safaris/tcl immediately return the land to the village. As the state-authorized titleholders of 12,617 acres of land, Thomson Safaris/tcl refused to bow to community pressure to return the land. The Thomson Safaris/tcl owners believed that a few “jealous individuals” and “corrupt” ngos had organized opposition to the sale.(28) Mass protests of up to twelve hundred Maasai and several high-profile attempts to meet with national officials and political leaders, including the prime minister and the president of Tanzania, that led to an official government inquiry made clear that opposition to the project was far reaching.(29)

Soon after taking possession of the land, Thomson Safaris/tcl staff began restricting access to grazing land, encouraging local police to arrest trespassers, and confiscating or detaining livestock. Local residents also accused the company employees of burning permanent homesteads and shooting a Maasai herder.(30) The company directors vociferously denied these allegations, saying that they only burned vacated structures and that the shooting was entirely unrelated.(31)

The online petition against the Thomson Safaris/tcl land deal called for tourists to boycott Thomson Safaris and to spread the word about its abusive and self-serving practices. The activists highlighted the dire stakes of the deal: “The land . . . provides vital grazing and access to water for the local Maasai people who have co-existed with, and safeguarded, the ecosystem for hundreds of years. Without access to this land, which they say they have never knowingly sold, they cannot survive.”(32)

Hunting Reserves and Nature Refuges: Deadly Deals?

These two land deals represented what Maasai residents and civil-society organizations alleged were unjust appropriations of village land by private investors interested in capitalizing on Loliondo’s spectacular landscape for safari hunting and tourism.(33) Local leaders worked hard to get the word out and used their connections with international organizations and national journalists to prevent these land deals from taking place outside public view, an all too common practice. The activist campaigns and numerous media reports on Loliondo represented these transactions between investors and government agencies as “deadly deals” for the Maasai people. Local activists were successful in getting their message out that Loliondo’s market value as a hunting and ecotourism destination could create the conditions to justify government violence and efforts to remove the Maasai people from their land to further promote conservation. The Maasai activists were all too aware of the history of evictions and land dispossession associated with protected areas in Africa. Scholars like Rod Neumann (1998), Mark Dowie (2009), Dan Brockington and James Igoe (2006, 2010), Paige West (2006), and Nancy Peluso (1993) have documented how the creation of parks and protected areas was commonly used to dispossess rural land users and enclose communal land for nature preservation and national development. Such scholarship has made the connection between demarcating lands for conservation and securing the foundations of modern nation-states around the globe. This is especially true in eastern and southern Africa.(34) In Tanzania almost 35 percent of the entire land base is under state protection and control as either a national park, a game reserve, a forest reserve, or a hunting concession.(35)

Maasai leaders and activists welcomed the international attention that the campaigns against the obc and Thomson Safaris/tcl raised regarding the social costs of safari tourism and the threats posed to pastoral livelihoods and land rights in northern Tanzania. On August 31, 2012, a group of Tanzanian civil-society organizations circulated a press release supporting the Avaaz campaign. The organizations–Tanzania Land Alliance, Feminist Activist Coalition, Ngorongoro Non-Government Organization Network, and the Pastoralists Indigenous Non-Government Organization Forum–concluded their statement with several demands addressed to the government. The fifth and final request was “to immediately stop the use of excessive powers in handling conflicts between investors and villagers in Loliondo and elsewhere in the country.”(36) Rather than asking the state to intervene and protect the rights of its citizens from the growing threat of foreign ownership and interests, the civil-society organizations bade the state to stop interfering in their lives. In many ways this response makes sense coming from Maasai organizations in Loliondo, where state projects and the interests of pastoralists have rarely been aligned. However, it is also a curious request given the tremendous stakes of the conflicts, the disproportionate power of foreign investors, and the ultimate role of the state as the enforcer of rights and arbiter of justice within the national boundaries of Tanzania.

In the past, states like Tanzania have justified evictions in the name of protecting African wildlife and wilderness as a world heritage and the basic duty of a modern nation-state. The public narrative surrounding the Tanzanian state’s defense of the obc hunting concession and the Thomson Safaris/tcl nature refuge were different and made no such scientific or nationalistic appeal. The new rationale was more pragmatic and more market-driven and held that Loliondo was too valuable a commodity to be left under the control of “backward,” corrupt, or naive villagers. Tanzania’s minister of tourism and natural resources, Shamsa Mwangunga, commented, “We cannot allow villagers to control such important activities [tourism and hunting] because some dishonest businesspeople will utilise that as a loophole to unlawfully exploit our resources.”(37) The statement raised important questions: Was the state’s role in wildlife management on village lands motivated by the need to protect its vulnerable citizens from unscrupulous business people? Or did state officials act to prevent the possibility that villagers would work directly with foreign investors, creating their own public-private partnerships at the local level? Regardless of motive, the political maneuvering over who has the right to represent African nature and to form partnerships with investors indicate the state’s and the villagers’ orientation to global capital. What becomes clear in such political struggles is that investors play a key role in shaping the discourse of conservation and helping to determine at which scale environmental governance is legitimated.


