The Need to Act
The Trust was set up in response to the crisis in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. It has no political or national affiliations, but is a purely humanitarian response to an intolerable situation which had developed in the park because of drought and the lack of funds, fuel and water.
Latest news: Save Hwange Trust
Getaway readers have new reason to be proud of their support for the Save Hwange Trust. For several years, the trust has been working to keep the water-hole pumps running in Hwange National Park. Zimbabwe’s National Parks department is no longer supported by the government, so Hwange and its animals are entirely dependent on tourism for their survival.
The Save Hwange Trust has been working on ways to use funds in a sustainable way. Renovating tourism facilities within the park helps generate income from visitors, which the park then uses to buy diesel for the pumps. Save Hwange has just finished fixing up the Guvulala platform and the park has agreed to allow camping there between 18h00 and 06h00. This is thanks to the Getaway readers whose generous donations made this possible.
Support Hwange: Win a holiday!
If you would like to help Save Hwange, send your donation or monthly stop order to First National in Seapoint, Branch number 201809, account number 6209 3759 086. Both the largest and the 100th stop order valid for a year will win a five-day holiday for two to Vic Falls and Hwange, sponsored by Flame of Africa. To contribute online, follow this link.
Success Story One: Hwange Fuel Delivery (Safari Talk)
We have not yet reached our target of 20 000 litres but we were able to buy 10 000 litres of diesel from Redan Petroleum, which was delivered to the park on the 17th October.Read more…
Ecological Crisis: Why we’re doing this
During a recce trip to Hwange by Don Pinnock of Getaway and Brett McDonald of Flame Lily Holidays, it became clear that an ecological crisis was in the making. There were way too may elephants for the available water supply and not enough food. Trees were chewed to stumps and thirsty animals were snuffling at the end of dry water pipes. All animals and plants were suffering and there were many reports of deaths.
The problem was lack of fuel in Zimbabwe and an elephant population of around 30 000 animals – way too many for the 14 600km2 park. Funds were not available as Hwange is not supported from the Zimbabwean treasury but is expected to survive on tourism alone. Visitors, however, are afraid to travel to and in the park, partly because of the Zimbabwe’s political profile and mainly because of the fuel shortages. Park officials also can’t get fuel to do antipoaching patrols or run the pumps that supply animals with water. As tourism and water in the central park declined, animals migrated to the hunting concessions to their detriment.
Rescue plan: Sponsors and Contributions
A rescue plan was worked out on the spot during the recce, but needed the support of concerned parties and sponsors. Mitsubishi Fuso offered to supply a vehicle, Caltex agreed to provide diesel from its Hwange bowsers and Flame Lily organized to deliver the fuel and oversee the maintenance of the pumps.
Trustees and sponsors 2008
Dr Don Pinnock – Associate Editor of Getaway magazine.
Brett McDonald – Director of Flame Lily Holidays.
Andrew Muir – Director of the World Wilderness Foundation.
Flame Lily Holidays
Success Story Two: 4×4 Botswana-Zimbabwe (Trip Report)
Our main mission for the day was to deliver the pump spares and diesel that we were donating to the park. We had to deliver these to the representative of the Save Hwange Trust who operate from The Hide, a private lodge within the park, that is situated about 35km from Main Camp.
The Hide is stunning, and one day when we have the money, we`ll definitely go back and stay there for a few nights. This is really 5 star luxury safari accommodation, with each luxury “tent” facing onto the waterhole. The Hide, through the Save Hwange Trust have taken responsibility for the running of ten of the parks borehole pumps, and assist National Parks with the maintenance of the other 30 in the park.
Our trip into Hwange was really an experiment to see whether the Park still represents a viable holiday destination, given the turmoil in the rest of Zimbabwe. Our experiment turned out to be a huge success. There is fuel at Pandamatenga, and the distance from Pandamatenga to Robyns Camp is only 55km. The game viewing in the park was great, and the park officials are extremely friendly.
I strongly encourage people to make an effort to visit the park, as they desperately need any tourist revenue they can get, and if you can spare some space in your vehicle, please contact the Save Hwange Trust prior to departure, and find out if there are any spares/supplies that you can take up for them. Read more…