Category Archives: The Grumeti Fund

The Story of Peter Andrew

July 16, 2014 - Conservation,People of Singita,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Sustainable Conservation,The Grumeti Fund

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

Sitting poolside at Singita Faru Faru Lodge at tea time, in the dappled shade of the acacia trees, our guests are treated to a feast of sweet and savoury delights before their afternoon game drive. It is a wonderfully indulgent spread; all manner of cakes, candies and confections are on offer, all washed down with homemade lemonade, iced coffee and exotic teas. It might be very hard to imagine that the hands of the pastry chef responsible for these heavenly morsels were also once those of a poacher.

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

Peter Andrew was born in a small village on the outskirts of Singita Grumeti in Tanzania. At the age of 15, with no apparent employment alternatives available to him, he started poaching. He was a skilled huntsman and extremely fast on his feet, which made it easier to escape from conservation officers. This deadly combination made Peter a force to be reckoned with but it wasn’t an easy or ethical way to make a living.

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

In 2003, Peter was approached by Brian Harris, former Wildlife and Community Development Manager of Singita Grumeti, who wanted him to stop poaching in exchange for a job at one of the lodges. He was hesitant initially due to his lack of education, but after further prompting from his grandmother, Peter was eventually persuaded and started off helping with the construction of Singita Sasakwa Lodge. The following year, he was accepted as an apprentice in the kitchen at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, where he excelled in his position. Peter also took it upon himself to specialise in pastry and learn English so that he could improve his situation further. He developed so quickly in fact, that in 2005, Peter was promoted to Commis Chef and then moved to Singita Faru Faru Lodge in 2011 as a full-time Pastry Chef, where he remains a vital part of the kitchen team.

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

Food at Singita Faru Faru Lodge

Peter’s achievements are numerous: he turned his back on poaching, found himself a wonderful new profession, worked hard to overcome his circumstances and changed his life for the better. He is rightly proud of himself, as we are proud of him, and the determination and strength of character that make him an invaluable member of the Singita family.

The Story of Peter Andrew | Singita Stories

This is the third in a series of short films profiling the people of Singita, many of whom come from challenging circumstances to become artisans and professionals in their chosen field. These #singitastories share a common thread; of people from humble beginnings who choose to effect positive change in their lives, and the lives of those around them. Read more about the anti-poaching unit at Singita Grumeti and subscribe to the blog to make sure you catch the next video in the series. 

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Beekeeping for Biodiversity

April 04, 2014 - Community Development,Conservation,Did You Know?,Singita Grumeti,The Grumeti Fund,Wildlife

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

Singita Grumeti

There has been much written about the plight of bees on a global scale, and the disastrous impact their dwindling populations could have on commercial agriculture and food production. Looking closer to home, the conservation of bees in particular is critical to the survival of local plant life; a crucial element of sustainable environmental conservation and biodiversity enrichment.

At Singita Grumeti in Tanzania, through the Grumeti Fund and the local outreach programme, beekeeping projects have been promoted in local communities since 2010, who in turn earn an income from the sale of honey. This way, the community is supported while the bees’ natural habitat is preserved, and serves as a great example of how conservation and community development are integrally connected.

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

To date, seven beekeeping groups and various individuals and families have become involved in the project, and are now responsible for 744 beehives. Among the most successful groups is the Bonchugu Community, under the thoughtful leadership of Amos Matiku. He is described as an energetic, enthusiastic and a results-oriented person who never gives up.

“I first heard about the beekeeping project from a Community Outreach officer in 2011 and although skeptical at first, eventually myself and nine others in the community applied to join the project,” Amos says.

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

It started with 20 hives, and members had to contribute 33% of the cost of running each hive, with the Grumeti Fund providing all necessary support needed for the project. In a very short time, the hives were stocked with bees and the members were able to see the fruits of their labour. In June 2012, the group celebrated their first harvest, and just 2 days laters were able to sell all the honey. The income generated covered the initial contribution of each member and they decided as a group to reinvest the profits in order to grow the project.

