Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe

Involved in the intensive protection of rhinos, around 400 bird species also abound in the area.

In the 1920’s the Save Valley was stocked with cattle farms, the main source of income for the area. The cattle farms subsequently forced the natural wildlife to the outskirts of the valley. Over time the cattle ate all of the fertile grass, bushes and shrubs making the environment harsh and unproductive. At the same time the wildlife was living off the cattle and the farmers were hunting the wildlife to protect their stock, creating a destructive circle. The entire ecological balance and wildlife balance was out of sync and over time the environment became overused and infertile. This problem needed to be addressed and rectified. The Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation partnership believed that by decreasing the number of cattle and introducing the original wildlife back to the area it would help to restore the natural balance (wildlife and ecological).

There is a now 330 km electric fence surrounding the conservancy to protect the wildlife animals from harm as well as the environment. The entire Save Valley Conservancy measures about 3200 km² and was formed by combining 24 adjoining farms in this Zimbabwean valley. The Save Valley Conservancy is involved in the intensive protection of the rhinos, private game safaris, limited hunting concession and multi species research.

Fortunately, the environment is slowly recovering. Many of the indigenous plants and vegetation has being rehabilitated and the area is currently being restocked with wildlife. The plan to restock the area includes introducing; 800 elephants, 5000 buffalos, 1400 giraffes, 50 more black rhinos (100 black rhinos were relocated here at the beginning of the project), 50 white rhinos, 70 lions, 2000 eland, 2000 zebra and 2000 wildebeest. It is expected that as soon as the landscape environmental condition increases, the wildlife population will increase too. The birdlife in the area has also recovered with 400 different bird species been recorded in the area!

The conservancy (and prior farms) receives most of their income from high quality and low density tourism. There are even lodges for travellers to stay in… the Save Valley Conservancy helps to support to local communities by supplying them with jobs, allowing them to sell their arts and crafts as well as improving and upgrading the Save Valley area.

All year travel to the area is fine… The summer months are between October and April and the winter months are between May and September. The summer days are hot, reaching 30ºC, with afternoon thunderstorms. The winter days are cooler and drier with temperatures below freezing point.

Have a look at our Zimbabwe safaris below… There are also other Zimbabwe attractions below that you might want to visit on your Zimbabwe Safari.