ZEF was formed in 2015 as a collaborative, supportive initiative to actively address poaching in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe.

The brainchild of a group of like-minded Zimbabweans, concerned individuals, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), safari operators and NGOs formed a collaborative initiative specifically to create awareness of and address the alarming rise of poaching in the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe. 

Our Mission

The Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) works collaboratively with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, NGOs and the private sector to develop, implement and manage: anti-poaching operations, field equipment and supplies for rangers and support teams, anti-poaching ranger training, conservation security planning and implementation, information systems and networking, and technology and systems for anti-poaching operations.

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

What We've Achieved

  • Built an anti-poaching reaction ranger base, ZAVARU. Co-funded by Zambezi Elephant Fund and Tashinga Initiative. It is a practical and a morale-booster for ranges (Implemented by Tashinga Initiative).
  • We've conducted regular aerial patrols and surveys across the Middle and Lower Zambezi Valley (Implemented by Flying for Wildlife). 
  • Supplied equipment and rations to rangers.
  • We've customised a 6 metre patrol boat with support from Virgin Unite and a major private donor. This will be used for deploying, patrolling, and re-supply along the Mana Pools stretch of the Zambezi River (Implemented by Zambezi Society).
  • Funded collaborative workshops, which makes great strides towards collaboration and cooperation across the Zambezi landscape over last 18 months - network expanded as a result and phase one of valley-wide funding plan in support of Lower Zambezi Regional Elephant Management Plan. 
  • Put in place 3 tented pickets/fly camps at rainy season poaching hot spots, with a vehicle and a driver, to support rangers (Implemented by Bushlife Support Unit). 
  • Run annual weapons refresher training courses - all initiatives align with Parks, resulting in successful contact with Zimbabwean and Zambian poachers (Implemented by Zambezi Society).
  • Opening up of road to southern boundary (within Mana Pools National Park), meant that the access to this remote area now takes 3 hours instead of 11 (Implemented by Bushlife Support Unit).
  • Funded a vehicle to follow through on informer tip-offs in conjunction with ZimParks and police units.
  • Recovery of ammunition, rifles, snares, ivory, cyanide and live pangolin, and 6 arrests and convictions (Implemented by Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project)
  • Set up a rewards-based information system (Implemented by Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project).