Located in the far west of Zimbabwe is a unique eco-system of only 23km2 (2,300 ha.) comprising a riverine jungle with ilala palms, ferns, figs, liana vines and mahogany trees, known as the Victoria Falls National Park. The Park provides a tranquil setting from which to view the five cascades of Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders.
Antelopes can be seen in these areas and troops of nonchalant baboons patrol the walkways. Airborne droplets of fine mist create an almost constant rainbow, which can even be seen by the light of the full moon.
Victoria Falls National Park, which is a natural world heritage site is home to a relic of rainforest that closely resembles that of true equatorial rainforests; the vegetation being supported by the seasonal spray of water from the Falls themselves. But these perfect conditions have also supported the growth of invasive alien plant species (IAPS) over at least the last 30 years, the most prevalent of which is lantana camara, known as the “wicked weed”. These IAPS are invading the Park and replacing native vegetation that will eventually result in the local extinction of indigenous species.
To complement an eradication effort, a biological monitoring programme has been embarked upon, aimed at mapping eradicated areas, evaluating eradication efforts and measuring vegetation change directly resulting from eradication activities. Various parameters are measured seasonally and trends are monitored to depict change. Our plan is to enhance this study and monitor changes using high resolution satellite imagery.
Our hope is to eradicate IAPS in the Victoria Falls National Park area whilst providing local employment and enhancing tourist facilities to better educate visitors to the Park about this unique site to encourage their support.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We have formed a partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority to enhance direct management intervention and are seeking funding to:
• Employ people from the local community to undertake the IAPS eradication work;
• Purchase equipment such as mattocks and hoes to mechanically remove the IAPS and approved chemicals to deter regeneration of underground root systems;
• Purchase specialist equipment and people to deal with IAPS that have now infiltrated the less accessible Batoka Gorge;
• Acquire satellite imagery to enhance biological monitoring;
• Improve facilities at the Park’s education centre to enhance visitor awareness.
HOW TO BECOME A FRIEND OF VICTORIA FALLS
To purchase your sponsorship select your currency below. You will then be asked how many hecatres you wish to support at a cost of GBP 3.00 / EUR 4.00 / AUD 5.00 / USD 6.00 per hectare per month.
For alternative payment options please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPONSORING AS A GIFT
If you are sponsoring as a gift for someone please also send an email to email@example.com to let us know the gift recipient’s full name, correspondence email address, the date on which you would like their sponsorship to start and finally, the purpose of the gift (e.g. birthday)