Hwange National Park (HNP) is Zimbabwe’s largest natural reserve occupying roughly 14,650 km2 and located in the west of the country, about one hour’s drive south of the Victoria Falls. HNP boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 species of birds recorded. It is an important part of the massive Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area which comprises nearly 520,000 km2 of protected areas, spanning five countries: Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Conservation and Wildlife Fund (CWF) is a non-profit trust which was formed after conservationists and stakeholders in the region of HNP decided to combine forces to address important conservation issues affecting the area: the people, the wildlife and their habitats. CWF started work on the ground late in 2017. The founding members were five photographic safari companies (African Bush Camps, Amalinda Collection, Hideaways, Imvelo Safari Lodges and The Hide) and five conservation organisations: Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), WildCRU’s Hwange Lion Research, Panthera, WCN’s Lion Recovery Fund and Southern African Conservation Trust (SACT).
CWF works in the land bordering the eastern boundary of HNP. The project area currently covers about 4,300 km2 and comprises national forests, communal areas and privately owned ranches – all home to a wide variety of wildlife species.
CWF supports the state institutions which have the mandate to protect the fauna and flora as well as other conservation initiatives in the area, including established research organisations.