Working on safeguarding the land and its natural resources, the Trust has thus developed and moved forward, connecting the villagers directly to their land and its benefits. Through eco-tourism the Trust can accomplish this and bring in the profits made from wildlife viewing and tie them right back into the community, and in turn fuel more projects and efforts to conserve the area and aide the community. Because they are incorporated, they are in charge of their land and its resources, and no one person can go and buy a piece of land and start a lodge, for instance, and make money without the profits and benefits going back to the community. With hard work and dedication from not only AWF but the community as well, the Machenje Lodge that is now being built stands to represent conservation and efforts towards bringing change into the community towards a brighter future for wildlife and people alike. Built by the Trust and AWF, Machenje will offer tourists an experience of the Conservation Area and a view over the Zambezi River, linking them directly with the natural world and the community.
Up on stilts and raised walkways, the lodge will include 5 chalet’s, a bar and reception, and a walkway over to the elevated fire ring by way of a small hanging bridge. Machenje trees bring shade and root the lodge into the rest of the landscape, nestling it into the hillside and offering glorious views across the Zambezi and over into Namibia. Elevated to accommodate for the water that flows and pools below from the Zambezi during the rainy season, Machenje Lodge gives visitors a truly unique experience in the Kazungula Heartland. With water lilies floating below the elevated pathways during the wet season and game coming in for water from the surrounding areas, Machenje Lodge stands in an ideal location.
They are now in the process of finishing the Honeymoon chalet, and the wood work and the level of craftsmanship is exquisite, really working the lodge into the land and the natural surroundings. Machenje is being created with care for even the smallest details, and I am truly excited to see what their final product will reveal. With hopes of creating even more lodges in the future, and opening up the area to tourism and wildlife viewing, the Trust sees Machenje as only the beginning to many more projects and efforts to promote conservation in the Sekute area. It is beautiful to see passionate people working towards something bigger than themselves, and towards this common goal of conservation as well as empowerment of the community.
"Africa has been an integral influence on my dreams and my life from a very young age. An Environmental Studies major and senior at Ursinus College, I travel back to Africa with a more focused view, learning about and documenting the various AWF projects in the Kazungula Heartland. Through my work I hope to make a difference in this world, and spread awareness of key environmental and humanitarian issues."
AWF Blogs bring you to the African Heartlands, where conservation benefits both wildlife and people alike. The blogs are written by our staff - men and women who have dedicated their lives to Africa's wildlife, people and wild lands.