Saving Zimbabwe's largest National Park
In partnership with Wildlife & Environment Zimbabwe and The National Parks & Wildlife Management Authority

Newsletter October 2009
To all Friends of Hwange,

The dry season is at it's height, Hwange National Park is parched and hot. The smell of dust, the crackle of grass, the breathtaking beauty of a sunset against a cloudless sky, a balmy breeze, the cool of evening - these are all features of the bush at this time. And so we try to tackle the busiest and most stressful few months in the park.

Gary found it necessary to start up our Lister engines at all pans around the Kennedy area in Hwange as early as April when a number of elephants appeared in that region of the park. However, as the season has progressed, the elephants have failed to return from the South of the park in their usual numbers perhaps due to abundant rains received in the very far South of Hwange National Park this year, and as a result the availability of water there late into the season. There is natural water still present in some of the pans towards the north of the park. Shumba and Shapi are holding good water, although these pans are being pumped, but several other pans in the area continue as a natural source of supply for animals.

However, long term weather forecasts are somewhat disturbing. It seems there is the possibility of a drought looming. We cannot rest on our laurels, and need to continue our endless quest for support and funding to ensure that we are able to keep animals supplied with water for as long as is necessary. For those wishing to contribute, there is no better time than at this hour of peak need.

It is a concern of ours to explore more environment friendly ways of pumping water into the pans. Windmills have a part to play, but they cannot cope with the demand in the very dry months. Solar energy seems to be a way forward in Africa, and we have researched the possibility of this. Of major concern is whether a solar unit will be able to produce the capacity of water required at the height of the dry season. A lister engine produces 80 thousand litres of water in a 24 hour period on a good bore hole. Gary has estimated that 40 thousand litres in a 24 hour period might suffice. Some sources suggest that there are solar units capable of delivering this amount of water, and we are very keen to install one as a trial in time for the next dry season.

One of our most critical requirements at present is for a reliable vehicle for Gary to use in order to carry out his work. He travels to remote areas, over rough terrain. Anyone who is able to help in this regard is asked to contact the Trust urgently.

Dave Dell still has his CD of Photographs of Zimbabwe available for purchase, and can supply them to all areas of the world. Funds generated from the CD go towards the work done by the Friends of Hwange Trust.

We are delighted to report that following a visit to Zimbabwe earlier in the year with Nicolas Duncan of Save Australia, Wayne Monks has met with various people, including ex Zimbabweans in Perth, Australia, and together they have formed an organization called the Zimbabwe Wildlife Fund. Their objectives are to promote and support wildlife conservation efforts in Zimbabwe. Contact addresses are wmonks@westnet.com or Cher McAdam on cherrith@appt.net.au. They are holding a Family Friendly function to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the formation of the Friends of Hwange Trust. This will be held on Sunday 8 November at the Claremont Yacht Club in Perth, and invite anyone interested or able to support this event.

We are hugely indebted to the many people who have contributed to our cause this year, and without whom the project would have collapsed. All contributions, however small, are gratefully received. In particular, the following are singled out for special mention:

Lindsay Earle-Benning of Redan Petroleum, Zimbabwe
Faizel Abdulla
Kay Gladigau
Vere Elliott
Dave St Quinton for ongoing support
Duncan Paul for ongoing support
Thorsten Schafer and the 4x4 Club of South Africa for ongoing support

We continue to be humbled by the concern and care shown by many people worldwide. Our deep gratitude to you all.

Trustees: G.R. Brown; A.J. Preston; P. Turner; D.C. Dell; B. Edwards; B. Wolhuter;
Founder: R.A. Franklin
Tel: +263-4 707973; Mobile (Dave Dell): +263-11-630152; Email: foh@strachans.co.zw
C/O Box 3021, Harare, Zimbabwe
Website: www.friendsofhwange.org