Conservation

Zambia's Luangwa Valley is the country's premiere destination for wildlife-based tourism, but like virtually everywhere on the planet, it is threatened by an multitude of problems, including poaching, rapidly growing human economies, lack of adequate information on wildlife species, and a lack of training, education, and employment opportunities for local people who are ultimately responsible for conserving their wildlife resources. In a time of pressing environmental and social problems, responsible wildlife-based tourism is of paramount importance for the ecosystems, wildlife, and local communities that depend on them.

During the 1970s and 1980s Zambia lost the majority of its elephant population and all of its rhino to poaching. However, to date, the elephant population has started increasing, as a result of increased and improved law enforcement. Despite being one of the most wildlife-rich areas remaining in Africa, its natural heritage is under threat from poaching and other illegal activities. To help combat these serious threats to the Luangwa's wildlife, Charity Begins at Home is a proud supporter of three local wildlife organisations - The South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS), the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) - that work together on various conservation efforts to address these issues and conserve the Valley's wildlife. We recently substantially increased our support for these organizations by providing a light aircraft for aerial anti-poaching and research activities.
South Luangwa Conservation Society
The South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) is a non-profit organisation that is committed to the conservation of the wildlife and natural resources of the South Luangwa National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas. SLCS is partly sponsored by the safari operators in Luangwa (LSA), but it relies heavily on individual donations to cover most of its costs. Charity begins a home helps fund-raise for SLCS, primarily through the LCCF, and also pays for scouts to conduct anti-poaching patrols in the areas around its camps during the rains. In addition we ensure that our guides and camp staff report any signs of poaching. In 2011 Charity begins a home sourced funds to buy SLCS a Cessna 180 light aircraft (to share with the Zambian Carnivore Programme), to help them with law enforcement, research, monitoring, and anti-poaching work. In 2011, the Luangwa Conservation Community Fund raised enough to cover almost one third of SLCS's operating budget! In 2013 substantial funding was given to SLCS to increase anti-poaching and anti-snaring activities in Game Management Areas left vulnerable after a national hunting ban.
Zambian Carnivore Programme
The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a non-profit Zambian registered trust dedicated to conserving large carnivore species and their habitat in Zambia. Charity begins a home helps fund-raise for ZCP, and our guides work with their researchers to report carnivore sightings as part of the ongoing Luangwa Valley Carnivore Monitoring Programme. Charity begins a home's support of ZCP ranges from direct field support of camera trap surveys, providing daily sightings and photographic data from our camps, assisting with and supporting lion collaring and de-snaring. We also help fund-raising by contributing auction prizes. In 2011 Charity begins a home sourced funds to buy ZCP a Cessna 180 light aircraft (to share with the South Luangwa Conservation Society) to help them conduct surveillance, wildlife research and monitoring flights over the park.
Zambia Wildlife Authority
The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) was formed in 1999, when the Government transformed the former Department of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) into an autonomous body under the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. ZAWA's main objectives are to improve the quality of life among communities living close to wildlife, maintain sustainable biodiversity in protected areas, reverse the decline of wildlife resources, improve wildlife resource management and co-operation with the private sector and local communities in so doing. Charity begins a home is proud to work with ZAWA to achieve these objectives in the South Luangwa. As well as generating revenue for the park through lease and park fees, we have worked in collaboration with them over the past few years to improve the road networks around our camps, build an airstrip down in our area, and we have implemented an extensive tsetse fly reduction programme. We must also not forget the ZAWA escort scouts based at each of our camps throughout the season, who play a vital role in keeping tourists safe and happy on their walking safaris!