In Appeal
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Above: With the current drought, VFWT is investing in ways to assist communities in safeguarding their livestock. This includes implementing rotational grazing practices, providing supplementary fodder, and facilitating connections between beef buyers and farmers. When people’s livelihoods are under threat, it is often wildlife and natural resources that bear the brunt of the impact.

You may have seen the news that Southern Africa is facing one of the biggest droughts it has seen in decades. It’s been a daunting few months here at VFWT: Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi have all declared national emergencies; the Zambezi River is at one of the lowest levels ever; crops have failed; and USAID’s Famine Early Warning System estimated that 20 million people would require food relief in southern Africa in the first few months of 2024.

Victoria Falls lies in one of the worst-affected areas of this drought. But, while we’re apprehensive about how tough this coming year will be for the people, livestock and wildlife of this area, we know that we have the tools, knowledge, partnerships, and team to make a lasting difference in how this impending crisis unfolds in our backyard. 

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves – in fact, we’ve already started.

But we can’t do it without you.

The situation on the ground: It’s the end of the “rainy” season as we colloquially refer to it here in Zimbabwe, but we’ve received less than half the average annual rainfall. Subsistence farmers are already grappling with failed crops, leaving families in desperate situations. With critical grass cover wilting early, the scarcity of rainfall has depleted grazing lands, endangering both livestock and wildlife and escalating the risk of human-wildlife conflict.  Sadly, wildlife mortalities, especially among elephant, appear to be inevitable as the dry season wears on.

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1. Livelihood support & reducing human-wildlife conflict

> Emergency Access to Rotational Grazing Areas: By re-drilling and installing a solar pump for emergency “pop-up” borehole access during the dry season, we can reduce pressure on scarce grazing, and provide much needed drinking water for desperately thirsty livestock. This will also avoid wildlife and livestock competing against each other.

Cost: US$10,000

> Livestock Support: Provide fodder and salt licks to supplement remaining livestock, sustaining rural small-scale farmers through the drought.

Cost: US$100 per animal

> Disease Prevention: With the increased pressure on resources, animals will inevitably be pushed closer together. Support the purchase of vaccines to prevent disease outbreaks in both domestic and wild animals, safeguarding their health and resilience.

Cost: US$7 per animal


As if things weren’t bad enough, poaching is also on the rise. Zimbabwe is facing another severe economic crisis, driving many to seek supplemental food sources due to rising living costs and a lack of subsistence crop yields. This desperation has led to an increase in bushmeat poaching, with our teams working tirelessly every week to remove wire snares.

2. Wildlife Protection

Contribute towards veterinary medications and fuel for emergency responses to immobilize wildlife injured by snaring, preventing further suffering.


US$3,000 fuel;

US$7,000 veterinary medications

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We are ready to help our communities and confront these threats head-on: rallying local stakeholders, government agencies, and regional partners to safeguard our communities and wildlife. But we also need your help more than ever to help us mitigate the impact of this crisis.

As always, we’re here for the long-term and our long-term initiatives aim to address the root causes of these challenges. We’re empowering women through fodder production projects, educating children about conservation, and collaborating with authorities to combat wildlife crime effectively.

Your generosity not only helps us navigate the current crisis but also lays the foundation for a more resilient and sustainable future. Together, we can overcome these challenges and preserve the beauty and biodiversity of our beloved Zimbabwe.

Thank you,

For Wild Africa,

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Jessica Dawson

Executive Director

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PO Box 159, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe | +263 782 799 006
PO Box 23183, San Diego, CA 92193 | 619-602-1725
9 The Clock Tower, Redlers Waterside, Dudbridge Rd., Stroud GL5 3LH, UK
+44 (0)74 76 227 684

Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust | PO Box 23183San Diego, CA 92193

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