Some of y0u may remember our fundraising campaign to travel to the Muru Training Camp to hold courses and help raise more funds for a traveling vet clinic.  Well, it was a huge success.  We trained locals, camp staff, village game scouts from the nearby Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, and even a few goats.  In addition, the traveling vet is a go!

And we are not finished.  The area is supremely beautiful, sat between the three large mountains of northern Tanzania (Longido, Meru, and Kilimanjaro), Masaai bomas dot the landscape which is filled with goats and cattle during the day.  The road in is an adventure itself, but definitely worth the effort.  Our hosts, Istituto Oikos, catered to our every need with warm smiles, Kiswahili and Italian, and we slept in safari tents perched ridgeside, overlooking the bird-filled basin, lulled by the sounds of myriad frogs and building thunderstorms

It’s not just the beauty that will be bringing us back or the generosity of our hosts.  While there we learned more about the changes the area is experiencing and the great work that Oikos is doing – beyond putting on an excellent camp, they are an Italian conservation and development NGO on the side.  The Meru watershed supplies the majority of the water for Northern Tanzanians.  However, what was relatively sparsely inhabited forest has been settled and cleared outside protected areas to support a rapidly growing human population, leading to water catchment and erosion problems.  In addition, this population increase puts pressure on a critical wildlife corridor running northwest out of Arusha National Park all the way to Amboseli National Park on the Kenyan side of things.  So, needless to say, there is a lot of opportunity to help the locals and surrounding ecosystem, which is why we are going back… and to work on our Italian.


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