The Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) works collaboratively with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, NGOs and the private sector to develop, implement and manage: anti-poaching operations, field equipment and supplies for rangers and support teams, anti-poaching ranger training, conservation security planning and implementation, information systems and networking, technology and systems for anti-poaching operations, community livelihood programs, habitat restoration initiatives, and education and awareness delivery
ZEF has, in collaboration with their partners, built an anti-poaching reaction ranger base, conducted multiple aerial surveys, supplied equipment and rations to rangers, run training programmes, held collaborative workshops, funded three deployment vehicles, a patrol boat and driver/coxswain, funded a dedicated light aircraft for Flying for Wildlife, set up a highly effective illegal wildlife crime unit with Zimbabwe Republic Police’s MFFU, and kickstarted a crucial community-based sustainable habitat programme around tree planting and innovative cookstoves
Project Ranger fills a critical gap in wildlife monitoring, surveying, and anti-poaching operations of existing NGO’s in Africa through an emergency fund supporting those on the front-lines of conservation. Contributions from private individuals, foundations, and corporate partners will supplement budget deficits with local ground partners by funding salaries, training, and operations of wildlife monitors, rangers and anti-poaching personnel.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s ripple effects are broad; leaving virtually no industry, economy, or continent immune. As travel and tourism has been brought to a standstill, many wilderness areas are left vacant and workers left with uncertainty of personal income. This “perfect storm” of conditions is leaving many endangered animals highly vulnerable to wildlife crime.
The Mother Africa Trust was born out of the belief that, through effective volunteer eco-tourism and legitimate community collaborations a better future can be built for the rural communities in Zimbabwe. The Mother Africa Trust has facilitated the socio-economic development and empowerment of rural communities in Matopos and Hwange District.
Ever since we began in 2006, Mother Africa has worked tirelessly to make a positive and lasting difference in Zimbabwe. Mother Africa Trust’s top mission is to establish effective and sustainable projects that will improve the living conditions and the economic status of disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe.
In recent years Mother Africa Trust has made significant positive steps towards offering children an equal opportunity to learn. Particular emphasis is given to orphans and vulnerable children as these make up a higher percentage of school dropouts if ever there were luck to see the doors of a classroom. Our Academic Scholarship programme offers full funding to deserving students from identified rural communities. The programme aims to support children who have not had the same educational benefits or opportunities in life as others.
MOTHER AFRICA TRUST PROJECTS
Drought Relief – Food Programme
At the heart of biting economic problems is a severe drought that has left many people in Zimbabwe facing extreme poverty and food insecurities. The rural populace is among those seriously affected, with many people going all day and night without eating. Everyday children turn up for school on an empty stomach, which makes it hard to focus on lessons. There is urgent need to scale – up assistance to drought affected people, and The Mother Africa Trust’s goal is to provide the much-needed relief to school children and vulnerable families that include grandma and child-headed families.
Lion Proof Bomas
Human – wildlife conflict has become one of the main threats to the continued survival of lions in Hwange National Park, and a significant threat to villagers living around these wildlife areas. Villagers have lost many livestock to predators and sometimes their lives are in danger as they try to protect their main source of livelihood. The lions are often killed in retaliation or to prevent future attacks. In seeking a solution to this, Mother Africa Trust has been building lion proof bomas for villagers in most affected areas. Lion proof bomas are kraals or enclosures that keep cattle safe at night and prevent them from being attacked by predators. Since 2018 Mother Africa Trust has built 9 lion proof bomas for villagers and they have proved very effective in mitigating conflict.
Human – wildlife conflict will not be solved overnight, but with your help we can attempt to reduce number of livestock and lions lost.
Scholarships and Education
Help us to give more disadvantage and orphaned children in the rural communities of Zimbabwe a chance to reach their potential in life. Your contribution can enable us to remove more children from the streets and also empower under-resourced rural schools with educational equipment and better learning facilities.
Sustainable Community Projects
Keeping with the model of empowerment, we have initiated two projects to benefit vulnerable families; the goat gift project in Matopos and the Road runner chicken project in Hwange. The goal is to allow these less privileged families to provide for their own support through the profit that comes from the production and reproduction of goats and chickens. When you help these families, you are investing not only in their welfare, but you are unlocking their potential.
