Zim lodge wins conservation award

Singita Pamushana in Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve has been named Global Winner in the Conservation category of the 6th annual World Travel & Tourism Councils (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, announced last week in Las Vegas.

One of Singita Game Reserves nine low-impact/high-end game lodges in Southern and East Africa, Singita Pamushana is referred to often as one of Southern Africas best kept secrets. It beat two other outstanding finalists in the conservation category: Frgate Island Private in the Seychelles, and The Jane Goodall Institute/Budongo Ecotourism Development Project in Uganda.

Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Singita Pamushana was established with the core purpose of making a meaningful contribution towards the cost of conserving the extraordinary 130 000 acres (40,000 ha) Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in south-eastern Zimbabwe. The reserve is owned by the Malilangwe Trust, and relies on donor funding, as well as the proceeds of tourism to accomplish its goals in conservation and community outreach programmes.

This confident venture into a world-class tourism product impressed the panel of international judges as a paragon of a private tourism practice that uniquely subsists solely to generate income via high value tourism, to make a major contribution to the national goal of rehabilitating the countrys wildlife and tourism industries.

The natural habitat in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve has been rehabilitated to its original state, and today Singita Pamushana has the finest quality wildlife in Zimbabwe. It also boasts some of the greatest varieties of mammal and bird species on the African continent, due to the 38 different habitat and ecological zones found on the property. Seventeen previously plentiful resident wildlife species have been reintroduced successfully, totalling more than 3000 animals. These range from endangered Black Rhino to Roan Antelope and Lichtensteins Hartebeest. Under Singita Pamushanas sensitive management the wildlife populations have shown exhilarating growth after the carefully managed reintroduction.

With a strong research team at its base including scholarships given to Zimbabwean students to further the planets understanding of key species – a breeding centre has been established on site at Singita Pamushana to breed animals such as Nyala, Kudu, Roan and Sable for introduction into the wild.

Singita Pamushana is also involved in supporting various projects allied to its conservation efforts. These include donor funding for the Frankfurt Zoological Societys partnership with Zimbabwes Parks and Wildlife Management to rehabilitate the neighbouring Gonarezhou National Park, and the injection of funding to enable the widespread provision of rabies vaccines to the Government veterinary department. Operating effectively to ensure poaching is minimal, the Singita Pamushana Game Scout team plays an important role in facilitating Zimbabwes Rhino anti-poaching initiatives through the use of its helicopter and other strategic support.

It is a great honour to be recognized by an organisation such as the World Travel & Tourism Council for our approach to conservation, and for our conservation-related programmes, said Luke Bailes, CEO of Singita Game Reserves.

Taking conservation beyond nature towards the preservation of local culture, Singita Pamushana is custodian of over 80 well-preserved, 2 000-year old rock art sites – a priceless heritage.

Major community projects here include a critical feeding scheme for some 22 000 pre-school children living within the vicinity of the reserve; the employment of 250 mostly local Zimbabweans; and the provision of drinkable, clean borehole water to approximately 10 000 people in the area.

Post published in: Environment

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