News & Updates
Zimbabwe, 2007 October the 27th
Thank you for your interest in our activities.
It is already the end of October and I am in the Hwange National Park for more then
a month now. The area inside and outside the park is very dry. It seems like the trees
and bushes will never start growing again, but every now and then you see new shoots
appearing on the trees, which is a sign that it soon will start raining.
The animals are the ones who suffer the most because this is the time when the water is
scarce. Which means that it is also the time when it is easy for poachers to catch the
animals near water because all animals are searching for it.
Only the well-experienced poachers operate deep inside the bush because they know all
about the movements and spore of the animals to trace them out in, for example, their
resting places. And those are the distant areas where the poachers know is nearly any
supervision or anti-poaching controlling.
However the need for us to go out patrolling is urgent in this period of year, we first
have to wait for the necessary permit of the authorities which takes a long time. But also
the arrangement of other preparations and necessary documents take so much longer
then in western countries.
Sometimes it takes weeks and a lot of driving (fuel), telephonecalls, energy, efforts and
patience to obtain a stamp or the opportunity to make an appointment with someone
who is in charge. But to if we want to make our work successful, this is what we have to
go through and deal with and I am sure that soon our perseference will be paid back
with success in our activities.
As ALL4AP™ is a starting project it is very important to cooperate with the
other projects and organisations like Hwange Lion Research and Wilderness
safari’s to discuss how things can be done the best and in the most effective
way, who is responsible and who takes care and is in charge when I am not here. This
is not always easy due to distance and poor telephone- and computerlines which are not
always working, so a lot has to be done with radio-contact. But we do have a lot of profit
from each other and are able to exchange a lot of experience, assistance and
cooperation. For example with transportation. Once a week the personnel and guards
who are working in the lodges and on the campingsites have to be exchanged. We
sometimes have to go 80 km’s into the park where 50% of this route consist of sandy
and bumpy roads with even big holes. You can imagine that it takes a lot of fuel,
experience, good equipped fourwheeldrives and spareparts to drive this route and
therefore we try as much as possible to combine the transport of people and material on
the way up as well as on the way back.
So at this moment I am still very busy with the preparations of everything and I am
sorry to cannot inform you about success stories of removing snares and saving animals
so far, but I am doing my utmost to start within a couple of weeks with recruiting and
training the new anti-poaching team of which I will keep you informed.
What happened last month;
I arrived at September 15th, a couple of weeks before my collegue and head of the
Lion-project in Hwange National Park, Andrew Loveridge. He is from Zimbabwe and
studying at Oxford at the moment (see link of Wildcru Oxford Engeland on our website).
We had to discuss important matters but the timing was not on our site. In order to meet
up with different people, meetings and to be able to drive in this rural area I first had to
find my own transport. Due to delays of many things it took me 2 weeks in Harare
before I could return with the car and unfortunately there was not much time left to
discuss important matters with Andrew because he had to leave for Engeland again.
I am happy to tell you that the trip to Harare and all the efforts where not for nothing:
we found a solid and reliable Landrover Defender which has only been used on asphalt
and passed the severe check of the mechanician. I was glad to be accompanied by the
mechanician of the wild dog project (see the link of PDC on our website and whom I like
to thank very much for offering his spare time !).
Because of the age of the car (7 years old), beauty and charming appearance we call
her ‘Lady’. The stickers with the ALL4AP™ logo are waiting in Bulawayo and I hope that
they soon will be accompanied with stickers of many supporting organisations. Beside
the stickers we also have ALL4AP™ badges for the cloathing of the anti-poachingteam
which all is important for the recognition and identification in- and outside the park.
At this moment we are waiting for the green sign to start recruiting the apu-team
members. After the announcement it will take another week before the candidates can
In my next newsletter (end of November) I will inform you about the results.