The sad news out of South Africa is that South Africa lost 259 rhino to poaching in the first six months of 2022! The slaughter continues unabated. By comparison, Zimbabwe rhino population has increased over the last few years, and poaching is down - long may this last!!
Apparently, In the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Botswana, in a brazen attack, poachers bought entry tickets and then killed two rhino in the Sanctuary and removed their horns! As is the norm, the Botswana Government is in total denial.

My apologies to Michel Beunerd of Le Pic Vert - I wrongly stated he has sponsored 11 boreholes over the years - in fact, it is THIRTEEN - an awesome effort!!
The setting of quotas is an inexact science, and is reliant on good data. Quotas set correctly will have no effect on a resident population, but quotas that are badly set and are excessive can have disastrous effects. To set a quota as best one can, you need to know:
  1. The population dynamics of the species you are dealing with – numbers and age structures – is it a young growing population or is it a population in decline
  2. The sustainable offtake for that particular species -  different species have different offtake rates depending on the population dynamics and the parameters used to define a trophy eg sable have a very low sustainable offtake of less than 1% due to the prime bulls being limited to herds or territories and occur in low numbers, whereas waterbuck have a slightly higher offtake % as they can occur in bachelor groups which might contain a couple of trophy sized animals in the group, while buffalo have yet again a higher offtake % ( probably between 3 & 4%) as trophy adult males occur in numbers together, and also the criteria as to what makes a trophy animal are more varied
  3. Quotas are specific to an area and must be set on the population that is actually present in that area. Quotas cannot be set for financial considerations, which has happened all too frequently in the past, with disastrous consequences. They also cannot be transferred to other areas unless the relevant wildlife population is also transferred!
  4. Trophy quality should be monitored to determine whether the existing quota is maintaining quality, or whether there is a quality decline, which would require immediate remedial action.
  5. Non–trophy elephant bulls -  this can be a very damaging quota offtake and should be removed from all trophy lists, unless very strict guideline are applied. What is a non trophy elephant ? The specification I believe is in the weight of the tusks – unfortunately this often ends up in shooting young bulls which would be your best trophies in another 20 years. The disturbance to other elephant in an area is also a factor, especially in a small areass
A prime example of quota chaos is the quota advertised by Forestry Commission for Kazuma Forest. They offer non existent animals, more adult males then are actually present, and this is on an annual basis. My understanding is that they combined the Panda Masuie quota with that of Kazuma - something that cannot be done!! This quota is set on ignorance and economics and will have not only severe repercussions on the Kazuma forest Area, but on neighboring areas, especially the Kazuma Pan National Park.
            Some examples of the Kazuma Forest quota as was given to me from a recent tender:
            Sable   - 8 bulls on quota        This would suggest a population of between 800 and 1000 yet it is doubtful if there are even 100 left. It is also doubtful if there are any trophy quality bulls left as the area has already been overshot – this means they will have to draw them in from the Park where they are already few in number
            Wildebeest - 2 on quota  - there are no resident wildebeest in Kazuma and only one small herd in the KPNP of about 40.  This population cannot afford to lose any animals
            Impala – 25 – this would suggest a population of at least a couple of hundred impala – there are very few impala on Kazuma , and this quota is excessive
            Hyena – 13 – this is effectively calling them vermin, which is not the case in an ecosystem. This would eliminate hyena altogether from Kazuma
            Leopard – 3 – probably a high percentage of the population
            Lion        - 2 – should only be one and probably only every second year
            Giraffe    - 3  - with the current status of giraffe being uncertain, they should not be on quota anywhere – they are mainly on quota to be shot for bait
            Elephant  (non- trophy)  - 4 – see above
An anomaly is how you can take 8 sable out of a population of less then 100, but only 25 doves out of thousands!!
   The answer might lie in giving long term leases to hunting companies, with strict conservation criteria, so they have a vested interest in developing the area and building up the wildlife populations. This has happened in areas in Mozambique with impressive results!                 
All the pumps are working well in the Chamabonda, but there is a requirement to upgrade the pump at Timots.
There are now frequent game drive vehicles along the vlei, with the upturn in tourism,  and it is encouraging to see a lot of local visitors
Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust did a great job in that they managed to dart two hyena carrying snares and remove these snares. Well done!! The hyena seem to pick up a lot of snares - probably because they cover great distances, are attracted to where animals have been caught in snares, and are strong enough to break out when they get caught.
We had an unusual incident at the hyena den where one hyena ate a young pup - it is assumed this hyena, which has a snare around its one foot, was starving and killed and ate the pup to survive.The other hyena, including the mother, were around but did not interfere.  But who knows!!!
An encouraging sign this year is the number of tourist now visiting Kazuma, - well up from the grand total of 17 tourists for the year in 2019! The area is getting established on the self drive route and we need to upgrade signage and facilities
One female hippo in Corner Pan gave birth recently, taking our number up to seven hippo now. We are trying to upgrade the pump servicing the pan, as this pan will see a lot of pressure form now on until the rains, especially as the Kazuma Pan in the center of the Depression has dried up already.
The mother with a new born calf being visited by the other calves and an adult
The new hide going up in Corner Pan in Kazuma! This state of the art structure has been sponsored by Andrew Brown, and will be a game changer for Kazuma. The steel structure was erected in a few days by the riggers from Browns Engineering, assisted by a team from the Trust, and Kiggen Builders will come in to do the toilets and showers next month. 
Manzinbomvu Pan
Thanks to funding from the Mzuri Foundation, and as part of our "Water for Wildlife" capaign to put water deeper into the Park to draw elephants away from the Park boundaries and thus human conflict areas, we tried drilling for water to supplement Manzinbomvu Pan during the dry season - Manzinbomvu is one of several beautiful pans in the back area of Robins. Unfortunately we drilled 2 dry holes, which was very disappointing, but have not given up!! We brought in a Geophysist to do a further survey and will try again, plus we plan to put water at a couple more pans in this back area
Big Toms Hide - we renovated it in 2020 and have now fixed the barricade walls, tidied it up and painted it both inside and out!
Deteema Dam - we installed a new pump in the borehole supplying the camp/picnic site and have fixed the plumbing. We also tidied it up and painted the ablution block

