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Safeguarding rhinos on the ground

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Save Valley


  • Quick Facts:


    348,525 hectares (1,346 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    1. Save Valley Conservancy
    2. Save River
    3. Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park


The Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe’s southern lowveld area forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which straddles the borders of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. The Save River forms the conservancy’s eastern boundary and varying altitudes in the valley and terrain have created distinct habitats for flora and fauna. The Save Valley landscape was once dominated by a large livestock operation that pushed out native wildlife and degraded much of the land. For the past several decades, however, cattle fences and livestock have been removed, wildlife and wild habitat have returned, and the area is slowly recovering its natural value. The conservancy is home to lions, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and other game, including black rhinos and white rhinos. Zimbabwe’s current population of rhinos is an estimated 430 black rhinos and 290 white rhinos.

Tags: Zimbabwe, Southern Africa


Rhinos in decline.

Zimbabwe, like its neighbor South Africa, has seen an increase in rhino poaching as demand, particularly from Asia, has created an illegal market for rhino horn. However, unlike South Africa, Zimbabwe has limited state resources to devote to the protection of its rhinos. In the past five years, it’s estimated that 300 rhinos have been lost to poachers across the country.

Uncertainty around government policies.

Implementation of certain government policies, including indigenization policies related to the ownership of wildlife areas and other businesses in Zimbabwe, have created an air of uncertainty around the future of many privately owned wildlife areas. Meanwhile, land reform has had the unintended effects of unplanned settlements and subsequent degradation of natural areas.


Our solutions to the challenges in the Save Valley landscape:

  • Stop rhino poaching in its tracks.

    Heavily patrolled protected areas represent a vital strategy to safeguarding critical rhino populations. African Wildlife Foundation is supporting the Save Valley Conservancy’s efforts to develop a quick-reaction force to respond immediately.

  • Work with government partners.

    AWF works with many stakeholders to achieve our conservation goals on the ground. This includes working with governments and other authorities to implement and inform their policies related to wildlife protection and land use in a way that ultimately benefits both people and wildlife.   


Explore some of our related projects. 

  • Save Valley Rhino Conservancy Teeku Patel
    Save Valley Rhino Conservancy
    Protecting rhino populations in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe’s rhinos are disappearing fast. 

    Zimbabwe’s current population of rhinos is estimated at approximately 430 black rhinos and 290 white rhinos. In the past five...

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