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JANUARY 2022
NEWSLETTER
We had a very late start to the rainy season - in December the rains were poor and we needed to keep pumping, However in January, the Inter Continental Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moved down  and with the effect of Cyclone Ana, we had over 140mm in three days - causing flooding and swollen rivers, damaging infrastructure, but also filing up all the pans! As of the end of January, we are sitting on about 400mm - above average
Bhejane Trust offers it heartiest congratulations to Nicholas Duncan on his award of the Medal of Order Of Australia.  A thoroughly deserved award for a man who has selflessly dedicated his life to the cause of rhino., Nicholas was the motivating factor behind the formation of Bhejane Trust, and has been a staunch supporter ever since
Message from SAVE The African Rhino Foundation

"We are delighted to announce that our President, Nicholas Duncan, was today awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List, for services to animal welfare.

 
. He was the co–founder of SARF in mid 1987, making it the world’s second oldest rhino dedicated conservation charity, and has been its pro bono President since 1989 and is the longest serving specialist rhino conservation fundraiser in the world.
2. Using his passion, initiative and drive, he has been instrumental in raising more than ten million dollars for our rhino projects, as well as donating over three million dollars from his own resources.
3. Amongst his fundraising initiatives were four international cricket matches with stars such as Gower, Border, Lillee, Chappell, Hughes, Proctor, Pollock, Kallicharan and Murray, more than 60 safaris with over 640 guests (some more than 10 times) and 27 celebrity dinner/auctions for 7,800 guests.
4. Nicholas also attracted our great patrons, starting with the late Lord McAlpine, then David Gower, Nick Price, the late Bryce Courtenay, Kim Hughes and David Pocock.
5. In Africa and Australia he has built strong relationships with key people in the fields of rhino conservation, government and tourism making SARF a highly recognised NGO on the ground
6. Through his passion and dedication he has inspired many committee members in their voluntary positions over the lifetime of SARF to contribute to its functioning
7. As a result of all of the above, we are a major donor to Zimbabwe rhino conservation, where numbers have been steadily rising for the past ten years.
Congratulations, Nicholas, on all that you have inspired our team to achieve. Formerly a geography teacher in Sheffield from 1968-1971, Nicholas and a teaching colleague embarked on a hitch hiking/budget travelling world tour in late 1971, arriving in Perth two years later, via east and southern Africa and south Asia. He immediately established a direct sales business and was its MD for the next 27 years, retiring from paid employment in 2001, in order to concentrate more on the rhinos. "
.

ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK

After the rains, the Park is looking good, though the river road is very muddy. The Chamabonda road has stood up well, but we will have ongoing maintenance after the rains. The pans are full, the bush lush and the game dispersed! 
Unfortunately the Zambians again got away with two pumps, despite what we thought was adequate security. They uaed crowbars to smash our cement and welded protection - very determined! The good news is that we are getting excellent cooperation from the Zambian side now, and one of the stolen pumps was recovered. Thanks to Pater Jones from River Club for his tireless efforts and support
KAZUMA PAN NATIONAL PARK
We were hit by panel thieves in December, who stole 4 panels from Eland Pan. This took as aback as we thought the remoteness of the area would be enough security!. The thieves were tracked for many kilometers to outside the Kazuma boundary, but got away. We had to rush in and secure what we could of the remaining systems.
The heavy rains has made Kazuma inaccessible, and we will not be able to access the area for a couple of months. The Depression should be a water bird spectacular when we can eventually access it!
ROBINS
With the heavy rains, most of Robins was inaccessible due the the sticky black clay sections of road. Onias thus spent time cleaning under those solar panels that he could access, and cleaning around road signs. It could be a couple of months before we can get around the whole area again.
SINAMATELLA
Report by Stephen Long
Rainfall and game water.
  After a good start in November, the rains disappeared and December was disappointing – only just over 50% of normal. At that stage the water situation in the Park was starting to look a little worrying but then came the new year and it rained…..and rained and rained. January turned out to be the second-wettest month we have experienced in the thirteen years we have been at Sinamatella (and the wettest was something of a freak – January 2012 when 154mm, just about the average for a whole month, fell on a single day). The graphs for the current season so far look like this……
And out in the Park it looks like this………
All that rain has made travel around the Park slightly difficult but we are not complaining. Obviously we haven’t had a lot of game water work to do. Mainly we have been trying to keep things tidy without travelling too far afield, wasting diesel and risking getting stuck in mud. A lot of the pumps have been turned off or turned down , Inyantue dam, Masuma dam and Mandavu dam are all either spilling or very close to spilling and the smaller pans like Baobab and Mashambo are full. Shumba pan is enormous and overflowing – in fact much of the Shumba area is more or less a swamp and so long as the rain doesn’t simply stop now we  should be good for the 2022 dry season.
Wildlife.
   On our occasional trips out into the Park we haven’t been seeing many mammals. A typical sighting at this time of year might be….
. On the last day of the month the rain held off enough for Sue and I to do the usual January waterfowl count for the African Waterfowl Census. On our journey we saw a couple of big Impala herds and noticed how well this season’s young have grown. As you can see by the background of the picture, they have plenty to eat.
 We didn’t record as many birds as we would in a dry year because there is so much water around in small, temporary pools that the birds are spread out over the whole Park – such as this Lesser Moorhen seen at a tiny pan close to Camp….
The only place that had plenty of waterfowl was  the Shumba area but there it was almost impossible to count them as there were so many hidden in the flooded grasslands – we could hear splashes, cackles, quacks, hoots and squeaks but see almost nothing but a few Blacksmith Lapwings standing in the dryer places. As usual, Mandavu Dam had the best count and Sue found a few to photograph. I particularly liked this one of a Little Egret……
   Miscellaneous
     The heavy rains also feature in this section of the newsletter as, thanks t0 Colin Baker who donated four Goodyear G90 tyres, all our vehicles now have at least two G90s which give us superb grip in even the muddiest places. We aren’t quite stupid enough to try crossing flooded rivers such as the Lukosi ……..
…… however good our tyres might be but most other places are passable. Having said that, we have kept to Camp as much as possible because even if we manage to pass a muddy stretch of road, we will probably gouge deep ruts in it that will take an age to disappear once the road dries. Staying in Camp means working on vehicles and a lot of time was taken up doing that in January. There is still a great deal to be done and not much money to do it but luckily, Land Rovers just keep on going, though they may not be exactly as they were when they rolled out of the factory. The Parks Authority were without a vehicle at Sinamatella for much of December and some of January so our vehicles and drivers were busy with all the unglamorous but important work such as deploying anti-poaching patrols, bringing in the ZESA technicians to sort out the almost constant electricity faults, collecting food rations for patrols and so on. Parks have a vehicle on station now so the pressure has eased a little. We hope (but I have my doubts) that it will stay like that for the coming year.
RHINO MONITORING & PROTECTION UNIT

