The good guys and girls


There are countless organisations doing marvellous things in Africa, for her remarkable people and her marvellous biodiversity. We don’t know them all and we are certainly not experts in international development projects. We have, however, visited learned from a number of small-scale “ground heavy” organisations that we were lucky enough to neighbour for a time.

We feature them here with full confidence in the teams they represent, the projects they manage and the incredible results that they continuously deliver. We would be delighted to include visiting an organisation or project in your adventure. Seeing for yourself the dedication and resilience these folk apply to the constant challenges that they face, will be one of the most touching and uplifting memories you can carry home.

You’ll find a huge amount of information on the sites below, please do shout if you have a question and don’t hesitate to pledge your support to these excellent people.

Big Life Organisation

Big life was co-founded by photographer Nick Brandt and conservationist Richard Bonham in response to an alarming increase in wildlife crime in the greater Amboseli Ecosystem.  They have expanded to employ hundreds of Maasai rangers with more than 40 permanent outposts; tent based field units, 13 vehicles, tracker dogs and ariel surveillance.

They work alongside the government wildlife authorities in protecting over two million acres of key wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjiro ecosystem and are the first organisation to have established these kind of cross border anti-poaching operations in East Africa.

Their hands on, no nonsense model combines with an unparalleled expertise in community impact conservation has had tangible success. They have actually stemmed the flow of the wildlife crime that was draining these areas of their biodiversity and we love them for it. They fully deserve our support.

Frankfurt Zoological Society

The FZS was established in 1858 and is an internationally operating conservation organisation based in Frankfurt/Main. The Society’s main focus lies in eastern Africa, where their long-serving president, professor Dr. Bernhard Grzimek invested much of his time and efforts.

They are committed to conserving biological diversity through the preservation of the world’s natural environments. They have been ever present in the fantastic reserves and parks that we have personally worked and lived in, coordinating their own efforts with those of the government authority and advising and updating stakeholders on key local issues for wildlife and communities.

We experienced the passion and dedication of members of the FZS team first hand in some key wilderness locations. They were all, without exception, inspiring, educated professionals and very good neighbours!

Tusk Trust

The people of Tusk have some 25 years of experience initiating and funding conservation, community development and environmental education programs across Africa.

With inspired leadership and high profile patronage they have invested some $40 million into a broad spectrum of projects across the continent. They do not just focus on the big, famous places and issues, nor do they try and go it alone with an entirely self-managed field projects. They support the large and small with their partners in the field and put a huge amount of care into ensuring their chosen projects succeed.

FAME - Foundation for African Medicine and Education

Dr. Frank Artress and Susan Gustafson founded FAME in 2002 and have been living in rural Tanzania overseeing their projects, facilities and operations ever since.

 – They have built, developed and continue to run an outstanding medical facility in the district of Karatu, Tanzania.

 – They offer mobile medical care to remote village locations in the Karatu area.

 – They educate and mentor their own front line healthcare professionals.

 – They have provided (and continue to provide) educational sponsorship to countless aspiring Tanzanian doctors and nurses.

We’re proud to call them both friends, what they continue to achieve in Karatu is nothing less than mind-boggling. Even in the cities, health facilities in East Africa face tough conditions. Without prior exposure to such places you would be hard pushed to imagine the extremely meagre facilities that rural populations have available to them, this is exactly why the Fame medical centre has to be seen to be believed!

The Tanzanian Children’s Fund

The Tanzanian Children’s fund works to ensure that all the children and families in the Karatu region of northern Tanzania lead healthy and productive lives and have the opportunity to become positive agents of change for their country.

TCF provides a loving and permanent home for 94 marginalised children at the rift valley children’s village. However, TCF also recognises that the best way to promote the well-being of all children is to provide access to high quality education, free healthcare and micro-finance trainings & loans to the entire community.

This innovative approach to addressing systematic poverty has had a deep impact in the community catalyzing real and lasting change.

India Howell founded TCF in 2004 by opening her home to 17 children in need. “Mama India” still lives at and runs the rift valley children’s village with the team as executive director. She is dedicated and selfless to a fault, compassionate, practical and wickedly funny. It is a wonderful place to visit if ever you get the chance (pre arranged please, so let us know!), to meet India, the team and the children has been one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences of our times in Tanzania.

The Great Elephant Census

Today, African Elephant populations face a worse threat to their very survival than ever before in history. The reality that this fact tends to be met with surprise and disbelief goes a little way to explaining how desperately we lack knowledge and understanding of this global crisis.

In 2014, the Paul Allen Foundation partnered with key conservation organisations to begin the first “pan-African” elephant census in over forty years. By 2016 they will have covered 80% of the African savannah elephant’s range and counted approximately 90% of it’s population. An incredible feat!

The accurate and reliable data collected in the GEC will heighten global awareness of the serious threats facing the elephants and enable the informed, long-term conservation management plans required to save them.

Knowledge is power and you can learn more here – we must not be the generation that lost the Elephants.

The Duke shares our philosophy that the future of Africa’s unique wildlife relies heavily on our ability to successfully link the livelihoods of the local people with the benefits of preserving their natural heritage.

Charlie Mayhew MBE, CEO Tusk