On the western border of Tarangire National Park lies the village of Mwika. Here, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy and Sanctuary Swala are working with the village on a grassroots beekeeping project, emphasising the preservation of the environment to bring rewards to the community.
The project was envisioned with the Chief and elders of Mwika Village due to its potential to benefit the community as a whole. Honey is a staple in their diet and has great nutritional value.
Historically, beekeepers in rural villages have used the bark from trees to make hives, leaving the trees vulnerable to disease. With the help of this project, envisioned in collaboration with the chief and elders of Mwika Village, hives made from wood taken from sustainable forests have allowed both the continuation of the production of honey, a dietary staple in the region of great nutritional value, and the preservation of indigenous plants. By increasing production we have enabled the people to meet their needs and also sell residual honey to our camps in Tanzania, Sanctuary Swala and Sanctuary Kusini.
The project has continued to grow to more than 30 beehives. In addition, we have also donated new equipment and assisted in the bottling and distribution of the honey, including a project to make the colourful 'Maasai' beaded cloth to top the jars which brings additional income to the village. With continued support, the project will grow, both in the number of hives and beekeepers, along with the growth of different honey products and flavours.
Due to the proximity of the village to Sanctuary Swala, guests of the camp can also visit the Mwika village to learn more about the project and to interact with the local community.