As we continue to move down the hourglass, my results and analysis will begin to take shape. Seeing that I have yet to conduct my research in the field I can only anticipate my results based on the fact that I will be doing a comparative study between Kruger National Park and the Masai Mara. In thinking about the results that I anticipate I will begin by charting the similarities and differences between these two places.
History: Both South Africa and Kenya/Tanzania were colonised by the British for varying lengths of time. And so settlerism will have an impact on land use in the area. Through the process of colonialism, indigenous people in both countries were forced off their land to make space for the colonisers and so the ways in which land was used and conceptualised before has changed. When thinking about this in the context of conservation, historically during colonialism hunting parks were set up by the British for game hunting. Often, when the rulers saw that the populations of animals were decreasing and with changing tastes they began to set up game and safari parks. In this way both situated contexts will be similar as they have histories of settler colonialism and displacement caused by this.
Ideology: Although during British colonialism indigenous knowledge was preserved and appropriated to varying extents, another point that will inform my analysis and results will be the tension that ensues from the western and indigenous ideologies regarding the question of nature. In many indigenous African languages, the word nature does not exist in the same way as it does in the English language. And so when one considers colonialism and land use, one can see that this tension manifests itself and continues to do so with development and industrialisation. This will be something I will explore in both situated contexts and keeping in mind as I conduct interviews with various stakeholders. After speaking to Jim, I will also consider how these ideologies differ and also not try to romanticise them, in aiming to translate these ideologies into English as best as I can
Conservation approaches: Lastly, the most compelling argument one can state will impact my results and analysis is that of the differing conservation strategies used in the Masai Mara and Kruger National Park. This is a result of many differing factors which have yet to be explored, however, some are known to me at present, namely history and current policies. Kruger and the Masai Mara greatly differ in that the former uses a conservation biology approach, whereas the latter uses that of community based conservation. Which is also a strategy that is greatly employed in East Africa. These strategies, although not completely pure are mixed in their contexts. Thus the strategy will dictate the primary beneficiaries of each approach, reinforcing the notion that all case studies are contextual and there isn’t necessarily a “one size fits all” approach.
These are the main differences I anticipate will mostly impact my findings and analysis. In writing my thesis I hope to treat the subject in a way where it is the truest to itself and also accessible and understandable to others.