A key objective of KAZA is to ensure connectivity between key wildlife areas, and where necessary, join fragmented wildlife habitats in order to form an interconnected mosaic of protected areas, as well as restore transboundary wildlife migratory corridors between wildlife dispersal areas (WDAs). These corridors re-establish and conserve large-scale ecological processes that extend beyond the boundaries of protected areas.
Within the KAZA TFCA, six geographically specific WDAs have been identified. These areas offer critical ecological and, in particular, wildlife movement linkages between protected areas across the landscape. The six wildlife dispersal areas include the Zambezi-Chobe Floodplain; Hwange-Kazuma–Chobe; Kwando; Zambezi-Mosi Oa Tunya; Hwange-Makgadikgadi-Nxai; and Khaudum-Ngamiland. Currently, we focus on two of these WDA’s.
The Chobe-Zambezi Floodplain Wildlife Dispersal Area
One of the prioritised wildlife dispersal areas is the Zambezi-Chobe Floodplain WDA, a large wetland shared between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, of which the Simalaha Community Conservancy, the eastern Zambezi region in Namibia, and the wetlands of the Chobe National Park in Botswana form the core regarding connectivity between the Chobe National Park in Botswana and the Kafue National Park in Zambia.
The overall objective is to develop a sustainable wildlife economy in the Zambezi-Chobe Floodplain WDA within the KAZA TFCA based on strong community ownership, benefit sharing, resource protection and integrated management of agriculture, settlements and services. This will enhance livelihoods, secure wildlife corridors and dispersal areas and expand the wildlife economy in the area between Chobe (Botswana) and Kafue (Zambia) national parks.
There are currently several community conservation areas and community development initiatives which support the development of this wildlife dispersal area on both sides of the Zambia and Namibia border. Peace Parks Foundation has worked with the Mwandi and Sekute chiefdoms over the past eight years to develop the Simalaha Community Conservancy in Zambia.
The Kwando Wildlife Dispersal Area
As one of the prioritised wildlife dispersal areas, the Kwando WDA comprises the Luengue-Luiana National Park in Angola, the Sioma-Ngwezi National Park in Zambia, Mudumu and Bwabwata National Parks in Namibia with their associated conservancies and game management areas.What makes this wildlife dispersal area so unique is that borders are unfenced and there is unrestricted wildlife movement here. Elephants from Chobe move across the conservancies and national parks in the Zambezi region of Namibia and disperse along the Kwando River into the Luengue-Luiana National Park in Angola and into Sioma Ngwezi in Zambia.
Wildlife crime remains a major challenge in this WDA. To monitor and protect the movement of wildlife within the Kwando WDA it is critical for the government agencies in Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia to work together, liaise and coordinate with each other on specific issues. The poaching crisis is further compounded by the fact that rangers and law enforcement have to contend with a serious lack of resources such as vehicles, boats, rations, fuel, patrol and general camping equipment, as well as limited communication networks and a lack of cross border cooperation between law enforcement agencies. To effectively stop the scourge of poaching, cooperation on both field and park level would need to dramatically increase. We are exploring various avenues through which to facilitate such by various stakeholders that together can contribute to the containment of wildlife crime, allowing the wildlife dispersal area to operate to its full potential.
In this WDA our work centres around supporting the Zambian Government to manage the Sioma-Ngwezi National Park and develop the Silowana Complex.
A core focus of this transfrontier conservation area is to improve the socio-economic conditions of the approximately two million people residing within KAZA by routing development, tourism and conservation projects to them in line with the TFCA objectives.
Simalaha Community Conservancy
In the Simalaha Community Conservancy the Sesheke and Sekhute Chiefdoms are taking ownership of their own destiny: following a community-led approach to improve basic human rights – such as access to food, health, livelihood opportunities and education – by responsibly managing and protecting natural resources and wildlife.
Within the Zambia component of the KAZA TFCA lies the Sioma Ngwezi National Park and the Zambezi West Game Management Area, together referred to as the Sioma Ngwezi Management Complex , an area that was declared by the Litunga – the King of the Barotse Royal Establishment – as a protected area more than a century ago.
Ngonye Falls Community Park
The Community Partnership Park recognises the cultural, aesthetic and tourism value of Ngonye Falls, and aims to protect and conserve the falls and its riverine habitat as a landmark feature – unlocking the ecotourism potential of the area to benefit the local Simumbi and the Linganga communities on whose land the falls are situated.
Kavango Zambezi promises to be southern Africa’s premier tourist destination with the largest contiguous population of the African elephant (approximately 250 000) on the continent. Conservation and tourism will be the vehicle for socio-economic development in the region. The KAZA TFCA abounds with magnificent tourist sites and attractions, ranging from Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Zimbabwe and Zambia’s Victoria Falls, to the unexplored splendours of the Angolan woodlands and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip.
Our focus is on facilitating the harmonisation of policies and cross-border regulations, as well as the development of infrastructure and tourism products that link these destinations, to allow tourists from the regional and international market to explore southern Africa’s cultural and natural diversity as never before.