Communal, commercial and nature conservation land use alternatives occur together at the perimeter of Manyeleti Game Reserve in Mhala district. The different land use alternatives were compared with one another with the purpose of determining the best possible land use. Communal households and the Seville scheme households perform poorly in support of household welfare. This holds disastrous implications for future generations if nothing is done. The Uthla scheme households perform better and generate larger incomes, but at the expense of communal households. Both schemes are highly subsidised by government. Manyeleti Game Reserve is mismanaged and the worst land use alternative in the area, providing no benefit to people living at its perimeter and needs government support for its continued survival. Using multi criteria analysis a combination of communal and conservation land use alternatives is found to be the best alternative, maximising the communities' welfare and conserving the environment.