Report By Nick Long
The team has had a slow start to the year due to the continuous rain we have received. Despite this we did 15 patrols with a total distance of 310km patrolled. On the Rhino monitoring side 9 patrols were done with a distance of 148km patrolled and on the anti-poaching side 6 patrols were done with a distance of 162km patrolled.
On these patrols very few rhino signs were located. This time of the year it is very difficult  to find the rhino as they don’t stick to any particular pattern due to the high availability of water throughout their home ranges.
On my way to pick up one of the monitors for time off I was lucky to see a pack of wild dogs…….
 
Towards the end of the month we went out to do some anti-poaching as we are more likely to get some results from these patrols, after dropping the team I proceeded back to camp to do some office work. A couple of days later I was on my way to join the team when we started to receive a lot of rain due to cyclone Ana, I managed to cross the Lukosi River without any problem as it wasn’t in high flood yet but I got stuck at a much smaller river a couple of kilometers later.
 
I waited for several hours hoping the level would go down, eventually I decided it would be best to go back and try again the next day. When I eventually got back to the Lukosi River it was in full flood so I had to abandon the car on the opposite side and carry all my bags over the railway bridge. The next morning after carrying everything back to the car I started my journey once again and eventually made it after much slipping and sliding.
A few days later 2 of us had to come back for time off and month end reporting, as expected due to the continuous rain the Lukosi River once again was really high so it was back and forth over the railway bridge again. I hope the river will have calmed down by the end of this week as this is the only access to the area we have been deployed to and it will be time for the next deployment.
A big thanks to Antoinette van-Wijk from Holland, for her stirly effort in raising money and purchasing patrol Boots for the unit. 
POACHING
In December, 4 men were arrested with 12 tusks outside Bulawayo. They are still in remand
Amos Gwema holding a pangolin handed in by a community member, an encouraging development This pangolin was later released back into the wild
Amos is working on a community program with funding he received through his TUSK award funds. This program is beginning to pay dividends - as the message sent below from Amos, indicates:
"Good morning look the good of community awareness programme. Two cattle herder found an elephant carcass with ivory intact. Instead of taking the ivory for sell they informed the village head who in turn informed me.
Community engagements is key and if funds permit such youths need to be rewarded."
Note - Bhejane Trust through the SAVE Foundation rewarded all the community members involved.
three men arrested with a pair of tusks. The sad issue is they all face a mandatory nine year in jail for what would have been a very poor reward. 
GRATEFUL THANKS

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):
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
Patrick Jacquemin for his donation to help our operational costs.
Mark Unwin and the Clarkson Family Trust, for yet another generous donation.
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
Piet Weller, through Lionel and Annelise Finaughty for the offer to sponsor a wateroint in Kazuma in memory of Wessels Weller
Larry Norton for his offer of a percentage of sales of certain prints to go to the trust.
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!!! 
Simon and Portia Rowlands  - donation to refurbish attendants accommodation at Shumba
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.
Michel Buenerd of Le Pic Vert, and Le Pal Nature Foundation, for funding their eleventh 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.
Hwange Conservation Society (UK) - John Gillon - for their generous 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 with our new container office, refurbished by Brendon.
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
Meikles Trust - Jeanne Moxon
Tony Wild of the Wild Cub Society (an NFT) for his donation
Colin Baker for the donation of tyres

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
Area Manager - Zambezi --Mr Marvellous Mbikbiyana
Area Manager, - Robins and Kazuma - Mrs N Moyo
Senior Wildlife Office Mike Jonasi from Kazuma
 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!!

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

DONATIONS

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

PLEASE HELP!! 

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
Zimbabwe
Branch Code : 8512
Swift Code : FBCPZWHAX
Account No : 2245093780275

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

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

CONTACT DETAILS

Trevor Lane : trevor@bhejanetrust.org         +263 777 057 024
Stephen Long : stephen@bhejanetrust.org 

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Bhejane Trust · 231 Sopers Crescent · Victoria Falls · Zimbabwe

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