CAMPFIRE Association short video on strengthening the capacity of rural communities in non-lethal human and elephant conflict mitigation and wildlife conservation using sustainable and affordable low cost technology - the Chili gun (mhiripiri bomber) and an effective problem elephant pre-warning system in Tsholotsho Zimbabwe.


CAMPFIRE has a combined 2.4 million beneficiaries, made up of 200,000 households that actively participate in the program, and another 600,000 households that benefit indirectly from social services and infrastructure supported by CAMPFIRE income within districts. There are in excess of 120 elected and constituted Village and Ward CAMPFIRE Committees that operate through specific Traditional Leaders in their areas. ‘Communal' in the acronym CAMPFIRE, has since been changed to ‘Community' in order to focus on communities instead of the geographic spread of the programme.

Think again at CoP17

During the period 2010-2015, human and wildlife conflict in Zimbabwe’s communal areas has resulted in the loss of 88 lives,
Over 5000 livestock, 6000 hectares of crops, and irrigation and water supply equipment.
Some of the recent deaths include school children and heads of households as shown below:

Gaison Chitsove, 14:
Killed by elephant on 2 February 2016 while herding cattle in Kamumbembe village, Mbire District
Fezile Moyo, 14:
Killed by elephant at water point on 19 November 2015 in Dzibalekhiwa, Tsholotsho

Commerce Karunga, 45:
Killed by buffalo while guarding crops on 10 September 2016 in Chiramba village, Mbire District

Jackson Kasinaukuse, 50:
Killed by elephant while guarding crops on 18 December 2015 in Kanhukamwe village, Muzarabani District
Olivia Ndlovu, 68:
Killed by elephant at water point on 18 October 2015 in Tshotanda, Tsholotsho District
John Mumpande, 41:
Killed by elephant while going to elds with wife on 8 April 2016 in Kamalala village, Hwange district.

Sadly these people were killed because they live with dangerous wildlife.

Think again at CoP17.

Rural communities would prefer to
receive bene ts from the sustainable use of dangerous wildlife
instead of converting their land to other uses.


“On 9 January 2016, a female lion struck a cow in the eld of a villager at
Masuwe in Chidobe area of Hwange district. The villagers woke up and
fought the lion to rescue the cow. The lion ran away and some villagers
remained behind guarding the cow, while others went to make a report to
the Parks of ce. Later the lion came back swiftly and jumped onto one of
the women and started eating her alive”. E ye witness.


Think again

before you up-list the
African Elephant and African Lion
on Appendix I

The recent CITES 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa, has come and gone. CAMPFIRE communities are pleased that the attempts to up-list the lion and all elephant populations to Appendix I were defeated resoundingly. Zimbabwe as part of southern Africa has managed to maintain its healthy elephant and lion populations in unfenced areas in rural areas. This has increased the wildlife range into areas inhabited by people, and consequently, human and wildlife conflict.

Sustainable benefits from wildlife, through both consumptive and non-consumptive uses, have provided incentives to minimize illegal killing of wildlife. Examples of benefits and community projects funded from wildlife utilization are many - from educational and health facilities, water and sanitation, as well as income generating projects. These projects are real and greatly valued by the communities.

Zimbabwe’s sustainable use policy has helped in reducing conflict between rural people and protected areas. Additionally, this has created greater tolerance of wildlife, despite people suffering huge losses of not only crops and livestock, but also alarming numbers of human deaths and injury from key species including the elephant and lion. 

The fundamental challenge is competition for space, and therefore coexistence between people and wildlife must depend on benefits derived from this natural resource.

Rural communities would like see the elephant and lion continue to meet their challenge in terms of sharing space with rural communities, and provide them with incentives so as to compete with other land uses. 

Up-listing of the elephant and lion, and the associated restrictions on the shipment of hunting trophies, would have resulted in greater habitat loss as the existing wildlife range would be saturated with farming, which is also an important form of livelihood.


Georges LodgeIntroduction and Background

The Gorges Lodge is a joint venture photographic tourism project between Matupula Safaris ( a private safari company ) and the local communities of Chisuma Village (under Ward 2) in Hwange District. The lodge is strategically situated within communal land 22 kilometers from the world-famous majestic Victoria Falls. The project was conceived, developed and operates under the auspicies and principles of the CAMPFIRE project. The project aim is to involve local communities in the conservation of natural resources that attract tourists to the area while simultaneously generating financial and social benefits from activities taking place locally and within the general environs of Victoria Falls.

Hwange National Park’s eastern boundary, which stretches for over 220kms, is maintained with the co-operation of adjacent communities. CAMPFIRE Communities in Bulilima district from Point 222 at corner with Botswana, all the way northwards through Korodziba/Makona in Tsholotsho, connecting to the Ngamo Forest boundary, provide an important conservation buffer zone. Tsholotsho district was granted Appropriate Authority Status for the management of wildlife in 1991, and has 11 Wards that benefit from the CAMPFIRE Programme.