Run/walk for Zimbabwe's elephants in New York City.

 Registration is now open.

We are pleased to announce that registration has now opened for the annual Saving the Elephants 10km Run/Walk in New York on Saturday, November 17th. 

Benefitting the Zambezi Elephant Fund, you can run, jog or walk your way around beautiful Central Park as we unite together to help keep the hope for Zimbabwe’s elephants alive. 

This promises to be a unique and enriching experience for the entire family and we hope to see you there.

Sign up to become a fundraiser and have the chance to win a once-in-lifetime safari to some of Zimbabwe’s top wildlife destinations.

Zambezi Elephant Fund is leading the charge in the fight to save elephants and we need your help in raising $150,000 towards our budget for 2019.

These funds will go directly towards sustainable community development and the continued support for anti-poaching operations of rangers in the ZambeziValley.

Here are the projects we are currently focusing on and need your help in supporting:

  • Community welfare project
  • Patrolling from the rivers and the skies
  • Patrol equipment and infrastructure
  • Community-driven informer project

If you are not based in New York and would like to help us spread the word about the Saving the Elephants 10km Run/Walk please kindly forward this link onto your friends and colleagues.

Introducing our bold new brand!

Welcome to our new website!

As the Zambezi Elephant Fund continues to grow, it is reaching more and more people each day and with that comes new and exciting challenges and opportunities. We want our brand to best reflect why we exist, what we believe in, and where we’re headed.

Today, we’re taking a bold step towards that with a new logo, identity and website that together support our vision and mission.

Ahead of being the sole beneficiary for this year’s annual Saving the Elephants 10km Run/Walk in New York City, we decided it was imperative to re-brand Zambezi Elephant Fund to present a modern, clean and unified voice to our international community.

We commissioned digital strategist Dan Calderwood to project-manage the transition, who in turn teamed up with graphic designer Stefania Origgi to deliver the new-look Zambezi Elephant Fund.

We are extremely proud of our awesome new logo and website and wanted to share the story and rationale behind some of the design choices and digital execution. 

 

NEW LOGO:

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Using the old logo as a foundation, the new logo was inspired from the patterns in Zimbabwean Shona textiles, the shape of the meandering Zambezi River and the ancient paths that the elephant walks.

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It was essential to keep the shape of the baby elephant as it signifies protection, family and community.

With the inter-connected lines and shapes, the logo communicates the core strengths of the Zambezi Elephant Fund – that of commitment and connection to the organisations with whom we work to protect elephants and other species and habitats in the regions enriched by the Zambezi River.

A new, coherent colour palette was selected to echo the rich colours of the Zambezi Valley, which has been applied throughout the new website.

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The choice of the main grey-blue colour represents the elephant’s hide with a complementary colour set representing the shades of dawn experienced in Mana Pools in the Zambezi Valley.

 

NEW WEBSITE: We’re ready to unleash its potential!

Along with the new logo we have rebuilt our website to be mobile responsive, user-friendly and reflect our brand new identity.

It is very important to present our story with as little clutter as possible AND be legible on a mobile phone. We wanted the web design to be powerful and contemporary, whilst giving the design layout space to breathe across the pages, allowing users to scroll through our story easily.

Images will always tell a story; therefore, the use of strong visuals is also an important element in clearly communicating our purpose and unique voice.

The new look and feel marks a new chapter in our story. But it is also an important change inspired by Africa’s magnificent elephants and the many people who have supported us and with whom we’ve connected along the way.

The Zambezi Elephant Fund may feel like a new organisation, but we remain true to our vision and mission and would like to thank you for your continued support in helping to keep the hope for Zimbabwe’s elephants alive.

Patrol boat arrives safely in the Zambezi Valley

The new "aluminium flat bottom" patrol boat has arrived safely in the Zambezi Valley today!

Funded by Zambezi Elephant Fund and Virgin Unite, the patrol boat was launched onto the Zambezi River this afternoon and will be operated by The Zambezi Society under Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority instruction for all anti-poaching deployments and river patrols along the Mana Pools river frontage.

Thanks go to all involved in the continued collaborative efforts to protect and conserve the Middle Zambezi Valley Biosphere Reserve and the Mana-Sapi-Chewore UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

How Dropbox Showcase helps Zambezi Elephant Fund present their mission

Original article published on Dropbox's blog here

The Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe contains a World Heritage Site and the longest contiguous wilderness area in Southern Africa. Though the region is home to one of Africa’s remaining elephant strongholds, the Zambezi Valley has lost 40% of its elephant population since 2001. In 2016 alone, they lost one elephant every four days to poaching.

It’s this crisis that inspired a heroic effort to stop the poaching. Formed in 2015, Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) brings together a passionate group of individuals, NGOs, tour operatives, and The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. And as you might imagine, trying to coordinate the logistics of their complex work takes an incredible amount of collaboration.

“Instead of working on this issue in our own ways, we’ve combined our efforts in order to most effectively prevent poaching,” said Richard Maasdorp, Coordinator, Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF). 

By bringing together the group’s diverse set of skills and perspectives, we and our partners have developed highly effective anti-poaching activities and have started to contain this crisis.
— Richard Maasdorp, Coordinator, Zambezi Elephant Fund

Though this collaborative model is rare across Africa, the founders of The Zambezi Elephant Fund are convinced it’s one of the main reasons for their success. Here’s how their team unites different parties in pursuit of a common goal—and uses Dropbox to make that work easier.

