Mana Ranger Program-Anti Poaching Unit

Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park is one of Southern Africa’s most remote and idyllic wildlife destinations. It is an acclaimed UNESCO world heritage site. Being so remote and secluded on two countries’ borders makes it an attractive target for wildlife poaching.  

With over 6 million people living below the poverty line, the high cost of living continues to have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of communities. This has a knock-on effect on wildlife in areas where communities are living along the borders of national parks, as animal poaching continues to steadily increase. We are seeing more wildlife shootings in our parks for meat supplies as the community is actively poaching animals in a desperate attempt to feed their families. 

About our Project

In the past two years: 

  • Animal poaching has increased in our parks 
  • An average of 20 Elephants are poached for commercial poaching a year  
  • Small antelope and bushmeat are poached by the community for meat.   

This poaching activity in the areas has a devastating impact on our wildlife population and ecosystem.  

African Bush Camp Foundation built an additional anti-poaching unit in 2021, giving the National Parks additional capacity. The unit is a fully equipped and resourced anti-poaching operation base. We also launched a Ranger Protein Supplement Program as part of our support for 80 Rangers and their families who live and co-exist alongside the wildlife in the parks. For the preservation of wildlife, we have also stopped the harvesting of animals in the parks by providing an alternative source of protein. 

As part of our ongoing commitment to tackling wildlife poaching in our parks, we will be supporting the anti-poaching efforts in the area by adding additional anti-poaching rangers to boost operations and combat the rising wildlife crime in National Parks.  

The rangers will actively patrol the park and implement prevention measures that will help us bring an end to animal poaching. The scope of work for this unit is regular patrols, ensuring that no wildlife is hunted or killed for consumption or sale, and implementing the necessary arrests and fines. This unit will work closely with the community to provide regular training and education on wildlife conservation and promote wildlife co-existence programs and practices in the community.  

We anticipated a 50% reduction in animal poaching in 2022 because of this program and a steady decline over the next 3 years to zero poaching by 2025. We have achieved 100% savings for big to medium-sized wildlife by neutralizing the annual hunting quota. (Annual Average 20 elephants, 12 buffalo and medium to small size antelope). 

We can preserve our wildlife for future generations by implementing the anti-poaching unit, conservation awareness, and education in our communities and parks.  This project has the potential to drive attitude and behavioural changes in the communities and instil respect for wildlife and the environment, which will be passed down to the next generation.