Behind The Scenes – Zimbabwe
There is incredible diversity across Zimbabwe from the arid areas of Hwange National Park to the lush riverine landscapes alongside the Zambezi in Mana Pools, or the dramatic cliffs around Malilangwe. In each of these areas our clients enjoy fabulous hosting and guiding that gets them close to the wildlife that inhabits Zimbabwe’s national parks and reserves.
Behind the scenes at the various lodges and camps, or through foundations run by the safari companies, a great deal of good work is being done to support the local communities or wildlife, ensuring the long term prospects of the areas and that their peoples are looked after.
Here are some of our favourite camps and an insight into the work they are doing across Zimbabwe.
Mobile Dental Clinics in the Hwange region
Mark Butcher is the managing director of Imvelo in Zimbabwe. He’s always felt a safari company should “believe in enriching the lives of those who live around us as well as our guests”.
Imvelo’s Bomani Tented Lodge is located in a private concession in the Ngamo Forest Reserve on the edge of the remote and unspoilt southeast corner of Hwange National Park. Most local villagers around this area had never received dental care, so since 2011 volunteer dentists from Italy and Spain have been working with Imvelo to provide mobile dentist safaris. Over the years these dentists have provided numerous vital and sometimes lifesaving dental procedures including extractions, fillings and root canals for free.
Conservation For Kids in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
Singita Pamushana Lodge is located in the beautifully diverse Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in south eastern Zimbabwe. The lodge is set in a remote wilderness area, that is surrounded by riparian woodland, bordering the Chiredzi River.
As part of its ongoing commitment to the surrounding communities, Singita Pamushana partners with the Malilangwe Trust which runs regular courses in conservation education for pupils at local schools. The courses are designed to teach students the value of conserving the environment and the wildlife for both their own future and that of their communities. The children understand how looking after the wildlife and the environment can benefit them in the long-term. When they have been on these courses, the children become ambassadors to the local communities.
Community Garden in Mana Pools National Park
Zambezi Expeditions is a small, seasonal camp set on the banks of the Zambezi in Mana Pools National Park. Owned by African Bush Camps their charitable foundation partners with communities to improve their quality of life and achieve long-term conservation through programmes focusing on education, conservation and community empowerment.
To help combat food poverty among communities in this area the African Bush Camps Foundation has supported a food garden at Mambanje School, increasing the supply of fresh produce to ensure that learners are receiving nutritional meals daily. A community garden to feed the broader community is also ongoing with education on how to grow a sizable vegetable garden as a source of healthy food and improve livelihoods.
Anti Poaching Unit in Hwange National Park
Davison’s Camp, owned by Wilderness Safaris is named after the founder of the Hwange National Park. The camp lies in the south-eastern Linkwasha Concession, one of the best wildlife viewing areas of the entire National Park.
Hwange boasts large herds of elephant and white rhino and given the vast size of this national park protecting these species from poachers is a constant challenge. Wilderness Safaris provide vital funding for the operating costs of the Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit (SAPU). This ensures that the team, which includes Hwange National Park rangers, is able to maintain its crucial year-round presence within the park. The increase in the unit’s foot and vehicle patrols last year, has had a notable impact on the wildlife population and diversity of species.
We would be delighted to help you plan a safari encompassing any of the conservation activities mentioned here. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.