African Bush Camps Foundation Continues Vital Health-Related Projects in Zimbabwe and Zambia
With its main source of funding on hold due to COVID-19,
the nonprofit arm of African Bush Camps continues
its work, while seeking grant funding and
contributions to continue projects
Life has changed dramatically in the battle against COVID-19 around the world, not least in the “lockdowns” intended to halt the spread of the virus. While the resulting stresses of isolation have been much discussed, many rural communities in the African bush are not part of the conversation as they do not always have the luxury of staying indoors. African Bush Camps Foundation (ABCF), the nonprofit arm of African Bush Camps (ABC) is striving to improve quality of life among communities in vulnerable wildlife areas surrounding ABC’s properties. Currently, ABCF manages 42 community-based development projects, however, times are understandably tough. The Foundation is primarily funded by ABC, which donates $10 for every bed night accommodated at each of its lodges and camps in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. During the pandemic, ABC is hunkering down until they can welcome guests in August 2020. While the company continues to employ its staff at reduced hours, ABCF is seeking grant funding and contributions.
“We are working on keeping our heads above water and our staff safe and healthy right now,” notes Adrienne West, ABCF’s Fundraising Coordinator. “With less funding, we still need to continue supporting crucial projects for communities.”
Washing hands with a tippy tap. Credit: World Vision International
As noted in a recent report from International Luxury Travel Market, with the trickle-down effect of 62 million people employed in the global luxury travel ecosystem, travel goes a long way to support local communities. As ABC waits to welcome guests again from August 1st, here are some of ABCF’s health-related development projects that are particularly worthy of support: A Tip of the Hat to Tippy Taps COVID-19 has undoubtedly raised awareness of the importance of hand-washing. With running water and essential commodities being rare among some rural African communities, African Bush Camp Foundation is introducing basic health and hygiene in the form of Tippy Taps. The simple device is assembled with a five-liter container suspended from a stand; a foot-activated lever to tilt the container and start water flow; and a bar of soap suspended from a piece of string, enabling public hand-washing without touching the stand and potentially spreading dirt and bacteria. See a Tippy Tap in action in a short video produced by the World Health Organization here. ABCF will install 980 Tippy Taps as public handwashing stations as well as provide drinking water to households in rural communities surrounding ABC’s properties. Additionally, 3000 masks will be made and distributed along with alcohol-based sanitizers to communities and rural health centers. ABCF’s fundraising goal for the Tippy Tap project is $7,500.
Learning & Health ABCF is actively fundraising to help provide and maintain hygiene facilities at the Hwange Main Camp and Primary School. The 170 households are mostly National Park employees and their families, who live in a predominantly communal setting where the Early Childhood Development Primary School serves roughly 30 students. The ABCF project’s purpose is to improve hygiene and sanitation as well as reduce the chances of contracting dangerous water-borne diseases like typhoid & cholera which are prevalent in the area. Most significantly, the project will create age-appropriate, child-friendly lavatories and a hygiene-education program for students. ABCF’s fundraising goal for renovating the Main Camp’s Primary School’s Early Childhood Development class is $27,000.
New Rural Health Centre in Zambia ABCF is partnering with the Maunga Community near ABC’s Thorntree River Lodge to complete a long-awaited Health Centre along the western border of the Dambwa Forest Reserve in Zambia. While the Maunga Community has had a Primary School since 1992, the nearest health center was roughly 12 miles away in Livingstone. This forced community members, including pregnant women, to walk long distances for treatments, maternity care and childbirth. The basic structure of the new Health Centre was completed to great jubilation and handed over to the government in September 2019, but it was just a start. This center serves roughly 3500 people. While the Health Centre now offers a maternity ward, it still lacks electricity and running water. Thanks to a partnership with WaterAid, work is underway to provide clean running water to the Health Centre and a nearby school. Funding is still needed for the solar power system, and staff quarters must be constructed for full-time doctors and nurses to be allocated to the facility. ABCF’s fundraising goal to complete the Health Centre Maunga Community is $69,500.
ABCF is fundraising to help provide and maintain hygiene facilities at the Hwange Main Camp and Primary School.
African Bush Camps (ABC) is a 100% owner-run, African-based safari company designed to delight adventure travelers with authentic safari experiences amid untamed wilderness across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Operations are always focused on the guests, with 15 luxury tented bush camps and lodges, offering seamless safari experiences with internal flights, food, drinks, and activities included. African Bush Camps promotes and influences travel to Africa on a global scale while operating with a strong focus on conservation, and an environmentally sustainable footprint that celebrates the culture of communities in the areas in which it operates. The African Bush Camps Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on conservation, education, and empowerment for the communities that surround the company’s camp locations. Launched in 2006, the Foundation operates through a multi-faceted partnership with the company, which donates $10 to the Foundation for every bed night accommodated in each of its camps. All donations go directly to community-based development projects initiated by the Foundation. Since opening, the Foundation has spearheaded 72 community projects across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia; 42 of those projects are currently in operation under the Foundation’s wing. African Bush Camps was founded in 2006 by Beks Ndlovu, a professional safari guide born and raised in the village of Lupanie on the outskirts of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. From the start of operations, Ndlovu’s mission has been to operate a portfolio of luxury tented camps and lodges across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia that reincarnate the fantasy of ‘Old Untouched Africa,’ while treating guests to authentic and adventurous professional guide-led experiences and bespoke safaris that can only be found in the bush.