search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
CAN WE REVERSE THE IMPACT OF POACHING?


THE EFFECTS OF POACHING AND CLIMATE CHANGE ARE KEENLY FELT IN ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE. THIS ECOLOGICAL FRONTLINE IS MANNED BY INNOVATIVE, BUT UNDER-FUNDED CONSERVATION UNITS AND TOURISM IS PLAYING A VITAL ROLE IN THE SURVIVAL OF SOME OF AFRICA’S RAREST SPECIES. WORDS: TAMSIN WRESSELL


stomping up dust storms and hippos smacking their tails on muddied banks. I’m in a hot air balloon with Eric Heseman, owner of Namib Sky Balloon Safaris, watching a new day come to life. It’s a peaceful morning on Zambia’s Busanga Plains: the only sounds come from the fire bellowing above our heads and the distant growls of hyenas. “Look at all this land and not a single person


T 150


in sight,” Eric says, echoing what’s in my head. “This is the wildest safari I’ve led in Africa. If


nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel


he sun yawns over the land, vast savannahs stretching until they blur into the horizon. I can see elephants


this was the Okavango in Botswana, we’d have passed at least three camps by now.” Below us, antelopes leap over a trickle of a


river, a barely perceptible waterway clawing its way through parched earth. In the 11 years Eric has worked here, this is the most brutal drought he’s witnessed. The resulting lack of vegetation has made it difficult for conservationists like Eric to safeguard the wildlife: poachers can now spot patrols a mile off and thus evade capture. Busanga Plains in the north of Kafue


National Park, which is Zambia’s oldest and largest park, stretches out for 8,500 square


miles. Yet with growing funding concerns, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) has just three cars to patrol it. Eric runs these balloon tours to support the organisation. “People come and pay $200 (£150) for a ride and that all goes back into conservation. Plus, the more tourists we can get here in the sky, the more eyes we have on the poachers,” Eric says. “All parks are struggling,” Ben Goodheart,


field ecologist in the Luangwa Valley Team at the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), tells me over dinner that evening. “People come to Busanga because they can see lions,


IMAGE: GETTY


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164