Lesson #1: Small starts can have BIG impacts
“When Steve and Cindy Smith first drove around the Nanzhila Plains area of the Southern Kafue National Park, the place was deserted! After 3 days of driving, the only sighting they had to show was a tortoise! Yet they decided to press on regardless, believing in the potential of the area.
It took time but by year 7, the game viewing was starting to improve and then in 2017, things started to improve dramatically and we started to enjoy regular sightings of an enormous variety of wildlife. Prides of lions started to breed in the area, leopard and cheetah sightings were consistent and the plains game numbers were all obviously increasing. Our high point probably peaked in August 2019 when a single day’s game drives (morning and evening) produced 27 DIFFERENT MAMMAL SPECIES!
So what caused the change? – YOU!
It wasn’t big NGO funding and it wasn’t extreme anti-poaching methods (although both of those would have helped and undoubtedly sped up the process) – no, the only factor that changed was the volume of people driving around the designated area looking for wildlife. Our clients. You. As more people visited this remote corner of Zambia, so their presence pushed back poaching and the local wildlife recovered in a reclaimed ‘safe zone.’
When the world emerges from the aftermath of Covid-19, there is going to be a lot of ‘re-building’ that needs to be done and so we are holding onto this lesson that even small starts by one family can have a big impact!”