Helping elephants to forget

An interesting overview of the problem with conservation areas and the conflict between human and animal.

Namibia Tourism Expo #MyTourismExpo



Christopher Muswalaili has a Bible handy. He’s a lay preacher and sub-induna in Sikweke, one of the many small villages you pass by on the way to Zambezi’s top tourist lodges. He also has a shotgun near to hand in case the elephants come raiding again. I ask him if he loves God’s creatures and he says yes, with a twinkle in his eye, but not near his crops.

Here’s the conundrum: wildlife brings tourists to Zambezi, where you can see elephants, hippos and even lions. Impalas are in abundance among the kudu and zebra. It’s a piece of paradise. Tourism brings jobs; some of Muswalaili’s neighbours work at Namushasha and Camp Kwando, and income from the lodges goes to conservancies, which spend the money on community projects.

All well and good, says Muswalaili, but he doesn’t work for a lodge and the elephants eat his crops…

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