Category Archives: The Grumeti Fund

Beekeeping for Biodiversity

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

Beekeeping in Tanzania | Singita Grumeti Fund

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

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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