Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit
By 2000 Zimbabwe had a conservation record second to none.
It was home to many of Africa's top Professional Guides, the
product of superior guide training, good enterprise and some big
personalities in a mature safari industry. The country had
prolific wildlife in diverse habitats and was regarded as one of
Africa's top safari destinations.
In 2000 the politicians simply lost the plot. Aside from a
socio-economic disaster about to be delivered to the people of
Zimbabwe, international tour operators and the country's
traditional markets cast their own votes by withdrawing support.
The safari industry shrank as a result, visitor numbers plummeted
and the country's wildlife and
conservationists were left stranded.
Handfuls of dedicated individuals across the country have
struggled against growing odds in their conservation efforts over
the last decade. The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit is a case in
In 1999 the Victoria Falls
Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) was established by Charles Brightman, a
Professional Guide, local safari operator and conservationist,
together with the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. VFAPU has
since worked in close co-operation with the National Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police on
anti-poaching efforts. They patrol a 50 square kilometre area
around Victoria Falls with 18 full time scouts to combat poaching
in all its forms.
Whilst VFAPU's activities are largely directed at the removal of
snares and the apprehension of subsistence and commercial poachers,
a great deal of time is spent educating and reinforcing the
benefits of conserving the areas natural resources.
VFAPU's work has been recognised through the Zimbabwe Council
for Tourism as four time recipient of the Green Globe 21 Award for
Conservation Efforts in Zimbabwe. Charles Brightman has been
personally recognised as a finalist in the Safari Awards category
for "Best Personal Contribution to Wildlife Conservation".
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit could do with your