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Africa’s Wonder Women on the Forefront of Conservation

For decades, women across the globe have done phenomenal work for the conservation and preservation of the planet’s wildlife and environment. As International Women’s Month draws to a close, we would like to celebrate all the wonder women on the African continent who are doing incredible work to help Africa’s people, wildlife, and environment.

Akashinga Anti-poaching Unit

Established by Damien Mander, Founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), ‘Akashinga – Nature Protected by Women’ is an all-female anti-poaching group based in Zimbabwe. Having grown to over 500 staff covering a total of 8.5 million acres, this group is revolutionizing the way that animals are protected.

Black Mamba Anti-poaching Unit 

The Black Mambas are the world’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. The 36-member team of young African women patrols 20 000 hectares of the Balule Nature Reserve located in the Greater Kruger National Park of South Africa. The Kruger is home to the largest population of rhinos on the globe and is also a victim of the greatest amount of poaching attacks in Africa. With their passion for wildlife and rhino conservation, the Black Mambas have become a voice for their community whom they hope to educate on the benefits of rhino conservation.

African People and Wildlife – Yamat Lengai

Growing up along the Tarangire National Park, Yamat feared the lions near her home area. Education led her to learn how important lions are to her country and today she works with African People and Wildlife to help them by promoting coexistence and measuring programmatic impact.

Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary – Petronel Nieuwoudt

Located in Mpumalanga, South Africa, Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary is the largest rhino orphanage in the world. Founded in 2011 by Petronel Nieuwoudt, the sanctuary has rescued over 80 rhinos with their goal being to secure the black and white rhino breeding populations in Africa.

Women for the Environment – Fiesta Warinwa

Fiesta Warinwa currently serves as the Director of Policy Engagement at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). With over two decades of experience in the industry, Fiesta has done phenomenal work in conservation, development, and leadership across various African landscapes. This South Sudan native holds an M.Sc in Wildlife Management and Conservation from the University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development – Adine Roode

Realizing the growing number of young orphaned elephant calves that needed a place of rehabilitation, Adine Roode founded the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (H.E.R.D) Orphanage in 2019 to help incorporate these orphans into a herd – The Jabulani Herd. Today, the herd consists of 16 elephants, 11 of which are orphans.

Dr Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect

Dr Paula Kahumbu is one of Africa’s most well-known wildlife conservationists. She currently serves as the CEO of WildlifeDirect, a charitable organization that aims to connect people to nature and wildlife. She is the producer and host of Wildlife Warriors, Africa’s first wildlife documentary series made by Africans. For her work, Dr Kahumbu has been awarded numerous awards and received a special commendation at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her role in raising awareness of Kenyan elephants.


Meet the women saving Africa’s wildlife. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 14].

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 14].

African Women in Conservation. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 14].

Care for Wild with Petronel Nieuwoudt. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 15].

Fiesta Warinwa. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 14].

South Africa’s First Elephant Orphanage. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 15].

Paula Kahumbu | WWF. [Online]. Available: [2023, February 15].