The Mother Africa Anti-poaching Unit (MAAPU) works tirelessly to prevent all forms of poaching in the Ivory Lodge concession that borders Hwange National Park. These brave eco-guards frequently undertake anti-poaching operations in the concession removing snares and apprehending poachers. Through providing basics like shoes, backpacks, patrol equipment, camera traps and accommodation we can make sure that even the rangers protecting rhinos in Matobo National Park have the best chance to stay safe and protect wildlife. Together we will succeed in protecting the future of our planet.
Build Mgadla Primary School
Mgadla villagers in Matobo District have taken an initiative to build a school that will benefit more than 250 children between the age of 5 and 13 who are currently walking 8 – 10km to get to the nearest school. Many children are delayed starting school as they cannot manage to walk long distance. The first classroom block which comprises of two classrooms, is now at window level, and villagers having been providing pit sand, river sand, bricks and labour while we assisted them with cement, window frames, door frames and a professional builder. Your kind donation will help this desperate community roof this much needed classroom block.
Wild Horizons has been built over decades of family values to provide amazing experiences for visitors throughout Zimbabwe. Elephants became part of the Wild Horizons family in 1992 when four elephants needed a better home. Since that day, Wild Horizons has had an unwavering belief that the elephants welfare takes precedence. Whether is is during a rescue, the rehabilitation or release, it is all about the elephants’ future. That strong conservationist ethic has provided expansive training for the elephants’ keepers as well as a safe haven for elephants ever since
Wild Horizons main goal is to ensure the elephants have the best care and quality of life in the most natural environment. The team works all year long to care for our elephants as well as contribute to local and worldwide efforts for better education and conservation
Painted Dog Conservation’s (PDC) mission is to create an environment where painted dogs can thrive
PDC put together a conservation model that will really work in the long term, and make a significant difference to the painted dog population in Zimbabwe. PDC employs more than 60 people from the local villages to run conservation, education and outreach programs
In 2017 the IAPF’s Akashinga program was born and the first all-female, armed anti-poaching unit in the world was recruited and trained in an abandoned trophy hunting reserve in Zimbabwe. In the first 2.5 years Akashinga helped drive an 80% downturn in elephant poaching in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley, one of the largest remaining populations left on earth. Akashinga’s bold goal is to employ 1,000 female rangers that protect a network of 20 nature preserves under IAPF management by 2025
Akashinga is a platform for women to change the world for the better. It is women carrying out one of the most demanding and respected jobs in the world while thriving at it and building their own lives, their families and their communities in the process
The Wildlife Conservation Network created the Rhino Recovery Fund (RRF) with the goal of protecting rhinos from wildlife crime and restoring their landscapes, improving the health of rhino populations and benefiting local people
RRF targets the two biggest threats to the world’s five species of rhino: the illegal rhino horn trade and rampant habitat loss. To combat the rhino horn trade, RRF invest in projects aimed at stopping rhino poaching in Africa and ending the trafficking and demand for rhino horn. RRF also support projects that are restoring habitat so that Africa and Asia’s remaining rhinos can recover in intact, functional landscapes.
Created by the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Lion Recovery Fund funds game-changing conservation actions by the most effective, vetted partners who work collaboratively to bring lions back
Through strategic investments and collaboration with other public and private donors, the Lion Recovery Fund aspires to double the number of lions in Africa, regaining those lions lost over the past 25 years. Lion Recovery Fund are committed to seeing thriving savannah landscapes where Africa’s people, its economic development and its lions all co-exist
To battle this surge in ivory poaching, the Elephant Crisis Fund is identifying and supporting the most effective projects and partners in Africa, and in ivory consuming nations, to end the ivory crisis and secure a future for elephants. The ECF exists to fuel their efforts, encourage collaboration, and deliver rapid impact on the ground – even within 24 hours of a poaching crisis
Launched by Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Elephant Crisis Fund is the most flexible and responsive fund geared towards emergency assistance and innovative investments in both NGO’s and governments combating the poaching, trafficking, and demand elements of the ivory crisis
The Elephant Crisis Fund supports the best efforts from the most trusted organizations working to save elephants. The ECF funds the best ideas. It provides equal access to funding for both large and small, international or grassroots organizations, based on the merit of their projects to deliver impact for elephants and to stop wildlife crime
Pack for a Purpose travelers have taken over 194,783 kgs (428,522 pounds) of supplies meeting essential needs in over 60 countries
Packed for a Purpose makes it possible to have a big impact in the communities you visit by simply using a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world
The African Bush Camps Foundation is a registered not-for-profit organization (registration no: MA121/2016) that began operating in 2006 with the vision of creating opportunities that empower rural communities located in vulnerable wildlife areas.
The Foundation’s mission is to partner with these communities to improve their quality of life and achieve long-term conservation through programs focusing on education, conservation and community empowerment.
By directly linking these benefits to tourism these communities learn to positively value wildlife and nature as resources for improving their well being.
Zimbabwe has a well-earned reputation for some of the best guides and most picturesque wildlife and wilderness areas in Africa.
We’re excited to offer creative walking safari packages that let you explore on foot with expert guides between lightweight fly-camps and spectacular camps & lodges.
I had a fantastic time in Africa. We saw a vast amount of wildlife, virtually everything one could hope for, except for rhinos, which we knew we would not see. We did see elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas, wildebeests, buffalo, hippos, warthogs, African wild dogs, baboons, crocodiles, jackals, nine kinds of antelope, and more! The real highlight for me personally was finding, identifying (of course with the benefit of our guides’ expertise), and photographing over one hundred bird species.
Each one was a new thrill. After returning home I uploaded all one hundred or so bird observations to “iNaturalist.org”. Every one of them was seen and commented on (i.e. my identification either confirmed or corrected). Many were picked up by various “projects” within iNaturalist, such as Birds of Botswana, Birds of Southern Africa, and Owls of the World. One photo (Hooded Vulture) was selected as Observation of the Day, and was nominated for Observation of the Month!
Our guides were fantastic in their knowledge of animal behavior, birds, trees, etc. We had KK in Botswana, and Douglas at Davison’s Camp. Douglas was my favorite. He was absolutely delightful, not only in sharing his passion for the wilderness with all its living things, but also in sharing his own personal stories of life in Zimbabwe.
I loved the trip to the village (called ngamo) in Zimbabwe. This may have been my single favorite part of the trip. It was a moving experience to see the enthusiasm and optimism among the 7th graders we met. They sang songs and danced for us. Their joy in doing so was obvious. The principle was very engaging. We met the Head Man of the village and his wife, who shared with us the structure of the village political system, the local diet, the moral code they live by, their views of their government, etc. This was extremely interesting and educational. I also loved the two boat trips, one on the Khwai River and the other on the Chobe River. These provided very nice variety among many game drives in the jeep.
The transitions from one part of the trip to another worked perfectly! In every case, there was someone at the airport or at the border to receive us and guide us along to the next phase. This was amazing.
Some of the highlights/striking things from the Botswana trip were the abundance and variety of animals. And of course our guides knew every single bird. We saw many lions, their cubs, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, wildebeests , warthogs, hyenas, wild dogs, hippos and crocs and of course too many elephants to count. One striking event happened near the Chobe River after our boat ride. A herd of of elephants just finished drinking and were lingering near by. It was early evening and a male lion was scouting them out, appearing nonchalant. Suddenly, the herd coalesced and charged the lion who ran right past our vehicle. We broke the quiet rule and burst into applause for the elephants.
The amenities/food that stood out in Camp Davidson were the care the staff took to accommodate my gluten intolerance. The meals were all excellent. In Botswana, the mobile camp staff couldn’t do enough for us. The primitive conditions hardly mattered. The safari vehicles in Camp Davidson were far superior to those used by Wilderness Dawning. We hope they will upgrade them soon.
Planning our safari with Next Adventure was fabulous. We couldn’t imagine more knowledgeable, accommodating and eager professionals. I have recommended Next Adventure to several people and will continue to do so. I don’t think there was anything Jeremy could have done differently to prepare us. There were no surprises and the whole trip went off without a hitch.
Describing to a friend what it’s like to be on safari, well, you are awakened at 5:30, breakfast at 6 and in the vehicle by 6:30. The guides take out out for game drives with a cup of tea at 10 and continue on until lunch. Each day is quite different in that you never know what you will see and the guides always seem to know where to find the animals. You think it can’t get any more exciting and then it does. Seeing these animals in the wild is really breathtaking. Usually there is an afternoon siesta then back to the vehicles for more animal encounters. The guides always seem just as excited as we are at each discovery.
Some of Lance’s wildlife photos
When Lifescan executive Kirsten Kempe and her husband, Bob Carlin, a longtime Oracle manager, decided to travel in 2018 with two fellow elite triathletes and their spouses, they turned to custom safari specialist Next Adventure (nextadventure.com). The Berkeley company hosts gatherings in clients’ homes and offices by which travelers glean the latest information on conservation issues, along with practical safari advice.
Next Adventure Managing Director Kili McGowan helped organize an evening at Kempe’s Mountain View home “that was almost like a dinner party, where we got together to talk about what they wanted to do,” she says. The result: a three-week trip that included South Africa’s Cape Town and Johannesburg, and 13 days on safari in luxury camps in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.
In the 1990s, Zimbabwe was booming. It was a sought-after destination, and Next Adventure was one of the few photographic safari experts to specialize in travel to Zimbabwe.
Over the past couple of decades, Zimbabwe tourism has struggled, but there is optimism in the air. Three of the most influential safari operators are opening new camps in the Zambezi valley. Vic Falls town is humming again with lots of new lodges and development, and more travelers are opting for a full Zimbabwe Safari Circuit.
Zimbabwe is a country of remarkable diversity with a variety of excellent wildlife viewing regions. There’s boating and walking safaris, archeological touring, ground-breaking conservation work, one of the seven woders of the world and some of the best naturalist guides on the continent.
We’re excited to be working on a wonderful itinerary for a family of four that includes Zimbabwe’s iconic destinations as well as stops in the lesser known areas in the south.
We love how this itinerary unfolds. We start off with the stunning beauty and adventure of the Zambezi Valley and the predator rich pans of Hwange National Park, then there’s a mid-point stop to explore Vic Falls before continuing to the granite wilderness of Matopos and a fascinating World Heritage site, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
The circuit ends in the Gonarezhou area which ties together all the themes that make for a great safari: community-based conservation, cultural experiences, and a wide range of activities in a truly breathtaking wilderness setting.
1 night in Johannesburg on arrival at The Intercontinental
3 nights in Mana Pools at Zambezi Expeditions or Little Ruckomechi Camp
3 nights in Hwange National Park at Somalisa Camp or Davison’s Camp
2 nights in Victoria Falls at Victoria Falls Hotel or Old Drift Lodge
3 nights in Matopos at Amalinda Lodge
1 nights in Masvingo to tour the Great Zimbabwe Monutment
3 nights in Gonarezhou National Park at Chilo Gorge or Singita Pamushana
Here’s a google map to see how their trip is coming together:
Karen & Hank are keen photographers who went on their first photo safari last year to Kenya and Tanzania. This year, the focus turned to Southern Africa, specifically areas in Zimbabwe and Botswana that offer exceptional wildlife viewing in November when the dry season transitions with the start of the summer rains.
Mana Pools and Hwange National Parks in Zimbabwe combined with the Linyanti/Selinda Reserve and Okavango Delta of Botswana provided a range of complementary experiences, ecosystems and wildlife, and we selected camps that could perfectly accommodate their interest in a high-quality photo safari.
We just returned from an incredible safari organized by Kili McGowan at Next Adventure. Kili did an amazing job listening to our needs, and creating a custom photo safari itinerary for us. Each camp was special in its own way, and we felt privileged to be able to learn about some of the history and culture in these two countries, as well as achieve one of our primary goals – to obtain outstanding photographs of wildlife! Kili was extremely knowledgeable about the weather and wildlife we were likely to see in each place. We look forward to traveling to Africa again soon and will enjoy working with Kili to plan our future adventures. —Karen P.
In celebration of my 10-year anniversary as Managing Director of Next Adventure, I decided to return to my roots. When we were founded in 1996, nearly 90% of our business was to Zimbabwe as it experienced a golden age.
As an 18 year-old, I spent months exploring Zim after my father bought me a one-way ticket to Harare. If Kenya was the first love from my childhood, then Zimbabwe was the first love of my adult life. I’m excited to take a small group of travelers there this November to see first-hand the safari renaissance there.
Click to view a PDF of our exclusive Insider’s Safari to Zimbabwe Itinerary.
We pride ourselves on expanding travelers’ horizons and ensuring our safaris go beyond the must-dos that everyone else knows about. That’s why we’re called Next Adventure. Zimbabwe boasts many key features that we find essential:
Of course, digital cameras have revolutionized photography by making it possible for just about anybody to take great photos, but this is going a bit too far.
Here’s the full story. I still don’t understand how the lioness got the camera, but I’m sure when the guide was able to get the camera back it was full of pictures of Land Rovers.