Simalaha Community Conservancy

The word Sim – a – la – ha means ‘come together’

The ‘old days’, when the Simalaha flood plains were teeming with wildlife, the forests thick and the people benefiting from this rich environment, are once more being realised…

The Simalaha Community Conservancy forms part of the Kavango Zambezi Trans frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). The expansive KAZA TFCA is the world’s largest TFCA covering approximately 520,000 square kilometres across 5 countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

KAZA TFCA connects 36 protected areas, which include a host of game reserves, forest reserves, game management areas, communal lands and conservation and tourism concession areas designated for use of natural resources.

The Simalaha Community Conservancy is an African wilderness bordering on the Zambezi River, where wildlife and people come together and co-exist under one sky as they once did many years ago.

The formulation of this Conservancy is inspired and driven by visionaries – Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Sesheke Chiefdom and Chief Sekute of the Sekute Chiefdom. In 2012, the senior leadership of these two chiefdoms agreed that their land be developed as a wildlife conservancy, to allow for conservation of the area and viable natural resource management, but also promote income generation through nature-based economies and tourism opportunities.

Partnering with Peace Parks Foundation, this vision has become a reality.

Wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe, puku, hartebeest, impala, waterbuck, giraffe , buffalo, eland and sable have been re-introduced to the plains. The ‘old days’, when the Simalaha flood plains were teeming with wildlife, the forests thick and the people benefiting from this rich environment, are once more being realised.

Each step towards this end is carefully worked through by the Simalaha Community Conservancy Trust and Peace Parks, sensitising and supporting the local communities to embrace such changes.

The Conservancy is fundamental to re-establishing wildlife populations and their migration routes in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Tourism in the Simalaha Community Conservancy

The Simalaha Community Conservancy recognizes that income from nature-based economies is a critical component of the Conservancy.

Simalaha Horse Safaris Zambia is the first tourism operator in the Conservancy. The Conservancy benefits from concession fees which form part our our bednight cost, as well as the training and employment of local members in the construction and running of the tented camp.

Apart from Simalaha Horse Safaris’ contribution to the area through tourism, Simalaha Horse Safaris and Chundukwa are looking to raise funds to support the working donkeys in the Simalaha. Long term we hope to set up a centre for animal husbandry.

We are very privileged to be invited to participate in this remarkable venture by Senior Chief Nyambo Yeta. I have been riding horses in wildlife areas for over 40 years and this opportunity is a real dream come true. Having grown up as a fourth generation Zambian in this area, I am familiar with the Zambezi flood plains and the Lozi and Sekute people of western Zambia.