SELOUS GAME RESERVE - TANZANIA - 28. April 2019

Except for trophy hunters only a limited area in the north of the reserve is accessible to the photographic tourist. Now, Stiegler's Gorge is to be dammed to harness hydropower and an estimated 2.6 million trees will be felled by the timber industry with 17 local companies (Chinese involvement?) granted tenders. The total area parcelled out is 1,500 square kilometres, only a small percentage of the 54,600 square kilometres ecosystem but this is most likely going to be the 'thin end of the wedge'. The arrival of the logging companies will force luxury lodges to close, one has already done so, Azura Selous. Of course, this means far fewer outside eyes seeing, or reporting, the destruction.

Despite the history of controlled hunting and high levels of poaching this is one of Africa's few wilderness areas. One cannot deny that Tanzania has a need for a more reliable source of electrical power but one wonders at the long term costs. We predict that beyond the dam completion logging concessions will be expanded.