Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana is densely populated by wildlife and boasts a large elephant population. Unfortunately, the park itself cannot provide sufficient room for all of its animal residents to roam comfortably. As a result, animals often stray beyond the borders of the park, making them vulnerable to poaching.
The Ngoma Safari Lodge emerged from a partnership between the residents of the Chobe enclave and a private safari operator. The lodge sits next to Chobe National Park and serves the dual purposes of aiding wildlife protection by expanding the land available for preservation and by providing economic opportunities to locals (such as through lodge employment and revenues), which simultaneously promotes conservation and disincentivizes poaching. African Wildlife Foundation managed the project, creating a plan to build a lodge that would provide a sustainable solution for economic growth, bringing the partners together, and then developing the lodge for the Chobe Conservation Trust.
The lodge has not only created a larger safe area for wildlife to roam, but has benefitted local communities as well. Because the community owns the land and lodge, the benefits of conservation are immediately apparent to the approximately 7,000 members of the Chobe enclave. This model of conservation is new to Botswana and has even inspired a local song.
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