One of the founding members of KIYODEA is a government official for a group of villages in the west of Kilwa district. These villages are about 1 hours drive from Kilwa Masoko and are the final villages before the Selous Game Reserve.
The Selous is a vast unexplored wilderness covering over 55,000 km2 To give scale to this, the Selous is larger than Switzerland and half the size of the US state of Ohio. The concentrations of wildlife in the Selous are understandably huge. The Selous, named after the British hunter and conservationist, boasts Tanzania’s largest population of elephant with about 10,000 as well as some of the largest numbers of buffalo, hippo, Nile crocodile and wild dog in Africa.
Other species commonly seen are lion, bushbuck, impala, giraffe, eland, baboon, zebra and greater kudu. The Selous also contains one of the few viable populations of Black Rhino in the world; with between 150 and 200 individuals, the park also has over 350 bird species and 2,000 plant species. The Selous was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 due to its unique ecological importance.
Being situated within the buffer zone of this great conservation area means that human / animal interaction are common within the villages. The villagers have problems with elephants and baboons destroying and raiding crops and they share Lake Maliwe with a large population of hippos and crocodiles.
In 2012 construction began on a simple camping facility at the lake shore as a self sustainable means of income for the local villagers. The construction was funded by private donors through KIYODEA and the villagers setup a NGO to handle the finances. The charges levied by the villagers are put towards fundraising targets to help the local area.
These targets include:
We encourage all guests on a KIYODEA trip to visit the beautiful lake-shore and encourage university students to include a research project here.