Open Letter to Friends of Pugu and Kazimzumbwi

An Open Letter To Friends of Pugu and Kazimzumbwi (Forests)


Dear Friends of Pugu and Kazimzumbwi

We are happy to read that there are more friends of Pugu on the internet! Please let me introduce myself - we operate a Nature Centre at the border of Pugu Forest and try to be a friend of the forest since 1996. (Due to the complexity of saving the Pugu Forest and our limited means we have to limit ourselves to Pugu)

Our group of Pugu Forest Friends meets occasionally in Dar es Salaam when the opportunity is there. Recently the access to the Pugu Forest for environmentally friendly activities like hiking, bird watching and the like has improved significantly. The Government reduced the entrance fees to the Pugu Forest (and others) from 3,000 tsh to 1,500 tsh for citizens and from 30usd to 10usd for non-citizens.

We think it is time that a forest at the edge of a multi million metropolis like Dar es Salaam should serve as a greenbelt for recreation and for research by the major educational institutes of the country of which many are located in Dar es Salaam, rather than as an unsustainable charcoal source.

During our first visit (February 2012) to the Pugu Forest since many years we found that the clearing of remaining patches of the old forest is still continuing, even though the pace of destruction has been slowing down during the last year. We hope that the REDD project can support the Government law enforcement activities - in combination with the awareness and capacity building activities of the project.

An other option for changing the whole purpose of this forest which still mainly acts as a charcoal mining production site, could be to invite Dar es Salaam residents to the forest and to let them discover the remains of this beautiful forest so close to the polluted city Centre which could soon be lost as a greenbelt for Dar es Salaam and its future generations of residents. To attract people to the forest you will have to compete with the beach which already attracts significant numbers of town people, but an early hike in the forest can certainly match a beach outing. We should however avoid that increased interest in the Pugu Forest will develop as a new threat through uncontrolled littering an other environmentally unfriendly behavior.

My point is here that an awareness campaign aimed at conservation of nature - still needs some Nature as the object of the protection measures and that increased efforts to completely halt further harvesting in the Pugu Forest is a condition for conserving the still incredible biodiversity of this dying coastal forest.

We will appreciate if some of our staff members could be invited in your future seminars in the Pugu Area while we consider them as assets in the efforts to change the perception of Pugu Forest at community level and for increasing your support in the community around the forest.

best regards


Kik van den Heuvel

Pugu Hills Nature Centre

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Nature Sounds Pugu

Birdsongs are most abundant at Pugu Hills and a logical starting point for an audio collection.



The most melodical bird at Pugu often mistaken for a jazzy and happy human visitor (December 23, 2011)
The flock of Retz Shrikes recorded at Pugu Hills in October 2011 retz_shrike
The bulbul song which is around at pugu most of the day all year round (at the end of the recording the frog like sound of a turaco is heard) common bulbul



The cute little Green backed Camaroptera comes very close to humans possibly too small to be eaten(December 26, 2011) common bulbul
The endangered miniature primate the Rondo Dwarf Galago can be heard at night from the banda and tent at Pugu Hills Nature Centre.

Caught by the microphone of the video camera but not in the lense this reddish? bird visiting Pugu Hills in November 2010 is for the time being without a name.

(One month later....) Josephine helped me out. Determination from images is still feasible with some spare time but where to start on the internet with a sound file?? The memory of the "reddish" bird flashing by was not too bad now we found a name for the mistery bird "white browed robin chat" (Cossypha heugliniI)

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A short video why poor soils, poor environment etc. result in high biodiversity. (3:32)
Narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, this "mockumentary" video, hammers home the stark reality of California's plastic bag pollution situation. (4:00)
Dr. Felician Kilahama the director of the Forest and Beekeeping Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism summarises the new conservation policy towards the restoration of the Coastal Forests of Dar es Salaam including Pugu Forest.The policy foresees cooperation between the Government, Non-governmental organisations and the private sector (Pugu Hills Nature Centre). (1:34min)
The inevitable loss of the Pugu Forest and other more dramatic loss of nature in Tanzania leaves little hope for the future of this beautiful country especially at a time we may be at the doorstep of major industrial development. The BBC documentary "Overpopulated" (59:15min) provides hope also for Tanzania that the population pressure will stabilise at some point, allowing for descent development planning instead of damage control.

Pugu Hills and its benefits for students in high definition


Children spend 44 hours or more per week behind a screen indoors. Physically and mentally we were not created for this sedentary life. We have a responsibility to "get'm outside


Breakfast for the bush baby at Pugu Hills Nature Centre. The camera is held some 60 cm away from the treat, explaining the hesitation to feast by the rest of the troup. Let us hope the bush babies will still find a place to go with the exploding town of Dar es Salaam filling every valley, hill site and other spaces (2:53min)
Four toed elephant shrew at the gate of Pugu Hills Nature Centre (20 secs)
The Cove a shocking documentary of how Nature is continously destructed and the limitations of trying to stop the destruction. At least this film has some impact and even 5 years after its release it still mobilises conservationists and possibly the end the killing of dolphins by humans (1:31:23)
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