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JUNE 2022
NEWSLETTER
We held out inaugural Bhejane Ball on 25th of June. It was a great success, surpassing expectations! A huge thanks to all the sponsors, and to Andrew Lane, Liz Lane and Brenda Finaughty for all the hard work and organisation they put into it. And to Round Table 17. Much appreciated! We will provide a further update next month, with a special thanks to the sponsors.
The Bhejane Ball set up on the golf course at Elephant Hills.  Andrew Lane presents Amos Gwema with a token of appreciation from the Trust for the amazing anti-poaching work he has done, and for his support for Bhejane Trust.
Some exciting news - as can be seen we are about to relocate some more Black Rhino into Sinamatella. There will be an update next month
Should anyone be interested in supporting us in any way, we would welcome this and provide more details.
A tragic scene I came across in the Deka Safari Area - this young male lion is missing the paw on his rear right leg - there is a faint snare mark above the wound so he would have been caught in a snare which either cut through the joint and severed his paw, or he chewed it off in a frantic effort to escape! The terror and agony would have been unbelievable!! The animal was with a pride, but was very thin. The wound was clean, but it is doubtful he will survive, but he might do, so we have given him the chance anyway.
This illustrates the terrible scourge of snare poaching!
The new Chinese Power Station in Hwange  - this pollution is 24/7!!  Obviously poor technology which would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.

ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK

All pumps working well and game water looking good, The mowing of the vlei has started, and we will undertake the controlled burning program soon in the Chamabonda.
Of note, the river front lodge operators combined to fix the Zambezi River road, gravelling  and grading it to repair the damage from the rains and make it more all-weather. They have done a great job. Jason Friend at Mpala Jena Camp has also done a great job on a local road network around the Chundu loop area, complete with proper sign bollards - it all looks very neat and professional!
KAZUMA PAN NATIONAL PARK
We purchased and fitted new blades on the tow grader and the roads have now been graded around the Depresssion and the Katsehete area. We have also provided diesel to finish off the internal roads in the Depression, which will be done shortly
Otherwise all pumps working well, and we have completed our maintenance program.
ROBINS
The unfortunate news from Robins is that we drilled to 100m at Manzinbomvu without finding water. However, we are not giving up and will regroup, do more tests and try again! Watch this space!!
We also had a problem with hyena chewing wires on the inverter at Mahoboti, and one of the Deteema pumps seized, but we are going through all the pumps to check on them, upgrading them where necessary and undertaking any essential maintenance, so as to be fully prepared for the pending dry season.
 
Njekwa Pan - in the back area of Robins - the fullest it has been in many years!
 
