Coordinator Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF), Zambezi Society and Zambezi Valley Conservation Network (Z-CAN)*, Zimbabwe
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Richard Maasdorp has a deep love for the country of his birth, its people, its wildlife and its wild places. He takes his inspiration and his passion from one of the world’s last-remaining true wilderness areas – the Zambezi Valley – a wildlife-rich natural wonderland, which he is proud to call home. Richard grew up with parents who encouraged their children to participate in environmental and wildlife pursuits.
* The Zambezi Valley Conservation Network (Z-CAN) is an alliance of many diverse players in the region, which is home to over 12,000 elephant. Each member of the alliance is determined to retain this, the largest contiguous wilderness area along the length of the Zambezi River, for the benefit of local communities and future generations of global citizens.
Voluntary Supporting Team
Coordinator Community Based Conservation Alliance
Arthur plays a leading role in the Community Based Conservation Alliance (CBCA), which works in association with the Zambezi Society, a non-governmental organisation involved in conservation work in the Zambezi Valley for decades. CBCA seeks to develop a model that will improve community conservation awareness, in turn reducing human wildlife conflict, improving livelihoods and preserving the flora and fauna in and around Mana Pools National Park in the Zambezi Valley. Arthur is a member of the Zimbabwe Man and Biosphere Reserve Technical Committee and a volunteer with Zambezi Society. He has over 30 years’ working experience in the financial sector, focusing on economic and investments research.
Zambezi Elephant Fund Founder and Technical Advisor
John was born in 1948 in Mutare in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands.
His career in wildlife began with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, spanning seventeen years and including spells as Warden of two of Zimbabwe’s most significant game reserves: Matusadona National Park on the banks of Lake Kariba and Mana Pools National Park, in the spectacular Lower Zambezi Valley.
John left National Parks in 1981 to build and manage Chikwenya Safari Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. In 1985, John and his wife, Nicci, launched John Stevens Guided Safaris Africa, a successful safari business and in early 2015 they and a group of like-minded individuals set up the Zambezi Elephant Fund.
Gary qualified as an optometrist in Johannesburg in 1986 and has practised in Harare for the last 30 years. With a deep interest in wildlife and the bush, Gary then qualified as a Professional Guide in 2010. In January 2016, he jointly started and now, between his practice and family commitments, manages the Zambezi Society anti-poaching volunteer group and vehicle, deploying National Parks’ antipoaching rangers in Mana Pools and the surrounding safari areas. Together with his colleagues, Gary runs firearms training programs for anti-poaching rangers throughout the Lower Zambezi Valley. 60 rangers have been trained by the volunteers to date (end 2017).
Richard was born and educated in Zimbabwe. His passion for conservation stems from a conviction that we are entrusted by future generations to preserve the priceless global wildlife heritage found in Zimbabwe. This belief, combined with his love of aviation, led him to co-found Flying For Wildlife Trust, which provides aerial assistance and support, free of charge, to National Parks and conservation organisations working on the ground. The aerial perspective provided by Flying For Wildlife’s aircraft is of enormous value to field operations. The flights open up the exploration and monitoring of remote, rugged and expansive areas, which are otherwise often left unpatrolled.
Zambezi Elephant Fund Administration, Marketing & Fundraising
Nicci and John, together with a group of like-minded individuals, started the Zambezi Elephant Fund in January 2015, with the aim of protecting the elephants, other wildlife and landscapes of the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe.
Nicci’s background in safaris and her extensive travels throughout Africa mean that her understanding of the importance of conservation and her love of wild places and animals come to the fore with great organisational, chivvying and networking skills.
Zambezi Elephant Fund Marketing & Fundraising
Laura’s “day job” is in the safari office with Nicci, but whenever she can, her love of wild places, elephants and her country lead her to doing as much as she can for the Zambezi Elephant Fund’s efforts in conservation. Laura’s background is in advertising and marketing and her enthusiasm to keep learning and doing whatever is needed, especially on the awareness creation and fund-raising fronts, translates into passionate appeals and updates.