October 29th, 2020

African Parks - Nkhotakota September 2020 Report

Written by:

James Handley




As part of Bonamy's ongoing commitment to conservation, we have partnered with African Parks. 

By travelling with us you are directly contributing to the restoration of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi. 

Keep reading for this month's updates:

Key Activities, Events, and Achievements – September 2020

  • Conducted a meeting with the Department of Museums and Monuments on Heritage and Archaeology interpretation. The park manager, community extension manager, and special projects manager were in attendance. 
  • Prepared and presented the 2020-2025 business plan to African Parks head office. 

Management and Infrastructure

  • Completed fence construction with electrics at Chipala 11.5 km. 
  • Cleared 20 km of the fence line with slashers northwest of the park. 
  • Spent 12 days repairing electrics on the eastern boundary fence. 
  • Ten kilometres of roads were cleared with a tractor, loader, and backhoe (TLB) within the park. 
  • Construction of a second game viewing hide is in progress. 

Ground Hornbills - Frank Weitzer

Law Enforcement

  • Law enforcement patrol teams removed 47 wire snares and filled in one active pit trap.
  • Two knives, five axes were confiscated by the law enforcement team.
  • Two hand shovels, two hoes, and one pit saw were confiscated from arrested charcoal burners.
  • Six poachers were arrested, three for charcoal burning, one for bamboo cutting, and two for fish poisoning.
  • One bottle of Cypermethrine (chemical for poisoning fish) was confiscated from two fish poachers in the Likowa River.
  • Eleven women and two men were apprehended for collecting firewood.
  • Twenty long patrols (300 man-days), 60 short patrols (130 man-days), and two-night patrol were conducted.
  • Four elephant breakouts were recorded and reacted to.
  • One elephant carcass was found by patrol teams south of the park in the Likowa area.
  • Organised a pre-qualification run for Ranger Run with non-law enforcement staff.

Biodiversity Conservation

  • Collared 10 elephants, five bulls, and five adult cows in breeding herds. All on the eastern side of the reserve where we have been experiencing high levels of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC).
  • Three established plots were checked Secure Digital cards (SD cards) and batteries changed and firebreaks were cleared.
  • Eighty-seven new tsetse targets were placed on a 21 km route.

Ranger with confiscated snares - Naude Heunis

Community Development

  • Conducted nine community awareness meetings with 345 people participating in the nine meetings. During these meetings, the following issues formed the main discussion points: Poaching and the role of communities to stop poaching, tsetse fly and sleeping sickness, and covid-19 prevention.
  • Established a goat pass-on programme in Luwi NRC (Natural resources committee), Kalimanjira zone. 40 Goats were distributed to 21 members of the club.
  • Conducted five-zone meetings to review work and develop work plans. A total of 43 people attended these meetings.
  • Working in partnership with the Formidable Joy Foundation, six boreholes were sunk to provide communities with safe and portable water east of the park.
  • Facilitated the making of 63 wood saving stoves for 63 households west of the park under chief Chilooko, Kapelula and Kapichila.
  • Completed rehabilitation of two teacher houses at Kapelula community day secondary school
  • Organised four community visits to the park. The members were taken around the park and the Environmental Education Centre.
  • Engaged a metal artist to construct and install a metal Elephant Sculpture. The sculpture was erected at the Environmental Education Centre.

Economic Impact

  • There were 91 (YTD 562) visitors recorded in September 2020 (27 bed nights, 8-day visitors, and 56 non-paying visitors).
  • The gross revenue collected from gate entry, guides, and Mphatso Restaurant at the Environmental Education centre was US$437.84 (YTD US$5,239.42). With the restrictions about Covid-19, being eased by government, visitation and therefore revenue collection is picking up as compared to the last five months.
  • Five types of resources namely, thatch grass; reeds, bamboo, palm fronds, and medicinal plants were harvested in the month with an estimated value of US$4,035 benefiting 509 members of the local community bordering the park.

Waterbuck - Frank Weitzer

Key Activities and Events Planned for  October 2020

  • Prepare for Wildlife Ranger Challenge.
  • Prioritise fence construction on the western boundary.
  • Plot a new route on northwesterly part of the reserve.
  • Establish a site for the youth hostel construction.
  • Meeting with chiefs to resolve issues relating to gold panning in the Bua River.
  • Meeting with chiefs on eastern boundary regarding encroachment and human-wildlife conflicts.
  • Take coordinates for all tsetse targets and traps deployed.
  • Prepare for the annual performance review for staff.
  • Conduct the Joint Liaison Committee meeting.
  • Honey with heart activities including supervision of clubs, installation of hives, maintenance of hives.

For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly, or visit the African Parks website here.  

Thanks for reading,

The Bonamy Travel Team

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