JULY 2022
Interesting working conditions!! Our team were connecting the new pipeline from our new pump at Bumboosie South when an amiable old bull ambled up and drank his fill at the other end of the trough before strolling off.. Full credit to our team - they continued with the job unflustered!!
Interesting working conditions!! Our team were connecting the pipeline from our new pump at Bumboosie South when an amiable old bull ambled up to the trough, drank his fill efore strolling off.. Full credit to our team at the other end of the trough - they continued with the job unflustered!!
Ongoing maintenance in the Chamabonda - grading the roads and rotational controlled fire burns, to get rid of the old detritus and bring on a green flush
Sable love a burn and the green flush, and this small herd is already out in the burn  waiting for the flush!!
The Kazuma area is drying out fast, with natural water receding (though Kazuma Pan in the middle of the Depression still holds good water). All pumps are working well, and there is a heavy elephant pressure on Eland Pan
Unfortunately there was a large commercial thatch grass cutting operation in the Depression area which disrupted everything, but this is now complete and things can return to normal
Kazuma Pan in the middle of the Depression
Burning a firebreak along the Depression before burning a section as a controlled burn
Machaba Safaris and the Robins operators clubbed together and Machaba provided a tractor and tow grader, and the operators sone diesel to grade the roads - this is still ongoing, but already an impressive mileage of roads has been graded, including some roads that have not been open for years. What a great effort by all and it is a pleasure to drive around Robins now!
Onias continued with our back road opening program, doing the Dandari - Sonyathi - Njekwa loop. These are roads that no-one has been along in years, and is part of our program to re-open the back areas of Robins To date he has opened over 130km of back roads
We also repaired the hyena chewed cabling at Mahoboti which is now working well, changed the inverter and pump at Njekwa ( with noticeable results), replaced one broken pump at Deteema No 4, and put in a new small DcC pump to service Deteema camp site.
Plus firefighting!!
Sonyathi Pan - one of our future projects to put water here in the very back area of Robins
We installed a new solar Pump at "Railway Pan" in the Deka Safari Area (adjoining Sinamatella)  - this is our sixth pump in the DSA, all sponsored by Mark Bristow and HHK Safaris, who have been staunch supporters of Bhejane Trust all along.
Report by Stephen Long

Game water.

   I started my last newsletter contribution by writing… June is deep into the dry season. It doesn’t rain in June…….well it did this year! If I just changed the words “June” into ‘July” I could use the same opening again. For much of July the weather was extraordinary. Instead of the usual beautiful winter-blue skies, we had day after day of clouds, low temperatures and even a bit of rain on a couple of days. As in June, the rain didn’t amount to much in terms of millimeters but it made some puddles that were big enough for animals to drink at and, along with the low evaporation rate, stretched our water resources again. Many of our pumped pans are still full and in fact, at one point, I seriously considered turning off one of the pumps at Masuma as the water was right at the top of the dam wall and elephants were drinking there, eroding the wall and threatening to cause a breach. In the end, elephant numbers increased, the water dropped a little and we piled rocks on the wall to stop the erosion
Elephants busy damaging the dam wall at Masuma.
    Towards the end of June we installed a new pump at Tshompani solar. No matter how much we pump at Tshompani, it still looks bad as the dam simply doesn’t hold water very well and it’s always a struggle to keep enough there for the animals to drink. It doesn’t help that the boreholes have quite a low yield so it was good to get the solar pump running to boost the output from the wind pump. We visited Tshompani in mid-July to see how it was getting on and found that the output of the new pump was good. Sue measured the recovery rate of the borehole while I was doing some work at the wind pump and that too was good so we know that, for now at least, we don’t have to worry about either the pump or the underground water supply. I hope it stays that way.
    I reported in the last newsletter that we had drilled a new borehole at Bumbusi South and planned to get a pump installed in July. Forster Irrigation came early in the month and put in the pump then we connected a pipeline down to the pan and switched on. What a difference! The old borehole at Bumbusi South never supplies enough water even to fill the trough but the new setup quadrupled the flow and very soon the trough was overflowing into the pan for the first time in years. Our rhino monitoring unit visited Bumbusi South on foot a few days later and there were so many elephants around that they couldn’t get near the pan but they could see a good amount of water in it – enough for elephants to be bathing even. They reported a host of birds drinking and signs of other animals as well. We still have to dig a trench around the solar panels to keep the elephants away so we’ll do that in August and try also to get some pictures of how the pan is looking.
   At the start of July I expected that we would be seeing quite a lot of this sort of thing during the month…….
……and not much of this………
But in fact, after several slow months, the game viewing started to improve (we still got to see plenty of oily car parts as well). Our regular 24-hour count at the full moon showed that elephant and impala numbers are up to the average of the last few years – and as I’ve already said, that was quickly reflected by the water level dropping a bit.  
     Away from Masuma, the buffalo herd that moves between Sinamatella and Mandavu every dry season has returned to feed on the still plentiful grass (though it doesn’t look as if they are enjoying it very much)…….
Crossing the Sinamatella River bridge one day, Sue and I stopped to watch two water leguaans. They were not many meters apart but one seemed to be following the other almost entirely by scent – walking with its nose pointed down, continually flicking out its tongue. We guessed that the follower was a male and the followed was a female who he was interested in but it was hard to see why he so carefully followed her meanderings rather than walking straight up to her as he could surely see her. She came very close to the car…
We also had an interesting reptile encounter at Sinamatella when a large Black Mamba came to drink at the bird bath while we were having lunch. We’ve seen this Mamba a few times before. It is always very shy and moves away as soon as it sees us (I’m happy with that!) but it wasn’t bothered by the birds that were in the tree above scolding at it or a dwarf mongoose that went for a close look…….
  Through July, we continued giving a lot of help – mostly with transport – to the Parks staff in their efforts to revive Sinamatella sector. Much as we are happy to help, it puts a lot of strain on our vehicles, which was why I expected to be seeing a lot of oily bits of Land Rover and Land Cruiser during the month. We are used to routine repairs like replacing universal joints or wheel bearings but we had some much bigger jobs to do in July, including removing a back axle so we could drill out broken studs on the diff and replacing a complete Land Rover stub axle. Land Cruiser lovers who are shaking their heads and saying ‘that’s what you get from driving a Land Rover’ should please note that the picture of some oily car parts above shows  a Cruiser hub. You have to take all that apart (and there’s plenty more that isn’t shown In the picture) just to replace the king pin bearings. It took me a day and a half!
    I reported last month that quite a bit of work has been done to upgrade the picnic and camping site at Mandavu. The work continued in July and all the various shelters have new Chromadek  roofs  which look very smart. The attendant at the site has been trying to get gardens and lawns growing again and we put in a pipeline and garden tap to help with that. We also started taking down all the old fence posts and installed a gate on one of the rondavels. The rhino monitoring unit spent a couple of days at Mandavu and reported that there have been quite a few tourists staying. We’ve been seeing tourists staying at Masuma and Shumba as well and even some day visitors passing through. It’s great to see Sinamatella coming back to life.

