Advocating eco-tourism through art photography

Tengeneza Generaration and Davie Masanja
Published: 01 July 2022
Last edited: 09 August 2022
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TEG is a youth organization, which focuses on empowering young people living by Nature Reserves through improved livelihood opportunities: eco-tourism and agribusiness.We have worked with communities in the Uluguru Nature forest Reserve in developing ecotourism, using attractions that are naturally found in their culture and tradition.The project has connected beneficiaries with market opportunities, provided capacity building in alternative livelihoods. It has contributed to address challenges, such as the lack of employment and the degradation of the natural environment caused by human activities.We engage professional photographers, who teach photography to young people in the communities, accompany ecotourism expeditions,document the natural environment, as well as the cultural and historical assets of the area.Photographs are curated and form part of regular online exhibitions. They serve to promote eco-tourism activities and valuable tools for raising awareness about conservation.


East and South Africa
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Tropical evergreen forest
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Indigenous people
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Other theme
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Inefficient management of financial resources
Infrastructure development
Lack of access to long-term funding
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of infrastructure
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Sendai Framework
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Direct engagement with associations
(I)NDC Submission


Uluguru nature forest reserve | Uluguru nature firest reserve and Mkingu Nature Reserve,Morogoro region,Tanzania
Mkingu nature reserve
Show on Protected Planet


Community-based eco-tourism addresses the lack of employment, the degradation of natural resources and the environment through human activities.

Besides, the government had identified three main challenges for community-based tourism: the lack of infrastructure, poor documentation, and marketing. TEG decided to address the documentation and marketing challenges. With consultation, and meetings including group discussions with communities adjacent to nature reserves we also understood that proper education and supporting materials were an issue limiting communities to strengthen their potential. TEG decided to support the education challenge. 


  • Choma ecotourism group around Uluguru mountains
  • Local communities in Mlimani ward adjacent to Uluguru nature forest reserve and Mkingu nature reserve.

How do the building blocks interact?

Team determination is the key to our success as it has helped in managing programs by delivering high quality work with compassion to people and nature. Strong partnerships have contributed financial support and capacity building to our staff and community to implement and design our tourism program. Art photography has been a key method for communicating with online and offline communities, for educating about the importance of conservation and promoting ecotourism in Mkingu nature reserve and Uluguru nature forest reserve.


Through Continuous determination of TEG staff and partners we have increased the socio-economic status of adjacent communities through ecotourism initiatives. We provided them with the necessary support such as conservation education, materials like sign boards and skills exchange about promoting tourism. This has, increased online engagement and discussion about the future of ecotourism by securing partnerships with 2 reserves namely Uluguru nature forest reserve and Mkingu nature reserves and Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment fund (EAMCEF)

More specifically, we have measured the following impacts:

  • Secured partnerships with the Eastern Arc Mountains, which support $10,000 in community-based eco-tourism activities.
  • Government officials changed their mindset when they saw how photographs can be important for promoting tourism.
  • Since the beginning of our activities, more than 273 people visited the Nature Reserves, mostly from Tanzania but also from abroad. The eco-tourism activities have generated more than $ 10,000, through the different activities and services provided by the communities.
  • In the Choma community, 35 people are members of the eco-tourism services group and 273 people from the wider community have benefited through farm product selling and transportation providers, out of 400 households and have generated more than $ 10,000 .


Tengeneza Generation and Davie Masanja


Luguru or Waluguru are bantu speaking people living in the Uluguru mountains in Morogoro and coastal plains of east-central Tanzania, made up of 52 tribes. Mazi Residency, situated in Choma village, offers a chance for artists to explore the scenic views of the Uluguru mountains, forests and rich culture of its community.


Davie Masanja, a photographer, was selected for Mazi’s inaugural residency. As part of his residency, he explored a traditional luguru food called “gate” (pronounced “ gah-tey” ) which translates to banana bread. It was famously used as a long-distance travel food by waluguru when they traveled from Morogoro to the Pwani region where they would buy salt. Wrapped in banana leaves, Gate could stay fresh for more than 14 days which earned it another place as a main food during tribal conflicts.

In this exhibition, we explore a body of photos that explains the process of making Gate. The photos were documented in a span of a week where David lived and interacted with the luguru community.

During his stay we visited homestay families’ farms which are organic farms to harvest bananas, cassava and vegetables. The family taught us how to cook Waluguru cuisine. They still practice organic farming to date as a method to protect and preserve their natural motherland.


The experience was organized by Pius Matunge who is a curator and environmentalist dedicated to telling stories of nature and its people. His passion has been conserving the natural forests. Through this he works with artists, nature enthusiastic, cultural organizations and communities adjacent to reserves to tell stories of forests and educate the general public about the importance of art and nature. Pius collaborated with Nafasi Art Space through developing this project with David Masanja as artist.

view exhibition online at

Contributed by

tgeneration2014_41947's picture

Tengeneza Generation FAO Mountain Partnership, #NatureForAll

Other contributors

Laurent Kimbatu
Davie Masanja
Nsamila Photography