Tag Archives: Chizarira

IAPF Fundraisers

The IAPF has a number of fundraising events taking place in the month of April.  If you’re in the area, then we urge you to come along and show your support.

Firstly, on the 19thof April at the Yacht Club de Monaco,  we will host ‘Rocking for Rhinos,’ a fundraiser for much needed funds for ‘Conservation Guardians’ a conservation initiative between IAPF, and Men of Trees.

Rocking for Rhinos

The event will feature auctions of various rhino artwork and memorabilia, in particular a Larry Norton original painting named,  ‘2016’.

The painting is a picture of a pair of black rhinos on top of the Chizarira escarpment, part of Chizarira National Park. This is significant as Black rhino have been locally extinct in that area for nearly 20 years.

“Chizarira 2016, Mother and Child”

The plan is to turn the painting into a reality with IAPF, in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, set to resurrect the aging park and restore it to its former glory.  This includes the re-introduction of black rhino into the park over the coming years.

For more information on the fundraiser head to the Conservation Guardians blog.

On Friday the 19th of April, the IAPF is holding it’s first ever fundraising event in Zimbabwe. The black tie event will be held at the Mystique Function Centre in Bulawayo.

The focus of the fundraising dinner is Chizarira National Park. We have acquired two Land rovers,  4×4’s that are in a state of disrepair. The funds raised will go into re-conditioning one, if not both vehicles, so they can be used in anti-poaching operations in the area

Bulawayo fundraiser

Local Zimbabwean favourites ‘The Chikenbus Band’ will be entertaining the crowd and there will also be the auctioning of various pieces for the cause.

Tickets are $65. For more information or bookings contact Kirsty from Gardens and Events events@qualityservice.com

From all of us at the IAPF have a Happy Easter and hopefully we will see you at one of the events!

Heading Home to the Falls


My car is finally ready. It’s nearly lunch time in Harare and I’m preparing to drive back to Victoria Falls after two weeks away which was meant to be one. Regardless of the delay it has been a productive trip to the capital having positive meetings with donors and the British Embassy whilst here. One donor in particular is very interested in the Chizarira project and we spent all day Sunday preparing a proposal for their head office. Once back in the Falls I will link up with Deano who has the guys from FHM there with him at the moment doing a story for the magazine. I think it’s the South African version so I will have to get them to pressure the Aussie guys to get over here and do a follow up.

On Sunday I’ll leave for Chizarira and then spend the whole week there with the boss going through all the old records and management plans. None of them can be emailed as there are no computers or electricity at Chizarira and all the documents have been created on a typewriter. One of the first things we will do there is set up solar electricity, internet and computers so the management staff can do their jobs properly and communicate with the outside world. It’s pretty hard to manage a park and protect its animals when you spend most of your day doing a task that would normally take 10 minutes. Example – The boss there receives a radio message that he needs to make a phone call. He walks the 15 minutes back to camp, gets the driver, walks 15 minutes to the workshop and gets in the 7 tonne tip truck. They then drive the 3 hours to the nearest town where there is phone reception, make the call, and then return to camp. I witnessed this happen twice in two days during my last visit there. So you can see, life’s simple little tasks are not always that easy for the guys at Chizarira. Regardless, they are a highly motivated bunch and we are going to be able to achieve a lot with a little.

If you’re in Melbourne be sure to get your tickets to the RAW music festival and come and support conservation. for more in formation go to www.raw.org.au

Cheers everyone. Speak to you from the Falls!

Damien Mander

PS: Follow this link to hear our interview on Voice of America, one of the world’s largest radio broadcasters.

PPS: Please go to the top right hand column and sign up to receive our blogs


Old technology means falling behind. A sattelite internet setup, computers and solar power will be some of the first things to go in HQ at Chizarira.

On the Road With Damien Mander and the IAPF

A Turning Point for Chizarira

The Chizarira escarpment with Tundazi looming in the background

G’day from Zimbabwe, This is our first blog and not a bad week to start things off. I have just returned from Chizarira National Park in north-western Zimbabwe. One of the largest in the country, it has been decimated by poaching over the past 2 decades and wildlife is hard to come by these days. Led by Leon Varley, a guide in Chiz for the past 25 years, we travelled there with Donatella Knecht De Massy and Francisco Gordillo, two Directors from our Monaco chapter. Donatella has been busy over the past 6 months bringing together a group of people who are dedicated to conservation. Francisco is a Jedi Knight in all things media related and is helping us tell the world what needs to be done and how they can volunteer their help.

The trip into the park was amazing. We climbed the holy mountain Tundazi, which is the highest point in the region. Local Batonka people believe this is the stepping stone upon which God will return to Earth. From the top we could see the entire length of the Chizarira mountain range which forms the northern boundary and gives Chizarira its local meaning – The Great Barrier. Insects in Zimbabwe are a little different to Monaco(creating mild, yet frequent hysteria) and we are very grateful to Donatella for the lifetime supply of insect repellent that was left behind after her visit.

Donatella, Francisco and Leon on patrol with rangers in Chizarira after hearing gunshots in the distance.

So, where is all this going? 5 months ago we were approached by the Zimbabwe Government to explore the possibility of resurrecting Chizarira. With 7 different ecological zones and formerly home to the highest concentration of black rhino in the world, this is one special place that needs saving. Upon returning from this trip I had a signed authority in my inbox from National Parks head office to commence the feasibility study and pave the way forward for a long term resurrection project in partnership with Parks and the Wilderness Foundation.

We are now making plans to get back to Chiz as soon as possible to commence the three month feasibility study of the park. This will help us understand the problems being faced and allow us to match solutions to each of these challenges. Unlike other projects I have been involved with in my few years in Africa we will not be starting at the centre of the problem. To save Chiz we must start outside the park, which are the communities and then work our way in. Only when the communities are working will Chiz be saved. It is a very exciting time and we have a fantastic team behind us that will make this happen.

I will sign off by saying Happy Birthday to my beautiful fiancée Maria who will join me in Africa next month, after a painful 2 years of living away from each other. Cheers everyone.

Damien Mander

IAPF – Founder & CEO

%d bloggers like this: