Conservation South Luangwa’s (CSL) mission is to work with community and conservation partners in the protection of the wildlife and habitats of the South Luangwa ecosystem. The long term survival of wildlife and habitats in South Luangwa under the custodianship of the Zambian people is CSL’s vision. Set up in 2003 by local stake holders, CSL plays an important role in conservation and environmental protection within the Luangwa Valley. They specialize in wildlife rescue and de-snaring, wildlife & community veterinary services, law enforcement support, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, aerial surveillance and run a sniffer dog unit.
Timeframe for Involvement
7 – 14 days
There are six departments within CSL in which students on this program may get involved during their time with the organization. They will be able to take a hands-on approach to the process as they engage in the different elements at varying degrees under the leadership of trained personnel. They will play a part in making the mission and vision of CSL a reality. If they are around at the right time of the year, they may also participate in planning and running the Annual Conservation Fun Run.
Anti Poaching and Law Enforcement Support
There are village scouts who conduct regular anti-poaching patrols inside the National Park and game management area. Whilst species such as elephant are not a target, their expansive range and tendency to roam in human populated areas increases their probability of encountering snares. Thus, snaring is a major threat to many species and efforts to reduce poaching are of the utmost importance.
South Luangwa is a large area and it is virtually impossible to be able to know exactly what’s happening on the ground all the time without the use of aerial monitoring. From the sky, management can be able to assess water sources at different times of the year, see carcass locations, locate fires, deforestation, pin point poachers and direct patrols etc.
Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation
CSL is the only body in South Luangwa equipped and skilled to immobilize, treat and rehabilitate snared and other wounded animals. With years of experience, numerous elephant, lion, hyena, giraffe, wild dog, leopard and many other species have been rescued.
Community Veterinary Work
The only community veterinary clinic in the district is run by a doctor who is employed the CSL. Services are provided free of charge.
Human – elephant conflict is one of the major problems facing the local communities in South Luangwa and is often the reason for animosity and contempt toward conservation activities. Some of the methods for mitigating the problem include chili blasting and chili fencing to deter elephants in combination with an income generating chili farming project.
Sniffer Dog Unit
The first of its kind in Zambia, CSL’s dog unit works to detect illegal firearms and wildlife products moving within Zambia to prevent smuggling.
- An understanding on the impact of poaching and why snaring is detrimental to wildlife on a wider scale than intended
- Realize the immensity of human/wildlife conflict as related to crop destruction by elephants and learning how the local community addresses this
- Rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife – the processes and stages of this journey for an animal
- Detection dog unit – the role it plays for CSL and the country at large
- Assess and comprehend the importance of community veterinary services
- Insight into aerial surveillance and its importance
Students will be accommodated at Marula Lodge which is the closest camp to the main entrance gate of the South Luangwa National Park. The comfortable, affordable chalets provide the perfect haven for a stay in this region. On the outer perimeter of the camp, each chalet has just enough seclusion to make you feel at home with the chance to relax between your busy days. Relax in your chalet, jump into the pool for a refreshing swim or, indulge yourself whilst sitting in the shade of the magnificent trees at the river’s edge. The lodge’s experienced chefs cater to all tastes, using fresh local produce and plenty of imagination.