Rewilding the Zambezi | Fauna Travel

Rewilding the Zambezi

Elephant in the Zambezi River / Project Rewild Zambezi / Beverley Joubert / Courtesy of Great Plains Foundation

By: Scott Dubois, Fauna Travel Designer

We love to promote partner companies that share our commitment to sustainability and conservation, and Great Plains Conservation is one of the best. They run some of our favorite luxury safari camps across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, and all of their profits are reinvested into conservation through the Great Plains Foundation.

One of their premier camps in Zimbabwe is Tembo Plains, a stylish tented camp along the Zambezi River in the Sapi Private Reserve. The reserve is a 290,000-acre former hunting concession adjacent to Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. When Great Plains took over its management in 2016, the landscape was in poor shape, but since then they have worked to reclaim the land for wildlife. Project Rewild Zambezi is part of this effort and is certainly their biggest conservation project to date. It involves translocating 3,000 elephants, wild dogs, and lions from the overpopulated and drought-stricken Savé Valley Conservancy in Southern Zimbabwe to Sapi.

Almost $5.5-million dollars is required to handle the logistics of moving the animals and funding new wildlife monitors and anti-poaching units.

This is one of the largest wildlife translocations in African history, and the cost of organizing it is substantial. Almost 5.5 million dollars is required to handle the logistics of moving the animals and funding new wildlife monitors and anti-poaching units.

As of September 2022, the first 100 elephants have been relocated. However, guests visiting Tembo Plains from May to September of 2023 may have the opportunity to see the project in action, because many more animals will be released during this time. We’ve included a gallery below to show you some of what goes into moving an elephant.

Visit the Great Plains Foundation to learn more about Project Rewild Zambezi. Contact us to book your Zimbabwe safari to Tembo Plains to see it in person.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to support this effort, Great Plains Conservation is a 501c3 nonprofit.

Donate to the Great Plains Foundation

Gallery: Translocating an Elephant

Map of Tembo Plains

More about Tembo Plains

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