(1)’Stop the Serengeti Sell-off,’ http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai/?fp accessed 11 December 2012
(2) For media reports about the OBC see Alexander, ‘The Brigadier’s Shooting Party’ The New York Times (13 November 1993) J Mbaria, ‘Game ‘Carnage’ in Tanzania Alarms Kenya’ The East African (4 February 2002) News, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/239546/-/view/printVersion/-/t76oofz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 J Mbaria, ‘Scramble for African wildlife’ The East African (5 March 2007) Magazine, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/-/434746/253422/-/view/printVersion/-/12r6eo7/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 Editor, ‘Loliondo residents must come first’ The East African (14 September 2009) Editorial, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/OpEd/editorial/-/434752/657210/-/121dew0z/-/index.html accessed 30 October 2011 Editor, ‘Launch independent probe into Loliondo land wrangles’ The Guardian, Tanzania (15 September 2009), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=7341 accessed 11 December 2012 A Renton, ‘Tourism is a curse to us’ The Guardian (6 September 2009) The Observer A Ihucha, ‘United front to fight renewal of Emirates hunting contract’ The East African (16 August 2010), http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/United-front-to-fight-renewal-of-Emirates-hunting-contract/-/2558/976818/-/view/printVersion/-/d83pfrz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 Correspondent, ‘Hunting firm denies plan to evict Loliondo Maasai’ The Guardian, Tanzania (8 September 2012), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=45593 accessed 11 December 2012
(3) I am specifically referring to the six villages in Loliondo division where the hunting concession and Maasai villages overlap. These are from north to south, Ololoskwan, Soitsambu, Oloipiri, Olorien/Magaiduru, Losoito. Maaloney, and Arash. The deal was controversial as the government granted the OBC a hunting lease after the official allocation period had ended. They also initially granted the OBC a ten-year contract when all other hunting leases were for a five-year period. Eventually the OBC’s lease was reduced to five-years, and they have maintained control of the area through all subsequent allocation including the most recent allocation from 2013-2018. I Loefler, ‘In Case We’ve Forgotten, There’s Money in Wildlife ‘ The East African (16 February 2004) Business, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/-/2560/242512/-/view/printVersion/-/bsdjvuz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 J Mbaria and R Mgamba, ‘Loliondo Hunting: Kenya Urged to Take Dar to ICJ’ The East African (8 December 2003) News, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/241990/-/view/printVersion/-/icp2blz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 J Mbaria, ‘Game ‘Carnage’ in Tanzania Alarms Kenya’ The East African (4 February 2002) News, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/239546/-/view/printVersion/-/t76oofz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 C Tomlinson, ‘Big-Game Hunting Threatening Parks: Africa: A Tanzania company is accused of altering migratory patterns of animals in the region to benefit business.’ Los Angeles Times (10 March 2002), http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/10/news/mn-32073 accessed 11 December 2012 Alexander, ‘The Brigadier’s Shooting Party’ The New York Times (13 November 1993)
(4) OM Mbattiany, ‘Tanzania: Loliondogate 2 has become a police project’ Pambazuka News (17 September 2009), http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58811/print accessed 11 December 2012
(5) J Mbaria, ‘Game ‘Carnage’ in Tanzania Alarms Kenya’ The East African (4 February 2002) News, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/239546/-/view/printVersion/-/t76oofz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 A Ihucha, ‘United front to fight renewal of Emirates hunting contract’ The East African (16 August 2010), http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/United-front-to-fight-renewal-of-Emirates-hunting-contract/-/2558/976818/-/view/printVersion/-/d83pfrz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012
(6) This story is widely reported in the media and used to capture Tanzanian’s concerns that foreign investment leads to foreign control over resources and sovereignty. A Renton, ‘Tourism is a curse to us’ The Guardian (6 September 2009) The Observer FEMACT, ‘Tanzania: Loliondo report of findings’ Pambazuka News (23 September 2009), http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956 accessed 11 December 2012 J Mbaria, ‘Scramble for African wildlife’ The East African (5 March 2007) Magazine, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/-/434746/253422/-/view/printVersion/-/12r6eo7/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012
