Bhejane Trust ("Bhejane" is the local Ndebele name for Black Rhino) is a non profit trust, established in 2010 by two Zimbabwean conservationists, Trevor Lane and Stephen Long, initially with the idea of monitoring the Black Rhino population in the Sinamatella area of Hwange National Park in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Authority of Zimbabwe.
Stephen then based up at Sinamatella and commenced the monitoring program. However, Stephen soon found that he was having to assist Parks in many facets of their operations, not only the rhino monitoring. He ended up helping on ranger deployments, carrying diesel to pumps, fixing pumps, installing donated solar pump units, Parks staff welfare, helping provide for tourist camp sites, and a host of other duties, as Parks had the enthusiasm and ability, but not the vehicles and equipment to undertake these tasks.
The operations of the Trust then extended to the Zambezi National Park, close to the renowned Victoria Falls, where Trevor has been instrumental in reviving the Chamabonda Vlei section, resuscitating old boreholes, drilling new ones, installing solar pumping units and getting pans revitalised after over ten years of not being pumped. He is also assisting Parks on road development, fire management, anti-poaching, monitoring game populations, and other facets of restoring this park to its former status.
Bhejane Trust has thus evolved to an entity which is assisting National Parks in many of its field operations, facilitating research work, acquiring donor funding, as well as the Rhino monitoring. Bhejane Trust intends to expand its conservation programs over the next few years to include the Matetsi area, the Kazuma Pan National Park and the Robins area of Hwange National Park.
Much of Bhejane Trust funding comes from a volunteer, or Field Assistance, program, which makes it possible for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts to join up with the Bhejane team, and enjoy this rare and exciting opportunity to experience the real Africa of vast, remote places, and to actively assist in the conservation and survival of the magnificent wild animals which inhabit this wilderness.
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