The road running in a northerly direction from Boma ya Ngombe on the Moshi–Arusha road passes through Sanya Juu and Engare Nairobi to reach Olmolog. This was the main area for European farming in northern Tanzania prior to independence. After independence most estates were nationalized. These days while pockets of farmland still exist, most of the plains in this region are used by wildlife on a migratory route between Arusha National Park and Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. In the dry season up to 600 elephant use this corridor and it’s an important calving area for zebra, wildebeest, and Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelles. In addition to its diverse habitats and wildlife communities, West Kilimanjaro is also home to 12 Masai communities that depend on cattle grazing. Unfortunately, poaching for elephant ivory and bushmeat has been a problem in recent years, as this region is not protected by national park status. The Hifadhi Network is an African Wildlife Foundation (http://www.awf.org) initiative that has recruited local game scouts from the Masai communities who, with the rangers from Arusha and Kilimanjaro national parks, are involved in reporting and apprehending poachers. Since 2003, the Hifadhi Network has caught more than 50 poachers and this is an excellent example of how simple measures that involve local communities can be an effective conservation tool. There is a very good lodge in this region hosted by Hoopoe Safaris.
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