Wilderness Safaris recently announced the results of an aerial population survey conducted in Kafue National Park, Zambia, which revealed a significant increase in various wildlife populations occupying the different habitat zones in the park.

The survey was conducted in October 2017, ten years after the first aerial survey in 2007, which was enabled by Wilderness Safaris’ Sustainability Fund.

The results show an increase in a variety of species, such as red lechwe increasing by 487%, puku by 103%, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest by 78%, and blue wildebeest by 89% from 1 119 counted in 2007 to 2 888 in 2017.

Poaching in the area used to be rife, with wildlife numbers low. Wilderness Safaris’ year-round presence in Busanga has provided logistical and financial support to local anti-poaching activities, furthermore sustaining local communities by employing 130 men and women in various ecotourism positions.

In addition to the aerial surveys, Wilderness Safaris has funded a number of activities and projects within Busanga Plains, including an ongoing lion PhD study, a human-elephant conflict study and resolutions, as well as the ongoing population monitoring of different species. Children in the Wilderness, the company’s non-profit partner, also runs various educational programmes within the area, teaching and encouraging children to be responsible conservation leaders within their local communities.

Busanga Plains is home to 24 ungulate species, including the blue duiker, eland, sable, kudu, and buffalo to name a few.

 “Despite the financial losses incurred since opening camps in 2006, the survey results prove that our frontier ecotourism presence continues to make a positive difference to the ongoing biodiversity protection of this region. In 2018, as we celebrate Wilderness Safaris’ 35 years of changing lives, we are proud to see how far we have come in expanding our ecotourism and ecosystem presence across Africa,” says Ron Goatley, Wilderness Safaris Zambezi MD.