28 January 2008
An elephant cow named Lersatsi could hardly have known how she was serving the wellbeing of her species and benefiting conservation when she recently took her herd on a long walk from Botswana's Okavango Delta into south-eastern Angola.
The journey, from a region of known safety to a landscape where, until not too long ago, animals also experienced the ravages of war has bolstered hopes that Botswana's serious elephant overpopulation problem might start to be relieved by some of the herds migrating into the former killing fields.
The country has an estimated 150 000 elephants and this is putting a severe strain on its habitats. Their destructive habits and the vast quantities of vegetation they consume have laid waste to much of the Chobe Reserve's riverine forests in the north.
The migration should also lend Impetus to the initiative to establish a giant transfrontier conservation area that will link a major portion of southern Angola with Botswana's Okavango, Namibia's Caprivi as well as the Victoria Fails and parks in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Launched more than a year ago by the ministers of environmental affairs of the five countries, the so- called Kaza (Kavango Zambezi) Transfrontier Conservation Area project will eventually allow animals - and tourists - freedom of movement across boundaries in an area of linked parklands which is estimated eventually to come to a massive 287 132 square kilometres.
As with some herds from Kruger National Park's burgeoning elephant population that have been moving across into Mozambique since the establishment of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, it is hoped that the Botswana elephant migrations might also help to stave off the painful option of culling.
Letsatsi was fitted with a satellite-tracking collar near Vumbra in the northern region of the delta in August last year.
Kelly Laden of the Elephants Without Borders organisation that monitors elephant movements in the area says she was chosen because of her size, her feisty nature and the likelihood of her being the matriarch of the family group of 17, including four young ones. She says it was because of these attributes that she was called Letsatsi, which is the Setswana word for "sun".
The purpose of the tracking was to find out more about the migrations of the delta elephants
Sunday Independent - 27 January 2008Leon Marshall
2 July 2018SMART training for clever conservation management
Every year, a team of experts from Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) offer training in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to on-the-ground teams across transfrontier conservation areas in soutread more
28 May 2018Further support from KfW for Africa's largest transfrontier conservation area
The German Government, through its development bank, KfW, has been closely involved in the development of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation area since its inception in 2006. This week, Kfread more
25 May 2017Solar powered to success
The Kasaya School in the Simalaha Community Conservancy is a modest building. Yet inside great positive transformation is happening – and it’s impacting the whole community.read more
9 May 2017Conservation agriculture sweeps across Zambia
Farmers inside the Simalaha Community Conservancy in KAZA TFCA have more than enough fresh vegetables to feed their families, and surplus produce is sold. This because conservation agriculture is beinread more
29 March 2017Living in harmony
People, livestock and wildlife living together harmoniously became a reality with the establishment of Simalaha Community Conservancy in western Zambia in 2012. Since then, not one animal has been poread more
25 January 2017The KAZA univisa is back!read more
8 September 2016Meeting of KAZA TFCA traditional leaders
On 2 September, traditional leaders from four of the five KAZA TFCA partner countries met in Livingstone, Zambia.read more
12 August 2016World Elephant Day
The dramatic escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to elephant.read more
19 April 2016KAZA TFCA Secretariat and Peace Parks Foundation formalise cooperation
The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) and Peace Parks Foundation have worked together since the inception of KAZA. On 8 April 2016, the KAZA Secretariat Executive Director,read more
2 February 2016New headquarters for Sioma Ngwezi National Park
Saturday, 30 January 2016 saw the official opening of the Sioma Ngwezi National Park headquarters in Zambia by Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts, Mr Patrick Ngoma. Also participating in the ceremonyread more