Game water.

  Weather-wise, August was a return to normal after two very odd months in June and July. Temperatures began to rise as we moved out of what had been a very cold winter and the skies were mostly cloud free. That meant that a lot of the natural water still remaining from the rainy season finally dried up and, in response, animal numbers at our water points began to pick up. Thanks to our unusual cold, cloudy – sometimes even damp winter, the pumped pans were ready for them. – even Bumbusi South, which was completely dry until a month ago when we installed a pump at the new borehole…….
With elephant numbers building up, there was bound to be some damage to something, somewhere. Elephants love Mafa’s Pan and once they have turned it into a sort of mud soup they then argue over the clean water coming in from the pump and take out their frustration on the outlet  pipe, if they can find it. Well, they duly found it in early August but luckily only broke off a small part before we saw the damage, which was easily replaced. Apart from that, August game water work was mostly just checking and maintenance. The exception was at Shumba where we were able to replace the old equipment, which was starting to wear out and malfunction. Thanks to Hwange Conservation Society for funding and to our volunteers for help with the installation
  We did the usual full-moon count at Masuma Dam on the 10th. It was a lot more enjoyable than the last couple of months as we didn’t have to wear five layers of clothing overnight to ward off frostbite. Sue and I even saw some animals coming to drink during our early hours of the morning stint – eleven elephants out of the six hundred and ten elephant total for the 24-hours. That total is about normal for the time of year but impala numbers were way down as many of them were still able to get a drink at the spring further upriver where we couldn’t see them.
   We have now done the Masuma count many times since 2009 and it was also done through some of the dry season months in the past by Harry Erwee. There are the annual WEZ counts as well so we should be able to see some trends by now. As expected, elephant numbers are steadily increasing and the total number of animals seen is falling – presumably as elephants make up more and more of the biomass. One of the big losers is giraffe, which showed up in much greater numbers in the 1990’s when Harry Erwee was counting than they do now. Likewise Vervet monkeys which used to be recorded regularly but haven’t been seen by us for some years. There are also some surprises – zebra numbers declining steeply while kudu are increasing – exactly the opposite of what might be expected if elephants are, as many people think,  converting the bush and woodland kudu habitat into scrub and grassland better suited to zebra.  
   Although the Masuma data suggests giraffe are in trouble, I’m glad to say that our wider giraffe population survey, mainly run by Sue, shows that they are doing well, with no sign of a population crash in the Sinamatella/Lukosi area. Perhaps the giraffe at Masuma are intimidated by the ever increasing number of elephants and simply don’t come in to drink as often as they did in the past.
One of this year’s babies.
   Since 2014 we have been monitoring vulture nesting at a number of sites around Sinamatella. We visited all of them in August and found fourteen active nests, one more than at the same sites last year. Most successful was nest number 15/15 at upper Lukosi which was occupied for the seventh year in a row whereas number 21/21, at Guyu was at the opposite end of the success scale – empty with a broken egg under the nest, exactly as it was last year. We would love to know more about what goes on at the vulture nests through their long breeding season but that would be a complete project on its own – we simply don’t have time.
    For the first time since Covid,  we hosted a group of four volunteers in August. We really enjoyed having them with us and we got a lot of work done.  As well as the 24-hour count and vulture nest monitoring that I’ve already mentioned, we did road transect counts, waterbird counts, helped with some of the water pumps and of course, worked on the giraffe monitoring. It wasn’t planned, but the volunteers also got to see the full range of our vehicle fleet as one after another the cars broke down.  We didn’t quite get to the point of only having the wheelbarrow left in working order but it was a close run thing.
    It has been a pleasure to be able to report in the past few months on various improvements taking place at Sinamatella. In August the work continued….at the Camp, two of the old tourist lodges are being completely rebuilt with the aim of opening for visitors from around the end of September, the gardens around the Tourist Office have been replanted  and further work was done at Mandavu picnic/camping site where the new ablution block is now finished. Shumba picnic/camp site has been busy and we have repainted the attendant’s house so that it blends in a little better with its surroundings.
The Tourist Office at Sinamatella      
  Last year a team of archaeologists from UZ did a lot of work at Bumbusi Ruins and at the end of August they came to Sinamatella to give some feedback on their fascinating discoveries and to encourage Rangers to collect basic data about archaeological sites that they find. I hadn’t realised how significant the various ruins in and around Sinamatella are and there is obviously a great deal still to be discovered. We look forward to helping where we can.

