News from Nakavango

News from Nakavango

Posted by Sam Hopkins on 13th Mar 2015

We're always thrilled to receive news and updates from our projects, and this week we were thrilled to receive some news from the Nakavango team who facilitate the 'Victoria Falls Conservation Experience' and the '10 Day Victoria Falls Voluntour'. It appears that the team have been really quite busy over the last few months! Have a read of what they have been up to below:

"Masuwe Primary School -

A clear goal was set for 2015; to make a more significant impact in conservation education during our primary school visits. To ensure this was going to be fully undertaken we now visit a school called Masuwe Primary School (MPS), which had a more dire need for our help. It was an appropriate time to be able to leave our work at Jabulani Primary School to move onto MPS as they were receiving donations from many other sources and our efforts to focus on conservation would be of more use elsewhere without leaving Jabulani in the dark. Therefore our new initiative is being truly embraced at MPS allowing us to truly focus on our goal to help educate the children about practical conservation activities, which they will be able to conduct both at school and at home and carry with them as they grow up. Throughout these first few months of 2015 we have already been able to make an impact far beyond what would have been possible previously and the results have been outstanding. With a playground, a new walkway and many more projects in the pipeline, we look forward to being able to keep supporting this spirited school who make the most of every activity and chance they are given.

Alien Plant Removal and Tree Nursery -

From the start of 2015 we had a new enemy on our hands… the dreaded alien plant species called 'Datura' ( which originates from South America). This plant, though aesthetically pleasing, by all means evil. It is extremely toxic and can be fatal when consumed! Subsequently, we have quickly tried to expel it from the reserve in order to protect our animals from meeting an untimely death. Thankfully, we have managed to defeat it and rid a large expanse of land of this alien species. Unfortunately, we have many more 'alien' species to try and decimate - watch this space! We also were able to keep developing our tree nursery and we look forward to provide you with updates throughout the year as to its success.

Rhino Activity -

Sadly in November 2014, we lost one of our Rhinos, named Jayaguru. He was a 5 year old male rhino and unfortunately got taken by a crocodile in our big dam on the reserve. Although this was a sad day for everyone here at Nakavango there was at least some relief found in the fact he was taken naturally and not by poachers. Luckily no rhinos have ever been poached from our reserve due to the fantastic IAPF team we have on our reserve who protect the 8 Black Rhinos resident here every day through fence patrols and continuous monitoring of their activities. The eight rhinos we have on the reserve are as follows:

Rhinos currently on the reserve:

Baleka – 7 year old - Female

Bekezela – 7 year old – Female

Kushinga – 5 year old – Male

Shungu – 20-30 year old – Male

Bambi – 30+ year old – Female

Buster – 20-30 year old – Female

Msinzo – 8 month old -Female

Bhashe – 6 month old – Male

The team members and volunteers are also able to monitor rhino activity through tracking 'spoor'. There was a recent tracking day where the notorious Baleka was being tracked. Even though she was not found, just being able to see her spoor was very exciting as black rhinos are elusive anyway and she is the rarest rhino to spot on the reserve. Tracking is always a favourite activity here at Nakavango as it gives the team a chance to get very close to the animals they are fighting to protect!"

Wow - seems like alot has been happening out in Zimbabwe! If you would like to volunteer in Zimbabwe and join the team on either the '10 Day Victoria Falls' or the 'Victoria Falls Conservation Experience' and help with the activities mentioned above, then please don't hesitate to get in contact with us via our website. Have a great weekend!

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