The Dilemma of Human Relations and Access to Land at the Face of Game Conservation Policies in Mara Region, Tanzania, 1920s – 2014

Iddy Ramadhani Magoti


Tanzania is one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa which has great number of conserved and protected areas, and aspires to protect more areas. However,  there is a growing concern among Tanzania’s  people who live around conserved areas that their rights to access land and other natural resources around is being impinged. As a result, conflicts emerge between local people and those who call themselves 'conservationists'. Increase of population of both human beings and wild animals continues to aggravate the problem. In light of that thinking, this paper examines game conservation policies and their far-reaching implications on human relations and access to land in Mara region. The main assumption is that changes of land use from human settlement, grazing, cultivation and hunting land to game reserves and controlled areas creates pressure on the meagre remaining land surface. This situation, in turn, affects the pre-existing human relations and the future prospects of the surrounding communities. The paper builds its analysis from both secondary and primary sources such as review of books and journal articles, archival research and oral in-depth interviews conducted in the area. The findings show that conservation practices in Tanzania prioritize animal rights at the expense of human population thereby creating dilemma on human relations and survival. Finally, the paper reveals that there has been an emerging trend for conservation for the interest of the foreign investors; that investors and some government officials benefit more than the local community around.


Tanzania, Wildlife Conservation, Human Relations, Land Use

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