Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of our local wildlife and natural resources.
Surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park, the town of Victoria Falls is located in one of the most beautiful environments on earth, with unspoilt expanses of wilderness, abundant wildlife and spectacular settings, drawing tourists from around the world.
However with the beauty of the location comes with some heavy burdens of human and animal conflict. VFAPU tries to ease some of the burdens by protecting the wildlife and habitat from poacher pressure (subsistence and commercial), as well rescue and rehabilitate animals injured by human interference. Additionally, we try to train and find employment for ex-poachers so that they have a sustainable income without doing harm to flora and fauna. Education is also important, and VFAPU and its partners try to reach children at an early age through school and community awareness programs.
The Victoria Falls are one of the seven natural wonders of the world and have been designated a World Heritage Site, under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The Falls are surrounded by the 2,340 ha Victoria Falls National Park and the 57,000 ha Zambezi National Park, bordering the southern bank of the river. These state-protected areas are home to a varied flora and fauna, which, in recent years unfortunately been subject to increased human-wildlife conflict pressure.
Charles Brightman, a local safari operator and conservationist, together with the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, established the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit in January 1999, in an effort to fight the alarming levels of destruction that were taking place. Since this time, VFAPU has worked in close co-operation with the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to achieve many successes.
Having started off with three scouts initially, the unit has grown in strength and now has twelve full-time scouts actively patrolling an area of approximately fifty square kilometres surrounding Victoria Falls. Our patrols operate seven days a week, day and/or night, as we endeavour to combat poaching in all its various forms. All our operations are in accordance with the Senior Warden, National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zambezi Camp. VFAPU personnel comprise of ex-commercial security guards, and ex-game scouts from Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.