Chizarira National Park
The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is a non-profit registered Trust that is committed to the conservation of the African lion (Panthera leo) and the environment in which lions live.
ALERT recognizes that conservation of wildlife and habitat will only be successful if the local people surrounding conservation areas participate in, and benefit from, the protection of that wildlife and habitat.
ALERT has therefore adopted a responsible development approach to conservation which includes the upliftment of local communities alongside the protection and conservation of wildlife and habitat.
On 11th January 2017 ALERT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) to assist Chizarira National Park in terms of research, upgrading facilities and working with surrounding communities. The MoU extends into Chirisa Safari Area. ALERT is partnered with Coventry University in this project, and additional partners from a variety of fields of expertise are being encouraged to join the venture.
The Chizarira National Park Project consists of several aspects:
Assisting the Park Management to upgrade the Park. This includes water supplies, road and bridge repairs, building maintenance and upgrades, communications infrastructure, tourist camp repair and upgrades, and providing transport and training for management purposes, including anti-poaching. This project will also invest in advertising the Park to increase visitor numbers which will increase revenue earnings for further Park investment. An abandoned group of buildings will be renovated
Social Development and Education Programmes. Protection of the Park and the habitat will not be successful unless the surrounding communities reliance on natural resources is reduced, that they feel that they are part of the management of the Park, and are receiving benefits from it. A variety of social development programmes in adjacent communities will be undertaken to improve food security and conventional education, and provide conservation education and vocational training.
The research will be undertaken on the existing wild population, that is currently below the carrying capacity of the Park, to assist in the management of this largely isolated population.
No research has been carried out in this Park for over two decades. ALERT scientists will be carrying out research in a variety of areas to ensure that the Park is able to maintain biodiversity, that ultimately is able to support the lion population, and produce benefits for neighbouring communities.
ALERT (the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust) was founded at Antelope Park in 2005 in response to the drastic decline of lion populations. Together, we support the multi-stage African Lion Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild Program, which seeks to stop the decline of African lion populations through the release of the offspring of captive-bred lions into the wild.
Your stay here will not just leave you with amazing memories and experiences, but you’ll also personally have contributed towards saving the mighty African lion.
Contributions to the Lion release and conservation programme made by Antelope Park, Lion Encounter Victoria Falls, Wildlife Encounter, Livingstone Zambia and African Impact:
To date, the above-mentioned organisations have made a combined contribution of over $3,000,000.
- USD$760,000 has been spent construction and management of the immediate Lion Release areas at Ngamo, Antelope Park and Dambwa, Livingstone. This includes the cost of permanent, solar- powered security game fencing, boreholes, piping, waterholes, roads and anti-poaching measures
- USD$247,000 has been invested in community programmes associated with our conservation programme, including conservation education centres, orphanages, agricultural projects and teaching and healthcare projects.
- USD$365,000 has been used to purchase game animals from local wildlife breeders to stock the release sites, allowing the release prides to hunt. Over 600 animals have been purchased to date.
- USD$1,641,200 the ‘Lions Share’ has been used to ensure that the resident captive Lion population at Antelope Park is well- managed and cared for. This includes the costs associated with the purchase of
gamefor feeding, enclosure construction and maintenance, veterinary care and the salaries of the dedicated team who manage their upkeep.