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The awful side of tourism

A slaughtered elephant
A slaughtered elephant
Courtesy Navaya ole Ndaskoi

There is a darker side to eco-tourism and it continues to flourish in Tanzania. “Rumble in Paradise” is a documentary film that plans to explore several issues related to African wildlife conservation in Tanzania from a perspective not touched by mainstream media.

On April 4, 2014, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service finally banned sport-hunted trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, "…because elephants in those countries faced an uncertain future." The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, continued to intensely protest the ban of wildlife trophies. Several international syndicates, including the US-based syndicate of wildlife hunters with over 30,000 members worldwide, want to continue hunting these endangered animals for sport. Tourism ventures are driving out the traditional Maasai from their ancestral homes. The Tanzanian state violently displaces the Maasai to give room for other land uses including foreign private investments. As the Rumble in Paradise filmmakers explain, “We are raising money to make a documentary film about the Maasai predicament and the dilemma of wildlife. The Government of Tanzania is violently evicting the Maasai, and other indigenous peoples, from their land for many reasons including safari companies’ investment.” explains the campaign site.

Under the direction of Executive Producer Remi Andrades, this film will explore impacts of tourism on both wildlife and the traditional Maassai culture. Navaya Ndaskoi is the film’s Writer/Director. He is a Maasai Scholar and has been researching the project for five years. Your donations will help to purchase equipment, footage and to tell the important story of the Maasai and the animals being driven out. They have turned to Indiegogo’s crowdsourced funding because, as the campaign site explains, “ This is your chance to bypass the media "information gatekeepers" to get tens of millions thinking about the suffering of the Maasai and the wild animals they live with.”

Donations of any size are gratefully accepted and there are loads of perks for film fans internationally. For just one dollar you can do your part and help this story be told. Or, go all way with $20,000 for a speaking part in the film. Choose your level of involvement and support. There are loads of perks at low price points. For $10 you’ll get a special digital photo from the crew. For $50 you can have a copy of the movie script (released after production- estimated delivery in time for Christmas). Other perks include special footage, private screenings and more. Check out the Rumble in Paradise Indiegogo Campaign for details. Even if you can’t donate – share the links widely and encourage everyone to help Tanzania.