The Honeyguide Foundation

WHO WE ARE: Honeyguide Foundation (throughout Tanzania) manages community-based conservation initiatives across more than 1.3 million acres of critical landscapes in northern Tanzania, including wildlife management areas (WMAs), conservancies, and migratory routes for keystone species. With a focus on data-driven adaptive strategies, Honeyguide promotes a five-program integrated approach to natural resource management: 1. Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Prevention, 2. Wildlife & Habitat Protection, 3. Management & Governance, 4. Enterprise Development, and 5. Environmental Education. Through Honeyguide’s guidance and support of more than 130 community wildlife scouts, elephant poaching has been eradicated within Enduimet WMA for more than two years. Honeyguide also pioneered the use of its Human-Elephant Conflict Toolkit in Burunge WMA, with more than 90% of households acknowledging the program’s strong and effective support in protecting their crops. Honeyguide has since received funding from the USAID/PREPARED project to scale up its HWC prevention programs in trans-boundary landscapes. Honeyguide receives additional support and funding from the likes of Big Life Foundation, Africa Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Belgian Technical Cooperation.

In the 21st century, conservation efforts in Tanzania, and around the world, face new complex challenges. In recent years, the poaching crisis has justifiably made headlines throughout the world. Tanzania alone lost 66% of its elephant population from 2009-2013. The bush meat trade has also expanded in many areas. If such rates of poaching continue, some species will be threatened with local extinction in the years to come.

Furthermore, communities living around conservation areas simply view current economic benefits from wildlife as negligible. In East Africa, conservation simply will not succeed without the support of communities.

Honeyguide is a dynamic fast-growing organization that has a record of delivering results for community-based conservation ventures in the field. While Honeyguide built its name on the success of supporting effective wildlife protection teams, today the organization has expanded and synthesized its programs into a five-program integrated approach to community-based natural resource management. Honeyguide has a promising future, but does need to diversify and expand its revenue streams in order to realize that future.



  • $10 / £7                     buys food for a ranger for one week
  • $30 / £21                  sleeping bag
  • $75 / £50                  full uniform and boots
  • $100 / £66               high-powered flashlight
  • $300 / £200              pays an anti-poaching scout for a month
  • $500 / £333              handheld radio
  • $1,500 / £1,000        ranger solar
  • $4,500 / £3,000        night vision goggles


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Photos courtesy of Colleen Hogg & Felipe Rodriguez

Honeyguide runs a wide-range of community-based conservation initiatives across more than 1.3 million acres of wilderness in six community-based conservation areas in northern Tanzania. At the heart of it, we are, and always have been, field people. We put everything we have into ensuring we can deliver results on the ground for stronger communities and wildlife conservation. We do so with the utmost dedication to financial and operational efficiency and community-based principles. It’s a vision and work ethic that began long before Honeyguide Foundation officially registered as a non-governmental organization in Tanzania in 2007. It’s a story that goes back more than 20 years.

Still Friends, 20 Years Later
It’s impossible to tell the story of Honeyguide without telling the tale of two friends, Damian Bell and Ole Kirimbai. Back in the early 1990s, Damian and Kirimbai met while working with Sokwe Camps, a community-based tourism company founded by Damian. Even then, while setting up camps in Loliondo and northern Serengeti, they experimented in community programs, like hiring and training ex-poachers to be guards at their camps and working with farmers to grow crops that could be purchased by tourism companies. By the mid-2000s, such initiatives had grown to the point where they were met with more than demand than anyone trying to run a large-scale tourism business could possibly manage. At the same time, Sokwe had begun to merge with another company called Asilia Africa. That’s when Damian and Kirimbai decided to form Honeyguide Foundation, to expand upon the work they had started. Soon, they focused all their attention on growing this upstart NGO. With combined backgrounds in the private sector and management, in government and conservation, their skill sets perfectly complemented each other. Some 20 years after they first became friends, they now serve as Honeyguide’s executive director and chairman, respectively, and continue to keep our organization constantly growing and evolving.

The African Honeyguide is a bird that actively guides humans (and honey badgers) to beehives; we chose it as our symbol as it is a beautiful example of the symbiotic relationship between humans and wildlife and of successful partnerships in general. Dedicated to communities conserving their natural resources and wildlife.

Strive in steadfast support of communities to manage their natural resources,
to strengthen their livelihoods, and to conserve wildlife across vast landscapes
through partnerships and long-term commitment

Core Values:
For everything we do, every dollar we spend, every initiative we take on
For those who seek to lead wisely and progressively by example
For communities, government, all stakeholders, and the environment around us
For transformative positive impact across vast trans-boundary landscapes
For people and their livelihoods, for wildlife and their habitats
For data-driven strategies, adaptive management, and sensible solutions
Communities and wildlife will benefit from each other’s existence and
thrive for generations to come.