Protecting elephants in Tanzania

We’re working in Tanzania to help farmers safeguard produce without harming elephants

Farming in elephant habitats

We’ve been working in Mikumi National Park in Tanzania for five years. It’s a natural elephant habitat, which is close to local farmland.  This can cause problems for farmers in the area as the elephants often eat or crush maize crops, sometimes destroying a whole year’s income. To protect their livelihoods, farmers respond with extreme measures that can kill elephants – like poisoning crops they know elephants will eat. So we’re working to provide practical solutions that keep elephants safe and protect crops.

We’re helping to reduce conflicts between elephants and farmers, using simple ideas involving bees and chilli

Our solution

Elephants avoid bees and chilli. So we help farmers to build deterrents that won’t harm elephants, using beehives and chilli powder. Beehives are suspended from posts outside farms. And sisal – a local crop – is dipped in a mixture of engine oil and chilli powder and then hung from fences. We fund loans and savings project, too, to help farmers pay for these safe solutions.

Farmers from Mikumi village harvest chillies in Tanzania

Our future work

Farmers in Mikumi are still building new fences and hanging new hives – and farmers in neighbouring communities have started doing the same. We’re also working with farmers on ways to reduce conflicts with local lions, leopards, hyena and livestock. We’re encouraging local governments and authorities to introduce similar solutions elsewhere. And we recently helped the Tanzanian government write new legislation on reducing conflict between wild animals and communities.

An elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania