Loliondo land vs tourism conflict, Tanzania


A conflict is going on between pastoralists on one side and the government and tourism industry on the other. The reason is the 150,000 hectare corridor of land in Loliondo in Ngorongoro District bordering the Serengeti National Park. The land is used by the Maasai as dry season grazing land[1]. The dispute goes back over 20 years, but in the latest chapter, the Tanzanian government, which contends that the area is being overgrazed, announced in March 2013 their plans to split the disputed area - classified as the Loliondo Game Controlled Area - into two parts, one that would belong to villagers and the other in government hands. Local civic leaders are reportedly threatening to resign if the plan goes ahead[3]. A major area of dispute is the granting of a hunting licence (going back to 1992) to Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd (OBC), registered in the United Arab Emirates. In July 2009, the government evicted Loliondo residents from the area used for hunting by OBC. It is estimated that about 200 Maasai homesteads were burned, resulting in the loss of property including cattle and other livestock. It is alleged that up to 20,000 residents of Loliondo were impacted and up to 50,000 head of livestock were displaced from grazing and water sources[4].

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Basic Data
NameLoliondo land vs tourism conflict, Tanzania
ProvinceArusha Region
SiteNgorongoro District
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Animals, As Hunting Is One Of The Activities In The Disputed Area.
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Tanzania Nataraul Resources Forums 2011 report states that in 2007, tourism in Loliondo generated $300,000 for six villages in the area, plus $60,000 for Ngorongoro District Council. This equates to $240 per square kilometre using the 150,000 hectare land area. As the villages received $300,000 from tourism and now receive $150,000 from hunting, tourism earned twice as much for local communities as hunting did. The TNRF went further and made a comparison with the Serengeti National Park. The SNP generated $20,935,306 in the 2006/07 financial year mainly through tourism activities. With a total area of 14,763 km2, this amounts to annual revenue of $1,418 per km2, which is nearly three times the earnings-per-land-area that Loliondo currently generates from hunting, the report said. In terms of livestock, production in Arash and Soitsambu Wards generated more than $3 million annually, or about $2,010 per km2, said TNRF. This is more than three times the total amount generated by OBC through hunting.

Project Area (in hectares)150000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1992
Company Names or State EnterprisesOtterlo Business Corporation Ltd from United Arab Emirates
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Natural Resources and Tourism
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Pastoralists’ Indigenous NGOs Forum (Pingos Forum), Tanzania Land Alliance (Tala), HakiArdhi, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP), Community Research and Development Services (Cords), Ujamaa Community Resource Team (CRT) - Pastoralists Women Council (PWC), Ngorongoro NGOs Network (Ngonet) - Tanzania Pastoralists Community Forum (TPCF), Oseremi
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
The draft Wildlife Conservation Bill of 2008 was controversial in that it gave more centralised control to wildlife areas, with major implications for the Loliondo Game Controlled Area. Local advocacy networks and national civil society combined to lobby policy makers over the issue. The Bill eventually passed with only one amendment protecting village lands within game areas.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Land demarcation
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesCommunity based tourism and livestock production have been identified as two development alternatives that would be more beneficial to communities than hunting.

Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The matter, as evidenced by March 2013 threats by local leaders to resign, is still very much in dispute.
Sources and Materials

Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999

Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009


[1] Nordlund, Susanna (2013). Tanzanian government insists on grabbing Maasai land in Loliondo. Available at: Accessed 10 April 2013.
[click to view]

[2] Earthscan (2010). Community Rights, Conservation and Contested Land: The Politics of Natural Resources. Available at: Accessed 10 April 2013.
[click to view]

[3] The Citizen (2013). Govt to divvy up Loliondo to resolve 20-year land conflict but local leaders furious, say they’ll quit. Available at: Accessed 10 April 2013.
[click to view]

[4] Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (2011). Integrating Pastoralist Livelihoods and Wildlife Conservation.


James, Bernard (2013). Activists say plans to split Loliondo a brazen attempt to snatch local land. Available at: Accessed 10 April 2013.
[click to view]

Media Links

Maajabu Films (2011). People have spoken (Voices from Loliondo). Available at: Accessed 10 April 2011.
[click to view]


Meta Information
ContributorEjolt moderators
Last update08/04/2014