I recently spoke to Stephanie who heads up Fundraising efforts for the African Parks Network, Stephanie had some promising news though still largely under hat. ''A quick update on the Matusadona front – conversations continue to be positive in tone and we’ve worked through virtually all of the negotiation points – but still, don’t have a firm start date for when we could assume management. Will absolutely keep you posted – you’ll be one of the first to know''. From what I understand AP will be starting with one park being Matusadona National Park which is currently under huge threat due to the severe poaching which has taken place over the years and continues today. Matusadona is a national park in northern Zimbabwe situated on the southern shore of Lake Kariba as seen below.
African Parks Set to Enter Zimbabwe in 2018
Going back to 2016 this is when I first heard that AP was interested in entering some of Zimbabwe's most threatened habitats being Mana Pools National Park, Matusadona National Park, and Matopos National Park. A few months past and I heard nothing more than through the grapevine came some discouraging news concerning the negotiations with Zimbabwe National Parks though this was not surprising at all to hear. The story goes something like this Vernon my dads mate an avid lover of the African bush and an all-around man of great character who currently lives down under bless his soul, Vernon was visiting AP up in Malawi and what he was told firsthand was that Zim Park Officials plus an unnecessary entourage had been up to AP headquarters in South Africa for negotiations obviously Hotels etc.. all at AP's expense this is the normal story but will leave it at that!
Vernon was told that Zim Parks had one seriously Disturbing condition that had to be met before negotiations could move ahead and that was '' they wanted not a single person of European descent on the ground in any of the Zim National Parks that AP was hoping to manage'' this tells one something about the shenanigans that go on in a corrupt African state that is involved in poaching and the unscrupulous trade of live wildlife to China.
Anyway let us be optimistic about this new venture as this would be a great start and a step in the right direction regarding conservation efforts in Zimbabwe and hopefully, things will only improve from here.