Protecting elephants in Tanzania

We previously worked in Tanzania helping farmers safeguard produce without harming elephants

Farming in elephant habitats

We worked in Mikumi and Tarangire National Parks in Tanzania for six years. They are natural elephant habitats that are close to local farmland. This can cause problems for farmers in these areas as the elephants often eat or crush maize, sorghum, and watermelon crops, sometimes destroying a whole year’s income. To protect their livelihoods, farmers may respond with extreme measures that can injure or kill elephants – like poisoning crops they know elephants will eat. So we’re working to provide practical, low cost, and sustainable solutions that keep elephants safe and protect crops.

We helped reduce conflicts between elephants and farmers, using simple chilli fences

Our solution

Elephants avoid chilli. So we helped farmers to build deterrents that won’t harm elephants, using chilli powder. Sisal – a local crop – is dipped in a mixture of engine oil and chilli powder and then hung from fences. We help farmers set up community savings and loan groups too, to help farmers pay for and sustainably manage these safe solutions.

Farmers in Mikumi built new fences and hung new hives – and farmers in neighbouring communities have started doing the same. We also worked 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.

chilies, mikumi, elephants,
Farmers from Mikumi village harvest chillies in Tanzania