Conservation’s Unsung Heroes

Behind Zimbabwe’s incredible wildlife are men and women who are on the clock 24 hours a day taking care of the wildlife. These men are the real heroes of conservation! Some of the dangers they face are unbelievable as they stand guard protecting the environment and the animals.

White rhino in the background as I share a light moment with tour guides, trackers and rangers.

I had a chance to interview one of the rangers, Shepherd Batinosi about his experiences as a ranger. This is what he had to say….

The audio is a mixture of Shona and English and in a nutshell, Shephard explains the role he plays as a guide and an anti – poaching ranger.  Shephard says this job is something he’s always wanted to do even though it has its dangers. Shephard also highlights the importance of educating people on the importance of animals and to ‘catch them young’. Shephard is really passionate about his job! Listening to him speak about his job, and learning a couple of things about tracking and, actually successfully completing a mini tracking crash practical course he set up for me ignited something in me. I realised that the best Safaris have that ‘Swan Effect’ – whilst breath taking on the outside, ferociously paddling away behind the scenes, are the incredible men and women who ensure that the animals are safe, the tourist is safe and the environment is safe. These are the real heroes of conservation.

Shepherd looking on as I’m guided on feeding the elephants. Please note: Elephants in Zimbabwe are not tame, the feeding done was under guided supervision.

One of Zimbabwe’s greatest tourism features is the wildlife. Zimbabwe boasts in having the best safaris in the continent and that wildlife is one of the key aspects that makes it a unique tourism destination. A few years ago, the President of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe Mr Emmanuel Fundira talked about Zimbabwe’s strong position as a Safari Operator in an interview on radio and why Zimbabwe’s Safari industry stands out amongst the rest.

The next time you’re out enjoying a Safari or a game drive spare a thought for these incredible men, fighting unimaginable battles daily to conserve the environment.

They are one of the reasons future generations will enjoy what we are enjoying today. They are part of the reason Zimbabwe stands tall, head held high, shoulders square as the country receives Sustainability Awards year after year.

Happy Travelling!