Whilst our fantastic team of staff are the backbone of our operations, the reason we are all here is for the wildlife, and it very much is part of the crew! We truly believe that our presence in the area and our passion for wildlife that runs through each and every staff member has a significant impact on its preservation and ability to thrive and flourish.
In the past few years the resident wildlife has gone from strength to strength, and we are lucky to be in an area of the Park that boats some of the most incredible variety of flora and fauna. Here are a few photos of the usual suspects. For more photos of the camp and surroundings, take a look at our gallery here.
Over the past few years the team at J&M have been tireless in preserving the ecological integrity of the Musekese area, and the results are starting to show.
Fire protection regimes, in conjunction with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), US based NGO The Nature Conservancy, and GRI’s Fire Fighting Team, have seen vast tracts of land protected from fire for the past 4 years. This is no mean feat in a Park that sees its vast majority burn annually (1).
Fire ecology is a complex part of our ecosystem and has direct and non-direct implications on what we see (and what we don’t see), and we are immensely concerned with understanding this intricate system for the betterment of the park. Working in conjunction with the National Park ecologists we operate a planned rotational system of fire breaks, block burns, and fire exclusive zones that all form part of ongoing studies into the best and most efficient management policies and regimes (2).
The relative lack of wholesale burning in the Musekese area has resulted in a sharp increase in ungulate survivability (more habitat for young to lay-up and hide in, for example) (3) not to mention the increase in sightings of the nocturnal creatures that rely on cover and intact grassland for their survival (4).
Other projects that J&M support include the work of Game Rangers International (GRI), an NGO working alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in aiding anti-poaching operations in the greater Kafue ecosystem. For every bednight that our guests spend with us a contribution of $5 per person per night goes to GRI to support their team and operations. The current scourge of poaching across Africa is something we are keen to stamp out and this small but significant contribution to these efforts is all part of why we do what we do (5).
We are also very proud to work closely with our friends at the Zambian Carnivore Program (ZCP), this predator research initiative does more than just count lions and together with DNPW are frequently involved in responding to incidents of snared and otherwise injured wildlife. We provide logistical support to the ZCP teams as and when we can, as well as provide intelligence and information on the carnivores resident in our operational areas, and together we are beginning to understand the movements and dynamics of some of our more glamorous inhabitants (6), information which is very valuable in addressing the relevant management challenges associated with wildlife conservation and protection.
The real Africa is hard to find, but if you wish to find it, it is within and around this wonderful place.