Wild Horizons takes social responsibility seriously.
Wild Horizons pioneered the establishment of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, a non-profit organisation promoting conservation awareness, together with education and empowerment of local indigenous communities, through sustainable use of indigenous resources. We aim provide ethical tourism to our clients.
In addition to offering visiting guests an opportunity to interact with our elephants and gain a unique insight into elephant behaviour, education forms a vital part of our operation. Annually over a thousand schoolchildren are transported to our facility, and treated to an educational interaction with our elephants and/or with Sylvester the Cheetah Ambassador. Research into elephant behaviour, communication and social structure will remain a vital part of our operations.
Based at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Trust is dedicated to protecting the area’s unique indigenous fauna and flora, in collaboration with appropriate Authorities, local communities and stakeholders. Projects include but are not limited to, rehabilitation of injured or orphaned wildlife, anti poaching and wildlife veterinary assistance, assisting with community based projects, and a children’s conservation education program. The objectives of the organisation are:
- To find sustainable solutions for communities and wildlife to co-exist
- To determine veterinary disease prevalence and assist in disease management and prevention
- To work with stakeholders to understand wildlife conservation drivers and form regional natural resource management strategies
- To facilitate the conservation education of local communities
The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust aims to make a difference. Every day.
Support for National Parks Game Scouts
Wild Horizons currently provides assistance in the form of food rations and fuel to assist in the anti poaching efforts of the National Parks Staff in the Kazungula & Matetsi Safari areas of Zimbabwe.
Rainforest Raincoat Project
This project undertakes to provide jobs and income on a grassroots level. We source and provide rain coats to an association of vendors who then provide them for hire to Visitors to the Victoria Falls. Our guests and others then hire these when visiting the iconic waterfall providing an ongoing income source to the vendors and their families. This provides income for more than 30 families.
This initiative aims to empower local people by providing income and allowing them to have a fun interaction with visitors while teaching them about local culture and traditions. Families welcome visitors into their homes for a fee and provide them with a traditional meal. This has proved highly successful and greatly beneficial to the individuals involved.
The Clean up Team
Wild Horizons, together with other tourism entities in the area are helping keep Victoria Falls clean by engaging the services of cleaners whose sole duty is to clean the city. The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and Wild Horizons personnel assist with supervising and engaging these cleaners.
We sponsor 2 officers in this unit to assist with anti-poaching activities in and around Victoria Falls.
Tourism Police Unit
Wild Horizons has sponsored 2 officers of this unit since its inception in 2004 and have equipped the unit with Uniforms and operating equipment. The Unit has a total of 28 officers and are funded by the Victoria Falls business community. Wild Horizons also offers personnel who sit on the board.
School Fee Payment
We continue to pay per semester school fees for the school children we are sponsoring. We do this as a way of giving back to our community through investing in its future. We sponsor 32 children.
Eco-Initiatives at our Camps
We are passionate about our environment and in an effort to lessen our footprint where possible, we have initiated a number of measures to reduce our impact. These include but are not limited to:
Grey Water Systems
Wherever possible we treat and use grey water for irrigation at The Elephant Camp, notably on our indigenous tree nursery.
All of our water heating systems are either solar or currently in the process of being converted to solar.
All plant waste from the Elephant Camp, as well as a significant amount of elephant dung from our resident elephant herd, is fed into our worm farms, creating valuable, rich compost for use in our organic vegetable garden.
Indigenous Tree Planting Program
In an effort to rehabilitate areas that were once denuded of trees by uncontrolled firewood and wood carving collection, The Elephant Camp has created an indigenous tree nursery. Only trees indigenous to the area are planted from seed, and once well enough established, are transplanted into areas in need of such rehabilitation.
Biological Monitoring & Erosion Control
Wild Horizons employs the services of a suitably qualified Environmental Officer, whose sole purpose is to monitor the biology of the reserve and assist with mitigation measures where needed. Bi-annual biological surveys are conducted to monitor the impact of both the domestic elephant herd as well as the naturally occurring wildlife on the property. Alien vegetation species are eradicated when discovered and soil erosion is carefully managed, both within the reserve as well as on neighbouring communal areas.
In an effort to empower local neighbouring communities, Wild Horizons and The Elephant Camp make every effort to employ staff from neighbouring areas. 20% of the total Wild Horizons workforce is drawn from the immediate vicinity. We work closely with the community on self-help projects such as vegetable and subsistence crop growing, providing assistance in the form of fencing to keep out wild animals, and machinery and transport to cut thatch for roofing of homes in the community.