Besides Lupani Primary School and Machenje Fishing Lodge, a number of other key AWF projects—in this area that includes Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—are bringing benefits to wildlife and people in the Kazungula landscape.
It was a cool and rainy morning for a game drive. The weather and lush green landscape, combined with the curves in the road, made it difficult to spot wildlife until we were within close proximity.
What will it take to crush the ivory trade? This is the question governments and conservation groups like AWF are grappling with, as Africa’s elephants—and, unfortunately, many other species—continue to fall prey to the illegal wildlife trafficking industry.
To some African communities, the presence of wildlife is perceived as a threat to their livelihoods. Elephants are crop eating, water tank tipping nuisances. Lions are cattle attacking predators. Routine chores involve the added danger of stumbling upon a hippo or crocodile at the riverbank.
To others, where there is wildlife, they see opportunity. For many African nations, tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. In fact, Tanzania’s earnings topped 1.88 billion US Dollars in 2013, superseding gold as their number one foreign exchange earner.
By 2017, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is expected to have 20 million people passing through it each day. That’s a lot of people. When that many people are passing through, there’s a huge likelihood of more rhino horn or elephant ivory passing through the airport and out of the country. It’s quite worrying.