Over the years, tourism and modernity have been changing Africa from the “old days” and Mumbuluma started with the challenge to help to maintain a piece of wild as it was, believing that conservation should involve only protection of the environment for the animals to remain wild and free with no interference.
“I hired a vehicle to move around Zambia and in November 1998 I entered in the Kafue National Park. I was given an old scout from ngoma to escort me, his name was Patrick and he told me about a place that according to him was the best part of the park, he call it Mumbuluma. We drove south towards Kalenje police outpost and then we turned east until we reached the Nanzhila River. The river was running high and we could not cross it with the vehicle and we had to come back. On our way back he explained many things about the place and how difficult was to reach there. From November to May is not accessible by road due to the floods. I waited until early may 1999 to see Mumbuluma. The place was exactly what I was looking for; it had a bit of everything (river, lakes plains and thickets) a perfect habitat for many different species of animals. The access road had almost disappeared due to lack of vehicle movements and the place looked completely untouched. I established my camp there and started the building of the lodge and the wildlife preservation”.
MUMBULUMA is an area of 2.467 hectares located in the southern part of Kafue National Park (Zambia). In the past Mumbulma was part of Bilili GMA until 1993 when was incorporated in the Kafue National Park. Up to the year 2003, part of the stakeholders in the area were not aware of this boundary change, this confusion linked to the abandon of the nearest wildlife police post like Kalenje and Ibulamunzhi provoked that Mumbuluma remained heavily poached but wild and unexploited.
Crop farming and fishing are both the only income and feeding sources for Shezongo community, when rains are favorable. But most of the times the harvest is not even enough for the household consumption and they need to buy more at the end of the season, if enough money is available. Consequently, they kill wildlife illegally for eating and to exchange for food or money.
These problems faced Hornbill Safaris management when they arrived in Mumbuluma in 1999. To solve both problems of poaching and social poverty, the company has been working since then linking wildlife conservation with social development programs in Shezongo community.
After 20 years of hard work, Mumbuluma has become a wildlife sanctuary were animals are free and protected with their instinct and behaviour intact, at the same time Chief Shezongo´s community is accepting and respecting Mumbuluma because they have seen that Mumbuluma effort is not only to protect wildlife but also to help them. The Chief palace and Mumbuluma strong relation is a solid proof that conservation and development should be linked together,
In 2003 after 4 years trying to make it possible Mumbuluma became officially an exclusive concession area managed by Hornbill Safaris.
The following points are some examples of what Hornbill Safaris has done up to now to help in wildlife conservation and development of the local community
Up to the year 1998 National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) was in charge of the Kafue National Park. This government organization was under Ministry of Tourism. In 1998, the government decided to create Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) as an independent body. This change affected our area because no resources were available for some time. Hornbill Safaris in November 1999 had to help the last scout to leave Kalenje, that was abandoned until 2006 and Hornbill Safaris helped with resources and money to Ngoma scouts to protect the area waiting for resources to come back. After this difficult period, Hornbill Safaris has always tried to help and work hand to hand with Ngoma Headquarters to preserve the area
- Logistic help to Park Headquarters in Ngoma and transport of scouts for anti-poaching operations
- Supply of water, food, fuel, medicines, radios and several materials for the scouts in the field
- Combined patrols with Ngoma scouts in the park and Mumbuluma
- Patrols through southern part of KNP and Mumbuluma by the own Hornbill Safaris scouts
- Creation of a reliable group of village informers that help us to identify poachers and illegal activities in the villages
- Capture of poachers and vehicles in the area and their transport to Ngoma Hdq. Recruitment of snares, guns, handmade guns, ammunition and killed animals among other poaching evidences
- Bush fire control through the use of firebreaks to protect sensitive areas like thickets from uncontrolled late season fires
- Donation of a borehole in 2006 essential for the reconstruction of Kalenje police post (abandoned in 1999) as a permanent scout base inside the park.