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Saturday 10th July saw visitors enjoying Flamingo Land’s very first Tanzania Day.

Designed to showcase the Theme Park & Zoo’s conservation work in East Africa, the launch of this annual event featured some of the country’s diverse plant and animal species. However, Flamingo Land’s Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) provided the central theme. Working with local communities from both in and around the Udzungwa Mountains, this initiative helps to educate villagers about the importance of conservation and encourages tree planting.

The depletion of crucial resources, especially timber, in the Magombera forest has been reduced as a result. Located at the edge of the breathtaking Udzungwa Mountains, Magombera possesses the highest density of the endangered Udzungwa red colobus monkey and is one of only two known places where the newly discovered Magombera chameleon has been found. UFP’s ongoing research and conservation efforts are therefore crucial to the continued existence of this valuable environment and the people who depend on it for survival.

“After years of working with zoos, it’s a pleasure to see Flamingo Land sponsoring and running its own dedicated conservation project with such refreshing and unique aims” commented Zoo Manager Ross Snipp. “However, Flamingo Land’s contribution towards the cost of schooling local children is of parallel importance”.

In addition to important conservation messages, Flamingo Land’s Tanzania Day also allowed visitors to sample Tanzania and its culture. Younger visitors enjoyed the opportunity to experience life in the African bush with the recreation of a field researcher’s camp, along with the opportunity to decorate a kanga, the colourful sarong worn by women in Tanzania. A miniature version of the fuel-efficient stove used by UFP to help villagers to save firewood also proved a popular attraction.

Keepers from the zoo also took part, introducing guests to a trumpeter hornbill, royal python and giant African land snails. Finally, creating a unique soundtrack for this popular event, Flamingo Land’s very own Bongo Warriors played a selection of traditional African music in their own inimitable style.

Dr Andy Marshall, Flamingo Land’s Director of Conservation Science, was onhand throughout the day to answer questions about both Tanzania and the work of the Udzungwa Forest Project. Speaking after the event Dr Marshall commented “We had a fantastic response from the visitors, who showed great interest in our conservation work. We’d all like to say ‘asante sana’ (thank you very much) to everyone that came along.”

For more information about Flamingo Land and the Udzungwa Forest Project, please visit our Zoo and Conservation Centre or Flamingo Land Home.

 
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