Zambia has 20 national parks and 34 game management areas that feature many endemic species, as well as mammal migrations, such as that of bats and wildebeests. However, the country has had a decrease in wildlife due to elephant and rhino poaching, residents who hunt antelope to sustain their livelihoods, and the animal versus human conflict that occurs when citizens live in or near national parks. Women in Zambia have taken the lead in wildlife conservation efforts. In honor of Women’s Month, here are some of the ways women in Zambia contribute to the cause.
Thandiwe Mweetwa is a senior ecologist and community educator for the Zambia Carnivore Program Luangwa Valley team, which is dedicated to saving big cats in the area. She looks at the effect human interaction has on lion and leopard populations, and her on-the-ground work involves monitoring prides of lions, which is notoriously hard to do. In her research, Mweetwa discovered that the fertility cycles of lionesses sync, and they reproduce around the same time. This allows them support to each other while raising cubs. Mweetwa also leads community outreach and training programs to inspire girls interested in careers in wildlife conservation.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Intelligence and surveillance
In the Netflix documentary The Ivory Game , filmmakers go undercover to explore the complex world of the illegal ivory trade. It takes a look at everything from the poachers in Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya, to the sellers in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and London. The portion of the film in Zambia follows Georgina Kamanga, head of the Investigations and Intelligence unit at the Department of National Parks & Wildlife, as she leads undercover efforts to track down syndicates of an international poacher who was eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Newly appointed country director for The World Wildlife Fund, Nachilala Nkombo, has continued the Drones for Conservation project, which recently launched and uses unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones, to track wildlife in hard-to-reach areas. Using drones in five national parks will increase surveillance and will hopefully help curb poaching.
The Women for Conservation initiative was created by women with careers in wildlife conservation in Zambia as a way to network, create mentorships, share ideas, and otherwise support each other. This is done through informal quarterly meetings, such as the recent meeting, which featured Dr. Patricia Mupeta-Muyamwa, indigenous peoples and local community strategy lead for Africa at The Nature Conservancy; Rhoda Kachali, senior ecologist at the Department of National Parks & Wildlife; Dr. Karen Laurenson, regional coordinator: Africa Department-Frankfurt Zoological Society; and Chanda Mwale Kumwenda, project officer for the fresh water team at the World Wildlife Fund Zambia.
Using local resources to create income
Game Rangers International (GRI) are dedicated to serving the communities in and around Kafue National Park. One way that they do this is through the Community Outreach and Education Project. As part of the project, GRI has created nine women’s groups with more than 135 women in the area to provide them with sustainable work. Many produce items, such as jewelry, aprons, bags, and baskets that are then sold at GRI ventures such as the Lilayi Elephant Nursery.
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