June 2017 – Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp in Zambia is firmly committed to supporting the Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s (DNPW) white rhino conservation programme in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, which recently saw its white rhino population increase from nine to 10 animals, when a baby rhino was born in February this year.
The DNPW Zambia is tasked with the vital job of constantly monitoring and safeguarding Mosi-oa-Tunya’s white rhino population. Wilderness Safaris supports the DNPW through the monthly provision of fuel for vehicle patrols and water for their camps, and raises the profile of their conservation efforts by offering its guests the opportunity to join their scouts on a rhino-tracking experience. This activity enables guests to support the conservation of this Vulnerable species, while learning more about white rhino behaviour during a truly up-close-and-personal experience, under the guidance of an experienced DNPW Zambia scout. Guests depart the camp by vehicle in search of rhino, and will then track and observe them on foot.
“As pioneering leaders of authentic and sustainable ecotourism in the Zambezi region, we are deeply committed to the protection of Vulnerable and Endangered species, such as the white rhino”, says Petros Guwa, Wilderness Safaris Zambia Service Coordinator. “Affording our guests the opportunity to join us in supporting this critical cause has not only bolstered anti-poaching efforts, but also raised awareness of this precious and highly threatened species”.
In addition to being committed to Conservation, Toka Leya is also dedicated to the other 3Cs that make up the basis of Wilderness Safaris’ 4Cs sustainability ethos – Community, Culture and Commerce. Toka Leya Camp has minimal impact on the surrounding environment as a result of sophisticated back-of-house innovations that ensure a light eco-footprint. Hot water is provided through solar geysers, while waste water is processed in a water management plant which, once treated, is used to irrigate plants in the camp’s greenhouse and nursery. Additionally, all organic waste is processed by a worm farm and used as nutrient-dense fertiliser for the tree-planting project.
Since December 2014, over 3 000 indigenous tree saplings have been planted in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, all of which were germinated and nurtured by Toka Leya’s staff in the camp’s greenhouse and nursery. Guests are invited to plant an indigenous tree of their choice themselves, leaving behind a permanent legacy and playing a role in the reforestation of the Park.
“All of these initiatives form part of our sustainability ethos of using the 4Cs to conserve the environment, while at the same time ensuring that local people benefit directly from this process. Toka Leya guests can meet and interact with the communities that we support through our non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness, which focuses on educating the next generation of environmental leaders from rural villages”, added Guwa. “Learning about different cultures can shift people’s perspectives when it comes to their own lives, which forms part of our vision: To conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action”.