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Seeking answers, providing solutions

Seeking answers, providing solutions

Seeking answers, providing solutions
Tom Varley

We explore the multi-faceted work of Wilderness Wildlife Trust in conservation of the wild areas where Wilderness Safaris operate in Zimababwe.

High-profile operator Wilderness Safaris has a corporate philosophy of ploughing resources back into the areas in which it operates. Wilderness supports a wide variety of management, research and education projects in Zimbabwe and Zambia – either directly through the operational logistics provided by its camps, or through the independent Wilderness Wildlife Trust.

The Trust funds a number of projects in Zimbabwe:-

Hwange Anti-Poaching Project

Since 2007, with the aid of a vehicle funded by the Trust, anti-poaching efforts have combined the resources of Wilderness Safaris, the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the Painted Dog Conservation antipoaching unit, and various other NGOs. These units all conduct frequent patrols to control poaching.

Hwange Ecology Researcher and Co-ordinator

The Research Safaris Zimbabwe has established various projects over the last two years including monthly rhino monitoring exercises, monthly full moon 24-hour pan counts, road strip counts, spoor transects, assisting with lion and leopard research projects run by independent researchers, assessment of game water supply, measurement of borehole efficiency throughout the season, darting and snare removal, assisting with antipoaching, vulture counts, environmental impact assessment of camps, and various other projects. The Trust has provided a new vehicle for ecological work in the south-eastern section of Hwange National Park.

Hwange Game Water Supply

Wilderness Safaris has been supplying water to the wildlife in south-eastern Hwange since 1997, taking on the responsibility of drilling, pumping and maintaining a number of waterholes in and around the Linkwasha Concession. Last year saw two new windmills installed to replace diesel engines, as well as other experimental pumping systems.

Co-ordinator for Wilderness Victoria Falls Anti- Poaching Unit Since 2006 the Trust has been funding the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, a joint effort to combat poaching around the resort town. There has been an improvement in game sightings, with good sightings of sizable herds of elephant and buffalo, giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland and waterbuck as well as other less common plains game including sable. There have also been sightings of lion, leopard and wild dog. Hwange Spotted Hyaena Dilemma

On the periphery of Hwange National Park livestock represents the wealth and resource of the community, and conflict with hyaena has particularly serious consequences. This project is investigating the competition between lion and hyaena, as well as quantifying and determining the characteristics of the human-hyaena conflict. The project forms part of the French National Centre for Scientific Research - Hwange Environmental Research and Development Project.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 07, Dec 2011)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Little Makalolo Camp (Hwange, Zimbabwe)
Davison's Camp (Hwange, Zimbabwe)