33 more hives were added, and in 2013, their harvest was the most successful in the whole Serengeti, which afforded them to opportunity to attend an international exhibition in Dar es Salaam. Their organic acacia honey was the show’s bestseller and allowed them to raise additional funds for the project. The group was also invited to attend another regional exhibition and are deservedly proud of their achievements so far.

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

The Grumeti Fund also facilitates training for the group, helping them to stay abreast of the latest in beekeeping technology. Amos says: “Through this programme, we have realised the impact conservation can have on all our lives. The acacia forests which were previously degraded are now flourishing with new growth. Beekeeping has created employment and income for local families, while helping to conserve our land and its wildlife.”

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

The keeping of beehives helps to maintain riparian zones, natural springs, and remnant forest and bush areas as these are the the optimal habitat for the bees. The presence of the hives also prevents timber and firewood harvesting in those areas, and discourages elephants (they don’t like bees!) from trampling the nearby farmland and destroying the crops.

In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit organisation, was granted the right to manage and conserve 350,000 acres, for the benefit of Tanzania, Africa and the world. Four years later, Singita took over the management of the property, at the request of the concessionaire and began the task of generating, via low impact tourism, the funds necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve through conservation and community partnerships.

 If you would like more information, please contact Pam Richardson, Singita’s Group HR and Community Development Manager.

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Environmental Centre – Inspiring Past Students

June 02, 2010 - Singita Grumeti,The Grumeti Fund

Keeping past students inspired, and therefore actively involved in improving their surroundings, has been key to the success of the Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre and the course it offers.

Students who attend the course already belong to an ecology club in each school that participates in the course.

The best ecology clubs – in terms of projects, involvement etc – are rewarded and the best individuals, within these clubs, are rewarded further. This creates healthy competition both between the different clubs and within the clubs where the ultimate benefactor is the environment.

So far, a total of 132 students and 22 teachers have taken part in the course. The Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre is still in contact with each and every one of these students and teachers. In fact, the 22 teachers recently took it upon themselves to organise a meeting where they discussed: who was doing what, what was working and why it was working.

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The Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre

May 24, 2010 - Singita Grumeti,The Grumeti Fund

At Singita Grumeti Reserves the Grumeti Fund has established an Environmental Centre. This centre runs an ecology course for the top six grade 11 geography and science students at a given school from the surrounding communities. The course runs for one week and two courses are offered a month, one for boys and one for girls. Each course caters for 12 students and two teachers.

During this week the students focus on the Serengeti ecosystem, the sustainable use of natural resources and other relevant environmental topics that are built into the Tanzania school syllabus.

Some of the topics covered during the course are revision of work already done while other topics are new. All the topics are combined and taught in a way that provides students with a big picture view of the Serengeti ecosystem.

Editha (security) and Stella (the Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre's second in command)

Upon completion of the course all students, most of whom are already active members of their school’s ecology clubs, are assigned projects and the results of these projects are carefully monitored. The best projects and students are then rewarded with scholarships to study further.

Successful projects initiated by the Environmental Centre – but spearheaded by past pupils – include the planting of indigenous trees, the discovery of new water sources and the development of alternative energy sources.

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Five Rhinos Relocated to Tanzania!

May 22, 2010 - Singita Grumeti,Sustainable Conservation,The Grumeti Fund

Five critically endangered eastern black rhino, from South Africa, arrived in the Serengeti yesterday as part of the ‘most ambitious wildlife relocation in East Africa over the past 50 years’.

Photograph by Horst Klemm.

This project – spearheaded by the Singita Grumeti Fund in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society – aims to relocate a total of 32 eastern black rhino over a two year period.

Photograph by Horst Klemm.

To ensure the rhinos’ protection during the relocation process, and the project’s long-term sustainability, an elite Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit has been established. This unit is comprised of 23 carefully selected and trained rangers.

For more information and images please visit http://rhinos.singita.com.

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