SINAMATELLA
Game water – and rainfall.
   June is deep into the dry season. It doesn’t rain in June…….well it did this year! It wasn’t a lot of rain in terms of millimeters but it was enough to make some puddles on the roads, and some mud and to fill a few small hollows with a little water for animals to get a drink.
The rain came at the end of the month but  we had very low temperatures and sometimes heavy cloud for most of the rest of it so evaporation rates were low, demand for water was low and our game water points are mostly looking extremely good for the time of year. Masuma Dam is full, likewise Shumba Pan, Mafa’s Pan, Grassy Pan, Gurangwenya Pan  and Tshontanda Vlei. Most of the others are close to full. We can’t take all the credit for that – a lot of it is down to the weather – but we worked hard in June to make sure the game water picture stays good for as long as possible.
   There are still not many elephants around but those that are here obviously have plenty of food and water and have time to spare for looking for things to break. We had to repair a pipe to Gurangwenya Pan that they broke where it crosses the river,  they dug up a pipe at Grassy Pan that has leaked and been broken before so it is a vulnerable point that they know about, and they also broke the outlet pipe at Mashambo. Those were fairly simple repairs. In a drought year they would have been a problem but this year they were only a nuisance.
    Other repairs were not the fault of elephants – just normal wear and tear. Thanks to Hwange Conservation Society, who bought us  new pumps and motors, we got Tshompani solar working for the first time in some months and the borehole at Masuma 2 was cleaned out by Khalahari Drilling so we could install the new motor that we had fitted back in May.
The best game water news of the month was that we had a new borehole drilled at Bumbusi South, thanks to funding from Le Pal Foundation through Le Pic Vert in France. The old borehole at Bumbusi South only supplies about 1500 litres of water per day but it is still popular with bull elephants who spend hours standing at the trough, drinking straight from the pipe coming from the borehole.  Nothing much else gets a drink until the elephants go away and leave a few dirty pools of water they have spilt but the new borehole might solve that problem. The drill hit some water at only around twelve meters and a lot more deeper down so that we were able to stop at fifty-one meters with water pouring out of the hole as long as the drill was working. The pump will be installed in July.
Wildlife
    June was another very quiet month. Towards the end of the month we were out in the Tshompani area and we found the Tendele Pans as well as Tshompani Pan still very full – full enough for Tshompani Pan to have a hippo living in it. A couple of days before that I was in Robins sector at Kapani Pan and, although it was nowhere near full, that also held water. This is all rain water from back in the rainy season and so long as it lasts we can’t expect to see many of the large, mobile mammals. At the June full moon we did our regular 24-hour count at Masuma and we recorded 101 elephants and 44 impala – both are well down on last year but still gave us plenty to watch………
   There are usually smaller animals around if there is nothing else happening……
And the sunset is always beautiful…..
   Miscellaneous
   In recent years, Sinamatella has developed a fairly bad reputation, what with threats of mining, the destruction of the lodges and the decaying roads and infrastructure. I’m very glad to report that a lot is currently being done to improve the situation. Within the camp itself, the Parks Authority has opened tenders for the repair of a limited number of lodges and the Sinamatella staff have been working hard to replant the lawns and gardens at the Tourist Office and to rebuild the campsite ablutions, where the walls have been repainted and toilets and basins have been replaced. The showers are next on the agenda. The water supply to the campsite and the office has been boosted by an additional 5000 litre tank to supply them overnight when the ZINWA tanks run empty. The tank stand was made and installed by Bhejane Trust and we had some nervous moments as it filled with water and the full five tonnes of weight began to bear down on the stand. For days I was afraid to go past it in case the legs were starting to buckle but up to now (fingers crossed), it’s OK.
   Away from the Camp, some road repairs have been done and the bush is being cut back from road sides – including some roads that have been effectively closed for years. Many kilometers of fire-guard have been prepared and work has started, with funding from IFAW, on revamping the picnic and camping site at Mandavu Dam. Bhejane Trust has been involved in all of these activities and we are delighted to be able to help Area Manager Mike Jonassi with his efforts to get Sinamatella working again. There is still an enormous amount to be done but what a pleasure it is to see things moving forward rather than backwards!
RHINO MONITORING & PROTECTION UNIT

Report By Nick Long
During the month of June the team did a total of 24 patrols with a total distance of 491.95 Km. Of these patrols 15 of them were anti-poaching patrols with a total distance of 265.09 Km. During these patrols we recovered 39 wire snares and located 2 poachers’ spoors.  A lot of effort is put into trying to track the owners of the spoor but in most cases nothing much is found as the poachers have learnt to wear shoes that leave very little sign behind.
For Rhino monitoring the team did 9 patrols with a total distance of 226.95 Km. No sightings of rhino were made as the bush is still thick and the rhino are well dispersed and haven’t yet fallen into a pattern as they usually do in the dry season - note there are a few animals scattered over 2000sq km of very rugged country! We are hoping to start seeing the known animals more often or at least signs of them as the bush is definitely drying up now and there is a lot less natural water left.  About a month ago the team deployed camera traps and we will remove them over the next few days.  This has become quite an effective way of monitoring the Rhino as we have had much more success with them than physically tracking the Rhino when we find fresh spoor.
POACHING
Sad news out of Namibia where 11 black rhino carcasses were found in Etosha National Park in early June. In contrast to Botswana, the Namibian authorities have been very open about it However, ti might suggest the rhino cartel which took out the Botswana rhino have now moved focus to Namibia.
Locally, it has been a relatively busy month again for the Investigations team:
one person was arrested in Lupane being in possession of 3 pieces of ivory
two persons were arrested in Bulawayo ,in possession of 203 pangolin scales (for which they wanted $ 6000) and a leopard skin (for which they wanted $ 1000) They await their day in court!
One person was arrested with unlawful possession of a heavy rifle, which has been sent for forensics to see if it has any previous record on poaching
One person was arrested in possession of a full pangolin skin
Two persons were arrested with 5 tusks, while one (a well known poacher) escaped and is being sought. This occurred in the Tsholotsho area bordering Hwange
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):
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 

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 

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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trevor@bhejanetrust.org

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Bhejane Trust · 231 Sopers Crescent · Victoria Falls · Zimbabwe

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