The town of Victoria Falls is situated at the very brink of the waterfalls and on the banks of the Zambezi River. A short walk from many of the hotels in town will take a visitor to the two kilometers of stone pathways where incredible views of the Falls can be enjoyed. These visitors will also see herds of antelope including impala and waterbuck on the side of the road and warthogs grazing on lawns.
A balance has been found between the population of Victoria Falls, both tourists and locals and the wildlife. This balance is in many ways directly linked to the success of a local anti poaching team. The Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit is based in Victoria Falls and every day the unit sends scouts out into the town and into the bush surrounding the town as well as along the banks of the Zambezi River. These scouts monitor the wild life on the lookout for signs of poaching.
The unit, which employs 17 scouts, works closely with National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Zimbabwe Republic Police to conserve Zimbabwe’s valuable wildlife resources was founded by Charles Brightman, a local conservationist and safari operator. Brightman said “VFAPU’s successes wouldn’t be possible without joining forces with government authorities and working together, as well as public support – every donation, no matter how small helps,”
In 2015 the Unit apprehended more than 300 poachers, 12 were mammal poachers, with the illegal bush meat trade – which results in 3.5 million tons of wildlife being consumed in central and southern Africa each year – an area of great concern, he said. The others were fish and wood poachers.
A large part of the anti-poaching work that is done involves stakeholder education. This is undertaken at multiple platforms from schools to churches. In the 15 years that VFAPU has been operational there is no doubting the success of their work.
If you are able to assist VFAPU in any way please go to http://www.vfapu.com or email Charles on firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor – VF24 – 5