Providing support, connections, resources, and conservation education for communities surrounding Mana Pools National Park is a critical part of building local support for our anti-poaching and environmental protection efforts. To have the greatest possible impact, we strive to respond directly to community members. Here are some of the community projects we support through our donor and partner contributions.


One of our community initiatives is to empower women through income-generating projects. Together with Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), we partnered with Danish Church Aide and Future of Hope to use mushrooms grown by villagers as nutrition supplements. We buy from these local villages to feed our staff and Zimparks rangers.

Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Management

We provide HWC management support to Zimparks and local communities in the orange area identifying the Mid-Zambezi Cluster on the Zimparks map below.

Village populations have grown due to the migration of humans from urban to rural areas, resulting in an increase in the frequency and intensity of such conflicts across the region. Due to a lack of knowledge about wild animals, many people have lost their lives. Along with authorities from Zimparks, we have been asked by the local Rural District Council to assist in managing HWC with lions, leopards, hyenas, hippos, elephants, and crocodiles.

Sometimes no bomas (fences or enclosures) are built; cattle are tied to trees.
Some HWC issues involve crocodiles that attack villagers working around the rivers.

Chitangazuva, the new permanent ranger station we built at the southern boundary of Mana Pools, accommodates 14 rangers who are now available to stop the logging, illegal gold panning, and hunting that was going on. Wildlife is already rebuilding in the area, evidenced by sightings of sable, roan, buffalo, and wild dogs.

CONSERVATION CLUBS – Our Next Generation of Conservationists

Working side by side with Zimparks and local school authorities, our implementing partner Bushlife Support Unit (BSU) began a new community education initiative in 2019 with funding from our donors. In 2022, two dozen conservation clubs were started in the Hurungwe district adjacent to the Mana Pools National Park boundary. In this district, people live in close proximity to wildlife. Educating the next generation of conservationists is critical. Our aim is to nurture a new generation with a mindset toward investing in the preservation of wildlife and their ecosystems.

Indigenous trees planted by conservation club members. The wood from these trees is used daily for cooking and hut construction.
Gully reclamation project using small rocks collected from gravel pits.

The Conservation Club visits by Zimparks and Bushlife help disseminate conservation messages to junior and senior pupils. Discussions are centered on understanding the meaning of sustainable conservation, explaining the meaning of flora and fauna, looking at different animals that pose a threat to communities, and addressing their behavior in terms of habits and habitat.


Soccer and netball are sports that bring people together. Coordinating with Rhinoforce, International Anti-Poaching Foundation, and conservation organizations working with youth in other nearby communities, BSU organized a gala for conservation club players under the the theme Nhaka Yedu (Our Heritage). Engaging children and youth helps divert them away from various crimes including poaching and drug abuse.