Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit

vfapuThe Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of our local wildlife and natural resources. Our main mission is to eradicate poaching in the Victoria Falls region through a programme of EDUCATION, MANAGEMENT and BOOTS ON THE GROUND.

Surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park, the town of Victoria Falls is located in one of the most beautiful environments on earth, with unspoilt expanses of wilderness, abundant wildlife and spectacular settings, drawing tourists from around the world.

However, with the beauty of the location comes with some heavy burdens of human and animal conflict. VFAPU tries to ease some of the burdens by protecting the wildlife and habitat from poacher pressure (subsistence and commercial), as well rescue and rehabilitate animals injured by human interference. Additionally, we try to train and find employment for ex-poachers so that they have a sustainable income without doing harm to flora and fauna. Education is also important, and VFAPU and its partners try to reach children at an early age through school and community awareness programs.

Batonka Guest Lodge are proud partners of VFWT, and through them, are GIVING BACK to the environment: with every night of your stay, $5 is donated towards wildlife conservation in the region.

With three main types of poaching, commercial, environmental and subsistence.

When plant and animal products such as ivory, horns, feet, and skins are illegally sold for monetary profit it is termed commercial poaching. Locally in the Victoria Falls area, the most common animals poached for commercial purposes are elephants, but smaller animals such as porcupine and guineafowl are targeted for quills and feathers. Recently the escalation of both black and white rhino poaching across southern Africa is of great concern for their ivory.

Environmental Poaching is the poaching or removal of the plants, trees, rock, soil, and other elements which make up wilderness habitat. With the deteriorating economic situation the increase of poaching on the environment has grown exponentially. River sand is being poached for use to make bricks for shelter. Quarry stone being taken for construction purposes. Trees are being cut down for firewood, carvings, and structural supports. Plants are being taken for food.

Subsistence poachers kill for food or to sell bush meat at a very low price. Research has shown that between 1.9 and 3.5 million tons of bush meat is consumed in Central and Southern Africa on an annual basis.

Gangs of poachers target a variety of mammal species such as buffalo, kudu, eland, impala and set snares in order to catch theses mammals as they migrate to and from food and water sources. These wire death traps cause tremendous suffering to mammals, sometimes taking the victim several days to die after having been snared.

Unfortunately, snares do not discriminate what animals they trap. Therefore, many larger mammals get caught in the snare and break it off causing their limbs, trunks, snouts and tails to be mutilated and infected. Predators also get caught in these snares and are often left to die.