Gerhardus P. Nortjé and Casparus J. Nortjé
Nature & Faune 31(2)
Findings during reconnaissance studies in a private concession area in the north-eastern part of the Serengeti National Park, illustrated also in photographic evidence, indicate that eco-tourism and Maasai livestock do not co-exist well together. For the Maasai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) play, and have for thousands of years played, a very important role, as they depend on it for food and livelihoods. However, for the Maasai, their livestock are more than just food and a livelihood, it is everything: including culture, ritual, wealth and pride. The pastoralist Maasai are brilliant cattle-herders. A person’s entire life revolves around his cattle. However, when mixed with eco-tourism there exists the possibility of conflict. Eco-tourism depends on wildlife and tourists. Evidence also indicates that cattle and wildlife (especially wildlife grazers), migrate and feed differently, with consequences to the sustainability of soil and vegetation. The photographic evidence shows that the soil is damaged irreversibly in some cases, and this will have negative consequences for the grass cover and food for the grazers (wildlife and cattle).