The wildlife reserves of Kenya and Tanzania have become an integral part of the tourism product. While most of the visitors only use their cameras to "hunt" animals, a few wealthy trophy hunters pay huge amounts of money to shoot a buffalo, elephant or lion. As Ulrich Delius reports, the land which has been leased to hunting safari companies used to belong to the Massai, who were forcefully evicted.
In summer 2009, more than 3,000 Massai nomads were displaced from Loliondo, adjacent to the Serengeti national park. More than 200 houses were set on fire to make their return more difficult. Loliondo is not an individual case. In 2006/2007, 300 nomad families were displaced from the Usangu region when the Ruaha national park was expanded. While Tanzania continues to violate the land rights of indigenous peoples, the African Union has ruled in favour of the Endorois in Kenya, declaring their eviction from their ancestral lands in the 1970s a violation of their human rights.
Ulrich Delius is Africa and Asia Desk Officer with the Society for Threatened Peoples in Göttingen.