Report Reiterates Allegations Against Watertown Safari Company
A report out Thursday provides a detailed account of allegations previously levied against Thomson Safaris, the Watertown company that has come under fire from land-rights groups and indigenous communities over a large tract of land in Tanzania where the company operates about 250 wildlife tours a year. The report, by the California think tank the Oakland Institute, documents charges against Thomson’s affiliate, Tanzania Conservation Ltd., of illegally obtaining 12,617 acres of land in northern Tanzania, denying access to locals seeking to graze their livestock there, and violently removing Maasai villagers from the land. In late 2015, the High Court of Tanzania at Arusha ruled that Tanzania Conservation Ltd. was the legal owner of 10,000 acres but had to return 2,617 acres to the community; no damages were awarded, and an appeal by the villagers is pending. The report also lays out similar allegations against a United Arab Emirates company that operated hunting trips in the same region and whose license was revoked last year.