(7) J Mbaria, ‘Scramble for African wildlife’ The East African (5 March 2007) Magazine, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/-/434746/253422/-/view/printVersion/-/12r6eo7/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 A Ihucha, ‘United front to fight renewal of Emirates hunting contract’ The East African (16 August 2010), http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/United-front-to-fight-renewal-of-Emirates-hunting-contract/-/2558/976818/-/view/printVersion/-/d83pfrz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012
(8) Village and district leaders were told to vacate the area prior to the arrival of the OBC. Local leaders explicitly denied the request seeing at as outside the boundaries of state authority.
(9) For a history of the separation of people and nature in Tanzania see (T Lekan, ‘Serengeti Shall Not Die: Bernhard Grzimek, Wildlife Film, and the Making of a Tourist Landscape in East Africa’ (2011) 29 German History 224-264 RP Neumann, Imposing wilderness: Struggles over livelihood and nature preservation in Africa (University of California Press, Berkeley 1998) Neumann, ‘Primitive Ideas: Protected Area Buffer Zones and the Politics of Land in Africa’ (1997) 28 Development and Change 559-582 RP Neumann, ‘Political ecology of wildlife conservation in the Mt. Meru area of northeast Tanzania’ (1992) 3 Land Degradation & Development 85-98 JB Shetler, Imagining Serengeti: A history of landscape memory in Tanzania from earliest times to the present (Ohio University Press, Athens 2007))
(10) K Århem, Pastoral man in the Garden of Eden: The Maasai of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania (Nordiska Afrika Institute, 1985) K Århem, ‘Two sides of development: Maasai pastoralism and wildlife conservation in Ngorongoro, Tanzania’ (1985) 49 Ethnos 186-210 IG Shivji and WBL Kapinga, Maasai Rights in Ngorongoro, Tanzania (IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development)/HAKIARDHI, Dar es Salaam 1998)
(11) For a discussion of neoliberalism see (G Hart, ‘Geography and development: development/s beyond neoliberalism? Power, culture, political economy’ (2002) 26 Progress in Human Geography 812 D Harvey, A brief history of neoliberalism (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005)
(12) G Hardin, ‘The tragedy of the commons’ (1968) 162 Science 1243-1248
(13) RA Schroeder and RP Neumann, ‘Manifest ecological destinies: local rights and global environmental agendas’ (2006) 27 Antipode 321-324 R Neumann, ‘Disciplining peasants in Tanzania: From state violence to self-surveillance in wildlife conservation’ [2001] Violent environments 305-27 D Brockington, ‘Preserving the new Tanzania: Conservation and land use change’ (2008) 41 The International Journal of African Historical Studies 557-579 D Brockington and J Igoe, ‘Eviction for conservation’ (2006) 4 Conservation and Society 424-470 D Brockington, Fortress Conservation: The preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania (James Currey Publishers, London 2002)
(14) R Baldus and Cauldwell, Tourist hunting and it’s role in development of wildlife management areas in Tanzania (2004)
(15) JE Ellis and DM Swift, ‘Stability of African pastoral ecosystems: alternate paradigms and implications for development’ (2006) 41 Journal of range management 450-459 DL Coppock et al., ‘Livestock feeding ecology and resource utilization in a nomadic pastoral ecosystem’ [1986] Journal of Applied Ecology 573-583 A Warren, ‘Changing understandings of African pastoralism and the nature of environmental paradigms’ [1995] Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 193-203 J Ellis and D Swift, ‘Stability of African pastoral eco- systems: Alternate paradigms and implications for development’ (1988) 41 Journal of Range Management 450-459
(16) The area was formerly known as “The Breweries” or “Sukenya” the name of the sub-village area within Soitsambu village where the land was located.
(17) Philanthropic tourism or travel describes the desire by many participants in the travel industry to design tourism in ways that “further the well-being of local communities.” The Center for Responsible Travel describes philanthropic tourism as “emerging movement is helping to support and empower local and indigenous communities by providing jobs, skills, and lasting improvements in health care, education, and environmental stewardship.” Accessed on November 30, 2012, http://www.travelersphilanthropy.org/what-is-travelers/definition.shtml.
(18) http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/socially-responsible-travel accessed 8/13/13
(19) Tour companies apply to be considered for this award. Leaders from the travel industry and non-governmental organizations rate each company in five key areas: poverty alleviation, cultural and/or environmental preservation, education, wildlife conservation and health.
(20) Pastoralism refers both to a system of economic production in which livestock are central to livelihoods and property rights and also a political position from which Maasai assert their right to a different cultural system. Maasai struggles have consistently been entangled with the discursive framing of pastoralism as an inefficient, destructive, and outdated mode of production. Much like the concept of indigeneity, the meaning of pastoralism is both an identity claim and a historical site of struggle.