Report By Nick Long
   I spent quite a lot of time in August helping to fit the spare parts we had received from Victoria Falls to our Land Rovers. By the time we had finished, the Rhino Monitoring Land Rover had brakes working on all four wheels – which is three more than it had when we started. It also had proper suspension bushes for the first time in many months so we are much more comfortable driving it than we were before.
   August was also a successful month on patrol.  For various reasons, we did not manage as many patrols as we would have hoped but when we did get out, we covered some long distances and saw rhino. We also continued with our camera trap programme, setting the cameras at territorial scrapes and on paths that the rhino use. Those will be collected in September.
   Last year we saw two young bull rhino but neither of them has been seen this year, either by our patrols or on the camera traps so we are beginning to think they have moved far away from the places where we normally find rhino. Researchers from  Painted Dog Conservation saw  rhino spoor in a fairly remote place in August so in September we are planning on going much further afield to see what we can find.
   We had two breaks from routine during the month. First, we were joined for two nights by two of the Bhejane Trust volunteers who were staying at Sinamatella. It was great to have some new people to talk to and we made a special (and successful) effort to find rhino with them. Then, near month end we were patrolling close to an area where the front end loader from Tshakabika Camp was doing road works and I ended up spending three days helping when that had a breakdown and needed welding. Our ‘workshop’ , close to some small kopjies, was quite attractive……..
Two poachers were arrested near Victoria Falls, and admitted to killing a lion, and removing the claws and teeth. They were also in possession of two tusks. They took investigators to their base in the Matetsi Safari Area, where they had operated from for some time, and where bags of kudu meat, snares and a spear were recovered. The poachers are currently awaiting trial.
A person was arrested in Beitbridge in possession of two pieces of ivory, which he claimed came form South Africa. He was sentenced to nine years with labour.
2 persons in Victoria Falls were charged with unlawfully trapping two kudu - they were sentenced to 24 months (3 suspended on condition they do not repeat the offence) They were also ordered to pay US$ 2400 compensation
One person was arrested for snaring a buffalo - he received nine months and a suspended 3 month sentence for a previous offence was added on - an effective 12 months
In Bulawayo, a person found with a pangolin skin received a nine year sentence
A concerning development is that oranges were found at a pan in Hwange National Park - these would obviously be laced with cyanided. Also, a bucket of water was found in Ngamo Forest - again a cyanide suspected case. They have been sent off for analysis
Cyanide laced oranges found at a Hwange Pan
In a horrific incident in the Chobe area of Botswana, bordering Zimbabwe, 50 vultures were found dead after feeding on a poisoned buffalo carcass. Some had had body parts removed, obviously for medicinal resale
One person was arrested in the Figtree area with a live pangolin. He was sentenced to the mandatory nine years jail

We have had an amazing period of support from all our friends, new and old, out there, and we really appreciate all this support. Our heartfelt thanks to (in no particular order):
Simon and Portia Rowlands for funding the refurbishment of Shumba attendants quarters and the Shumba Camp
Ryan and Alex Lane for donation of a thermal imager - a great asset for night time ops, and for their cash donation
The Mzuri Wildlife Foundation for their donation towards Manzinbomvu Borehole.
Patrick Jacquemin of Les Animaux for his generous donation
Mark Unwin and the Clarkson Family Trust,his generous donation.

