. Friends of Hwange Trust
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Friends of Hwange Trust

Hwange Park has little natural water and most of the water is pumped through boreholes into the pans and troughs

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Hwange background

When Ted Davidson camped near Dete in western Rhodesia in 1928 with orders to establish a game reserve, there were few animals and very little water. It was a huge, flat, hot, arid, sandy, bushy wasteland where hunters had been busy since the time of Courtney-Selous.

With local Bushmen he explored the area between the cement strip road to Victoria Falls and the borders of Bechuanaland. To the west was the camel thorn sprinkled Kalahari, to the north a mighty forest of Zambezi teak, mopane, acacia and baobab.

They travelled for months, plodding besides their mules and sleeping rough while lions stalked their beasts. The absence of animals worried him and he realised the reason: there was little standing water and after the rainy season pans soon dried up and the game moved elsewhere.

As his brief was to ensure the welfare of the game, Davidson turned his mind to dams and boreholes. Dams proved to be a problem. As soon as they began filling, crocodiles would find them and bore their hideouts in the ground walls. This caused the walls to break.

Boreholes proved successful, except that
elephants delighted in pushing over the windmills.
Cement eventually solved the croc problem
trenches worked to protect the windmills.
If the troughs ran dry, however, elephants would dig up the pipes to see what the problem was.

Anti-poaching patrols and the establishment of water points gradually lured animals and Hwange is, today, one of the great national parks of Africa

Friends of Hwange

In 2005 Hwange suffered an extreme drought - tourist arrivals were down and lack of funding meant that the borehole pumps could not be kept operational; the outcome of this was that countless animals died of thirst.

And so Friend sof Hwange was born to maintain and develop the water resources of Hwange Park.

The work done is funded entirely by donations.

Visit their website for more info on how to help





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