(21) This is a pseudonym
(22) Arusha Times Staff Reporter, ‘TBL, villagers locked in dispute over barley farm ‘ The Arusha Times (1 February 2006), http://www.arushatimes.co.tz/2006/7/front_page_1.htm accessed 16 October 2011
(23) Thomson Safaris 2009
(24) Thomson Safaris and Tanzania Conservation Limited are two separate business entities under common ownership as divisions of Wineland-Thomson Adventures Inc. For the purposes of this paper I refer to the two companies as one entity using the abbreviation Thomson Safaris/TCL. Although TCL is the legal entity on the lease agreement the owners and directors regularly invoke Thomson Safaris when discussing TCL. For example, when the land deal was criticized in the media, Thomson Safaris set up a blog, “Thomson Safaris’ Outlook. Thomson responds to online rumors. Get the facts here.”
(25) Thomson Safaris 2009
(26) Thomson Safaris took several measures to rebrand the land, including producing a film about the area that reinforced that narrative that this land is a timeless piece of nature and that their efforts are simply to protect and preserve it for future generations. See Thomson Safaris: Supporting Tanzanian Communities by GLP films http://vimeo.com/50341082
(27) In 1993 South African Breweries bought a 50% share in Tanzania Breweries Limited. In 2002 SAB bought Miller Brewing Company from Philip Morris Companies forming the second largest beer company in the world.
(28) The forged minutes were submitted as part of legal action taken by the village. EXPLAIN WHAT I MEAN HERE
(29) [NO STYLE for: Thomson Safaris 2009] [NO STYLE for: Thomson Safaris 2009] [NO STYLE for: Thomson Safaris 2010]
(30) A Ihucha, ‘United front to fight renewal of Emirates hunting contract’ The East African (16 August 2010), http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/United-front-to-fight-renewal-of-Emirates-hunting-contract/-/2558/976818/-/view/printVersion/-/d83pfrz/-/index.html accessed 11 December 2012 FEMACT (Feminist Activist Coalition), ‘Tanzania: Loliondo report of findings’ Pambazuka News (23 September 2009), http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956 accessed 11 December 2012 Z Ubwania, ‘Tanzania: Civil Society Organisations Call for Lasting Solution to Loliondo Land Crisis’ The Citizen (Dar es Salaam) (15 May 2011), http://allafrica.com/stories/201105160271.html accessed 11 December 2012 The Guardian Correspondent, ‘Ngorongoro land row: Government forsakes small beleaguered community for revenue!’ The Guardian, Tanzania (15 April 2010), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=15628 accessed 11 December 2012 R Mwalongo, ‘NGO staff held in Loliondo released’ The Guardian, Tanzania (15 April 2010), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=15616 accessed 11 December 2012 Correspondent, ‘Make Loliondo `abuses` report public – activists’ The Guardian, Tanzania (27 April 2010), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=16035 accessed 11 December 2012 M Juma, ‘LHRC files petition on eviction’ The Citizen (Dar es Salaam) (3 December 2010), http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/news/4-national-news/6077-lhrc-files-petition-on-eviction.html accessed 11 December 2012 Ihucha, ‘Arusha regional government blamed for human rights `abuses`’ The Guardian, Tanzania (8 August 2009) F Peter, ‘Activists up in arms over Loliondo report’ The Guardian, Tanzania (24 February 2010), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=13819 accessed 11 December 2012 RM Mwalongo, ‘3 held in Loliondo over women`s rally’ The Guardian, Tanzania (14 April 2010), http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/functions/print_article.php?l=15575 accessed 11 December 2012
(31) VM Nkwame, ‘Wounded Maasai Moran Fights for Dear Life: Who Shot him is the Question!’ The Arusha Times (17 May 2008), http://www.arushatimes.co.tz/2008/19/front_page_1.htm accessed 11 December 2012
(32) Thomson Safaris 2010
(33) http://www.tnrf.org/about accessed 13 December 2012
(34) Loliondo is located within the greater Serengeti ecosystem, and wildlife from Serengeti National Park, including the world famous wildebeest migration of over one million wildebeests, where wildebeest utilize village lands adjacent to the Park for wet season grazing area and calving from late January to early March.
(35) M Dowie, Conservation refugees : the hundred-year conflict between global conservation and native peoples (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass 2011) D Brockington and J Igoe, ‘Eviction for conservation: A global overview’ (2010) 4 Conservation and Society 424 NL Peluso, ‘Coercing conservation: The politics of state resource control’ (1993) 3 Global Environmental Change 199-217
(36) RP Neumann, Imposing wilderness: Struggles over livelihood and nature preservation in Africa (University of California Press, Berkeley 1998)
(37) S Kamndaya and Mkinga, ‘Tanzania: Wildlife Use Can’t Be Left to Villagers’ Control, Says Minister’ The Citizen (Dar es Salaam) (7 March 2008), http://allafrica.com/stories/200803070667.html accessed 11 December 2012

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