African elephants emerge from the trees

Greater Mkomazi


Mkomazi National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras, and cheetahs. The region is critical for maintaining landscape connectivity across northern Tanzania as well as transborder connectivity with Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park.

However, human-wildlife conflict is an ongoing issue, with farmers and villagers competing with wild animals for resources. By signing a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) in 2022, we open the door to a new conservation collaboration that takes us to Mkomazi and Mikumi National Parks and surrounding communal lands.

Giraffes walk across northern Tanzania

TANAPA has positive expectations for the collaboration with African People & Wildlife in areas related to human-wildlife conflict and rangeland management, which mitigate existing conservation challenges while also engaging the community to participate.

Samuel Nassari, Tanzania National Parks Authority Conservation Officer

On the Ground in Greater Mkomazi

Building Foundations for a Wildlife-Friendly Future

Over the last year, the Greater Mkomazi landscape saw foundational work and capacity-building efforts take center stage in the work to find a balance for wildlife and people. Collaborating closely with the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), we initiated training sessions and conducted site assessments to introduce ourselves, exchange ideas, and launch an initial program plan in tandem with local authorities and community members.

With a focus on range management, we began establishing governance structures such as local grazing committees, the election of committee members, and training community rangeland monitors to gather data informing grazing plans. Our team also recruited and trained eight Warriors for Wildlife and one assistant from partner villages to help mitigate livestock-carnivore conflicts, collect wildlife data, and educate their neighbors about the ecological importance of large carnivores.

Community workshop near Mkomazi

Grassroots Management Drives Resilience

Livestock incursions in national parks like Mkomazi pose a threat to the forage available for carnivores’ prey species. By promoting best practices in rangeland management outside park boundaries, we build the capacity of communities to maintain adequate pasture. Partnering with four surrounding villages, APW launched a rangeland monitoring program in Greater Mkomazi in 2023.

Eight monitors were recruited and trained to evaluate monthly monitoring plots, collecting data on vegetation cover and invasive species to provide valuable insights into effective management practices that benefit livestock and wildlife. Just like monitoring programs in other APW landscapes, an Esri-based mobile reporting system allows for real-time updates on pasture quality, empowering communities with actionable insights for the implementation and enforcement of local grazing plans.

Buffalo grazing in Mikumi
Collared lion in the grass

Hands-On, Community-Led Solutions

2024 is bound to be busy as the programming transitions from learning and preparing to active conservation management. Armed with the latest information and strengthened by grazing committees and Warriors for Wildlife, partner communities are equipped to implement coexistence strategies on multiple fronts.

  • Monitoring conflict with big cats and elephants
  • Installing new Living Walls
  • Adapting grazing plans based on pasture quality
  • Identifying range restoration projects

Partners & Supporters

Donald Slavik Family Foundation logo
Lion Recovery Fund logo