Friends Of Hwange

      23/3/2022       Next-->

February/March 2022

A quick working visit to the Park a few weeks back revealed very thick bush and green open grasslands. The Camelthorn trees, Acacia erioloba, were sporting a bountiful crop of pods providing valuable nutrition for the ellies. Some of the Zambezi teak trees, Baikaea plurijuga, were already bearing pretty mauve blooms. The weather was glorious - puffy white clouds against a stunning blue sky. Daytime temperatures were hot with a cool evening breeze.
Game was surprisingly prolific. We enjoyed the breeding herds of elephants coming to drink at Kennedy 1 pan at lunchtime and came across a herd of 200 buffalo wallowing and slaking their thirst at a natural pan in the Kennedy Vlei one evening. Animals with young were abundant. Some of the migrant birds have begun to return to northern climes, but many have yet to depart, and the resident birds were plentiful.

This seeming Garden of Eden belies a rather ominous dry season ahead. Patchy, sporadic rainfall has been the story of this summer although some widespread rain, recently received, has provided welcome relief. Despite erratic rainfall, water pans are full or near full and the solar pumps should keep them topped up for some while yet although there are more elephant around than is usual for the time of year.

The old direct current pump in one of the boreholes at Makwa seized and stopped working. It was replaced with a new pump, that works on alternating current, with a new solar array to support it. Pipes pulled up by naughty ellies have been replaced and the solar pump settings have been checked readying them for the dry months ahead.
A lot of repair work has been done on the road from Main Camp to Makwa using our new tractor and the grader that attaches to it. Work is ongoing to finish off the maintenance and repairs at Kennedy 1 and Ngweshla picnic sites. We hope to complete this before tourist activity picks up in earnest. An upgrade to the Makwa platform is pressing but is dependent on local support.

An exciting development is Camp Silwane situated just out of the park on the Antoinette Farms near Kennedy 1 picnic site. Silwane has been established to promote and create a buffer zone on the park's boundary adjacent to the railway line. Many of the Park's iconic lions have been hunted in this area, and the aim is to provide sufficient, alternative income from photographic safaris for the local farm-owners. We were lucky enough to witness two lionesses with their half-grown cubs crossing the railway line from the Park onto Antoinette, which slammed home the need to protect them.

Camp Silwane offers affordable, self-catered accommodation in attractive, tented lodges for local Zimbabweans and self-drive regional visitors. Fridge, freezer, kitchen and braai facilities are available. The separate camping ground at Silwane, appropriately named Acacia Grove, is situated some distance away from the main lodge. Five serviced campsites with hot-water ablutions overlook a beautiful pan of their own. A visit to Silwane Camp is well worthwhile.

We are urgently appealing for support to upgrade
Gary's vehicles. Our two trusty Nissan patrols have done serious time and distance over many years in very harsh terrain. Maintenance costs have become prohibitive - it's time to think about something new.
Many thanks to Paul de Montille who recently helped build a vehicle shelter for our Main Camp premises - much needed and appreciated. Finally, and most importantly, we extend grateful appreciation to all our loyal supporters and donors without whom Friends of Hwange would cease to exist.

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Nozizwe Mother of Nations

Nozizwe kids under the 'Adopt An Orphan' programme have received a fabulous boost from Rank Zimbabwe. We are now left with school fees to be paid for 29 children out of 500 orphans.
We need sponsors for their school fees pegged at ZWL4500.00 each per term.
Rank Zimbabwe sponsored 20 out of the 500 and the rest are sponsored by various Nozizwe Trust Well Wishers.

In other news after months of waiting for approval from City Fathers for 3 x 5000 litres Jojo Tanks, they are hopefully being erected at Ngozi mine shortly, catering for the Nozizwe Trust and Mustard Seed Community soup kitchen and for all 250 families at Ngozi Mine.
2 tanks were kindly donated by Jojo Zimbabwe and one was bought by Nozizwe Trust.
Proton Bakers have also joined our community of helpers, they are kindly donating 50 loaves of bread per week towards the Childrens' Home and Soup Kitchens.

If you would like to donate or to 'Adopt An Orphan'
contact Iris Mhlanga on +263 77 224 1552 or

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