Training rangers and clearing paths

The campaign against poaching begins by training the people on the front lines: the rangers. The ZEF team provides them with food, equipment, and transportation to the areas known to have poaching activity. The rangers patrol on foot, looking for human footprints, fires, vultures—any indication that poachers have been in the area.

“We call these areas ‘hot spots,’” explains Richard. “Based on the season, we know where poachers are likely to be. In the rainy season, they tend to move along river lines, following elephant paths. In the dry season, the hot spots change.”

In the dry season, Richard says the team looks for waterholes and springs inland because elephants tend to congregate there in search of water. In the hilly areas, poachers move up and down the steep hills using generation-old elephant paths. These elephants have figured out the easiest way to climb up and down the steep slopes.

The more ground the rangers can cover in these hot spots, the better. Because even if the poachers aren’t confronted directly during a patrol, they get nervous when they see the rangers’ footprints. The rangers’ food, transport, and equipment—including radios, tents, packs, and mosquito nets—are made possible by groups and individuals committed to anti-poaching.

Much of the area where poaching takes place is remote and difficult to access. To get rangers in there as quickly as possible, ZEF’s partners have been using earth-moving equipment donated by their supporters to create anti-poaching paths.

Patrolling from the rivers and skies

It’s estimated that nearly 50% of these poachers come from Zambia, crossing the Zambezi River to get to the elephants. To help reduce these numbers, ZEF has funded a patrol boat to intercept the poachers and prevent them from even reaching the shore.

“One of our partner organizations, Flying for Wildlife, fly personally owned small aircrafts looking for signs of fires and carcasses, giving us coverage in the most inaccessible areas,” says Richard. “We are looking to fund a dedicated light aircraft for their use.”

Collecting anonymous tips

There is also an anonymous tip program that enables witnesses to use messaging apps to send anonymous tips about who might be poaching, or hiding ivory before it’s shipped. If this leads to the arrest of people involved in illegal wildlife crime, then a mobile payment is sent as a reward to the informants. This has proven to be a very successful program.

Presenting the mission and showing the impact

When the work you do happens in such a remote area, how do you communicate the impact you’re having? More important, how do you bring in more people from around the world, and invite them to participate in your mission? For ZEF, email attachments and bulletins were losing impact.

Being able to vividly illustrate both the majesty of the elephants they’re protecting and the urgent need for help is key to reaching new supporters. To help people understand the ZEF mission, it takes more than text to tell the story. So they turned to Dropbox Showcase, a new product introduced in October 2017.

Dropbox Showcase helps us bring people into our world. It helps us explain what we are doing visually, it helps to guide people through the work being done often thousands of miles away,” says Richard. “If you can’t feel the dusty path under your feet, the sun warming your back, if you can’t hear the elephants drinking at the waterhole nearby—water gushing through their trunks and down their throats—then it’s up to us to help you understand our work from afar, to understand why we care, why you should too, and what we’re doing to fix this poaching problem. It’s no small task and Dropbox Showcase helps us achieve this.”

One of the key features Richard appreciates about Showcase is the ability to customize the presentation for different audiences. When they share a project externally, Showcase lets them highlight different aspects and tailor them to the interests of the recipient. They can quickly make tweaks to add details and reorder files so that the priority information is right at the top.

Dropbox Showcase helps us bring people into our world. It helps us explain what we are doing visually, it helps to guide people through the work being done often thousands of miles away.

ZEF also uses Showcase internally to communicate across their entire organization. After workshops and strategy meetings, they often need to share takeaways with the rest of the team and partners. Richard says they find it much more engaging and motivating to present this information as a showcase rather than ordinary meeting minutes.

Dear friend of the Zambezi Elephant Fund

Here we are at the end of another year and a bright 2018 looks like a very promising for our new Zimbabwe. 

Thanks to your overwhelming generosity and support in 2017, we are delighted to share with you that Zambezi Elephant Fund, together with various collaborative partners, (including and in no particular order, Zambezi Society, Global Wildlife Conservation, The Tashinga Initiative, Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project, Bushlife Support Unit, Elephant Crisis Fund, Flying for Wildlife and Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust), has recorded many achievements we can all be proud of.

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  • A year-end Elephant Management workshop (1st December) with Zim Parks and stakeholders confirmed that, with your support and our joint on-the-ground efforts, there has been a decline in year-on-year observed elephant poaching across the entire landscape. This success has re-doubled our motivation to further improve the situation and to guard against complacency

  • Rangers up-skilled, trained and supplied with rations

  • New tracks opened up in previously impassable areas for deployment vehicles

  • Increased community-based informer networks

  • An order placed for a motorised river patrol boat

  • Aerial monitoring and surveillance

  • Completion of a Strategic Anti-poaching Plan for Lower Zambezi Valley in conjunction with Zim Parks

  • Temporary and remote satellite camps set up at known hot spots to allow rangers to spend up to 12 days at a time patrolling and monitoring

  • ZAVARU, the permanent 24-man reaction base station, funded jointly by Zambezi Elephant Fund and Tashinga Trust Initiative and built in 2016 at a strategic point in Mana Pools National Park, continues to improve the effectiveness of rangers

  • Four workshops held with area managers, local communities, Zim Parks personnel and volunteers to improve relations and operations management

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As always, we are extremely grateful for your donations and support and hope you can continue to help reinforce the Zambezi Elephant Fund’s efforts in the coming year. We look forward to working with you to help keep the Zambezi Valley and its wild and wonderful inhabitants safe. Please try and visit us in 2018!

With our warmest wishes for Happy Holidays and we’ll be in touch again in the New Year!