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Working towards conservation by Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth NP

saving lions Ishasha

As a company Mamaland Safaris works towards a set of values that we wish to bring in to action, not just write about as a nice statement on our website but really act on with the thinking that “all efforts count”. In short these values are to spread the benefits of tourism, have an environmentally friendly mindset and work towards conservation. You can read more here if you are curious.

When it comes to working towards conservation we are taking a micro approach to this aiming to have an impact in the area around our Topi Lodge (part of Woodland Lodges), by the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Ishasha is a special conservation area as it is one of only two places in Africa where the lions have the habit of regularly climbing trees. Sadly the number of lions here has gone down due to poaching & we really pray that this trend can be changed. Currently there are seven cubs in the pride so there is hope of saving the lions of Ishasha!

Saving Lions Ishasha

We have chosen to take a people centered approach to our efforts, with the thinking that if the people living close to the park see the benefits of conserving the nature and animals they will help in doing so. For us the journey started when we bought land for our Topi Lodge bordering the park. It’s a beautiful area with the park on one side & views of the countryside on the other. We soon learned that the village close by was home to some poachers and started efforts to see what could be done about this. Around the same time a stricter punishment for poaching was introduced in Uganda & several of the poachers were willing to change their ways. To commemorate the moment we hosted a ceremony where the poachers handed over their snares & other hunting tools to Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Ishasha reformed poachers association was formed.

When the first step of the poachers committing to leave the park was taken we continued to step two, which is about assisting them to find another way to make a living. For the reformed poachers to truly find a new way in life they need another way to make a living for them-selves and support their families. This second step started with a course in making simple shoes and has now continued with gifting the members of the reformed poacher’s group piglets. Piggery even in a small scale can give a good income to a family here. Uganda Wildlife Authority has a project in the same direction teaching reformed poachers how to run a piggery business.

For the future we see the efforts to widen from not just focusing on the reformed poachers in the area but also for example visiting schools to increase the knowledge about conservation. As the children are the future, their mindset is so important.

Ishasha reformed poachers
Conservation Ishasha
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