Banking in Serengeti

1858 • • • 2011 • • • 2018

In May 2011 I became head of finance for FZS’s Africa Programme, location of office: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. But before I could start work, I had to deal with a rather special problem my bank came up with: They needed an orderly verification of my new address in Serengeti. That proved to be tricky, because here we don’t have street names or numbers let alone postcodes. Could I provide an electricity bill? I could not, because solar panels and a generator produce my electricity. A water bill? Afraid not, because the rains and a water tank provide me with all the water I need. Phone bill? Sorry, no can do, there are no landlines in Serengeti and mobile phones only worked with prepaid cards these days! In the end, a letter from FZS HQ in Frankfurt was enough to convince my bank, that I indeed was now living in the middle of Serengeti National Park.

Donald Boag was our Head of Finance Africa and worked part-time as Santa Claus for the children of Seronera. In Tanzania, we provide critical support and know-how for resource protection, monitoring, and park management.

The 3 day lunchbreak

1858 • • • 2005 • • • 2018

At the end of April a pride of lions killed a buffalo right outside our office in Seronera, in the middle of Serengeti. For three days they feasted on their prey just a few metres away from our desks. They guarded their buffalo with great determination. In a spectacular stunt on the office’s veranda they even killed a hyena that had been reckless enough to try and steal a little buffalo meat. There was blood and bits of hyena-remains everywhere. These three days with unrelenting growling and roaring, with hyena-bickering and buffalo-stench,  made it quite clear once again for who it is we are working for here in Serengeti.  We continue to do so with conviction, as we have for almost 70 years.

Professor Markus Borner was our Africa Director for more than 30 years. In Tanzania, we provide critical support and know-how for resource protection, monitoring, and park management.