Report By Nick Long
During the month of July the team did 26 patrols with a total distance of 485 km, all 26 patrols were Rhino monitoring patrols. We tracked Rhino on several occasions but only got rewarded with a sighting once when we saw 3 rhino together, which were assumed to be a mother and calf with the older calf still hanging around. Unfortunately as is the case with most of our sightings the bush was too thick to make a good identification and while trying to get a better view point the wind direction changed and the rhino detected our presence and ran away.  We followed after a short while and found them once more but they were now very alert and saw us and ran again so we stopped following them rather than upset them more than necessary.
Earlier on in the month we removed all the camera traps we had set a few months back. Unfortunately we lost another one of the new cameras that has a white flash instead of infrared. The disappearance of these cameras is a complete mystery as there is no real sign of animal destruction and it is the second one to disappear.  These cameras are the best to use as they have white flash which means we get much better night pictures with good detail. The camera traps have also been useful for the Giraffe project which the Trust runs as well, we get a lot of pictures of them and some of them are usable for identification. The camera traps have all been reset in the field and we should be removing them in a month or so.
Here are a few camera trap pictures I found interesting…….
Another busy month!!
A live pangolin recovered from the Binga area with two suspects arrested - they will face a mandatory 9 years jail.
2 persons were picked up in Bulawayo offering two tusks cut into 8 pieces for sale at a shopping complex
1 Person picked up in Beit Bridge with a pair of tusks and convicted
2 persons were picked up in Victoria falls in possession of a pair of tusks weighing 20kg
Following a tip off two persons were arrested at Beit Bridge in possession of a G3 rifle and ammunition - they were planning to go to Bubye Conservancy and poach rhino
1 Zimbabwean and 1 Botswana national arrested near Plumtree in possession of a pair of tusks.

The above arrests are a tribute to the effectiveness of investigators on the ground - both Parks and Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit (MFFU) of the ZRP, who ar doing s great job under difficult circumstances, and are keeping a tight lid on commercial poaching

The sad news out of South Africa is that the lost 259 rhino to poaching in the first six months of this year, with the rend moving away from the Kruger National Park to Kwa-Zulu Natal and private land.

Amos Gwema, Principle Parks Investigations Officer, was sent a whole pile of wildlife education books for distribution to schools, from TUSK and PACE. I went with Amos to Ndhlovu Secondary School, 30km outside Victoria Falls  to deliver the books with an awareness speech. One issue that hit me was that there were about 300 kids there and when asked how many had seen an elephant, only one hand went up!!!

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 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.
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

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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