AutoWorld Zimbabwe - Isuzu agents - for their support for the motorbike Enduro and thus for the Bhejane Trust
Hwange Conservation Society (UK) for their support and purchase of much needed equipment, through John Gillon and Anne Wilkinson
Ray Haakonse for his support
Adrian Clayton and NorthStar for their support
Frank Zindel of the Bright Light Foundation and a longtime supporter has made a very generous donation, which is very much appreciated.Thanks to Stuart Danks of Simply Africa for facilitation
Friends of Hwange and Dave Dell for sponsoring the borehole and new battery system at Masuma
Lion Recovery Fund and Rhino Recovery Fund  - a big thanks to Peter Lindsay and Markus Hofmeyr 
Morne and Michelle Muller of Surgical and Opthalmic Supplies for their pledge of support for this year, and purchase of a pump badly needed in the Chamabonda
Piet Weller, through Lionel and Annelise Finaughty for the offer to sponsor a wateroint in Kazuma in memory of Wessels Weller
Dr Mark Bristow and Hunters and Guides for the financing of our Rhino Monitoring and Protection Unit. Mark came out and pledged assistance for a further three years!!!
SATIB and the Southern Africa Conservation Trust for their support on insurances - thanks to Brian Courtney
Ian Gloss of Victoria Falls Liquorama for his continued assistance
Pieter and Anthea Erasmus for their continued support, and for the donated equipment, and for supporting our membership to GRAA.
Michel Buenerd of Le Pic Vert, and Le Pal Nature Foundation, for funding their THIRTEENTH  borehole and pump in Sinamatella/Robins area!
Antoinette van Wijk of Holland for her sterling fund raising effort
Nicholas Duncan and the SAVE The African Rhino Foundation of Australia – a staunch supporter.
RAM Petroleum
Ricky Forster and Forster Irrigation of Bulawayo for donated pumps and continued assistance
John Karasellos of Hisspan Motors for his continuing assistance and support.
Inke Kreling-Boysen for her generous donation
Mike Karasellos for grading and mowing roads in the Chamabonda
Craig Gobey and Zambezi Sands Drilling for their assistance
Brendan Malloch-Brown - for his support.
Michelle Sindall for her donation ( which finally reached us a month late!!)
Sandy Elsworthy for his donation
Machaba Safaris for their hospitality and assistance
Patrick Williamson for helping on updating maps
Jeff Weingarten - donation 
Richard Scripps - donation
Colin Baker for the donation of tyres
Jeremy Nichol for his donation.
Ian and Sue Thomson for their support 
Charlie Bracher for his support
The Albert van den Berg Charitable Trust for their donation
Winston, Lol and Sue Goatly for their uniform donation
Lynne Beard for her uniform donation
Mark Bucknill for his donation
John Hall of the USA for his donation
Brink Bosman for his donation
Mike Howard for his donation of paint

And a big thanks to Andrew Lane, Liz Lane and Brenda Finaughty for organising the Bhejane Ball. And to all the sponsors:
Victoria Falls Estate 
Ra Ikane
Bush Cuisine
Round Table 17
Vic Falls Pop Ups
Butchers Daughter
C & H Legal
Zambezi Crocodiles
Tyre Zim
Chiggy DJ
The Farm
Seven Eleven
Sedgemoor Dairy

Thanks to our Board of Trustees for all the hard work they are putting in - Ian Gloss, Dave Carson, Dan Jones, Stephen Long, Jerry Gotora and Trevor Lane
A big thanks to Ministry and Parks Staff :
 Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, the Hon. Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu
The Director General - Mr Fulton Mangwanya
The Chief Conservator - Mt Arthur Musakwa
The Regional Manager - Mr Samson Chibaya
Area Manager - Zambezi --Mr Marvellous Mbikbiyana
Area manager, Sinamatella - Mike Jonassi
Area Manager, - Robins and Kazuma - Mrs N Moyo
Kazuma Wildlife Officer - Aleck Makamure
 and all their guys on the ground for all their support and assistance.

To my wife Liz for her continual support in all my comings and goings, and for doing instagram!!

Apologies if we have inadvertently left anyone out!! Your help is much appreciated 


Bhejane Trust relies on donations to continue it’s operations, which includes our daily operating costs, as well as specific projects. 


Donate to help us save our wildlife heritage - any donations would be gratefully accepted . Donations can be through our “PayNow” button (below) or direct to our bank account:

Bank details :

Bhejane Trust,
FBC Bank,
Sawanga Mall
Victoria Falls
Branch Code : 8512
Swift Code : FBCPZWHAX
Account No : 2245093780275

Bhejane Trust office address:
231 Sopers Crescent,
P.O.Box 210
Victoria Falls,

Note - we do not have postal codes in Zimbabwe (00)


Trevor Lane :         +263 777 057 024
Stephen Long : 

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Bhejane Trust · 231 Sopers Crescent · Victoria Falls · Zimbabwe

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