Our family has been deeply touched by Africa, it’s people and the wildlife. Our daughter, Christine, owned and operated a boutique safari operation for over a decade and we have enjoyed many extended trips, made lifelong friends, and watched dedicated people do the vital work on the ground to protect the world’s wildlife. John and Nicci Stevens of John Stevens Safaris are two of them.
John and his wife Nicci helped found the Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) in 2015 as an initiative to actively address poaching in the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe. ZEF has, in collaboration with their partners, built an anti-poaching reaction ranger base, conducted multiple aerial surveys, supplied equipment and rations, trained rangers and held collaborative workshops.
"By bringing together the group’s diverse set of skills and perspectives, we and our partners have developed highly effective anti-poaching activities and have started to contain this crisis." - Richard Maasdor, ZEF Coordinator
About the African Elephants and Zambezi, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is home to the world's second largest population of African elephants. The Zambezi Valley is where you’ll find one of the most pristine, untouched and wildest landscapes in Africa along with the continent’s fourth-largest river, the Zambezi. It is a spectacular feature, with characterful old ox-bow lakes, sandbanks and channels along its length, attracting a prolific and diverse wildlife population.
The decline in the elephant population due to poaching and other factors is alarming. In the last few years, the numbers have dropped to 3,500 from 14,000 in 2001, while in the Lower Zambezi elephants have declined from a healthy population of 19,000 in 2001 to approximately 11,500 today.
In just three years ZEF has made a real difference supporting the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and reinforcing the efforts of several implementing partner organizations. Visit the Zambezi Elephant Fund website to learn more.
We are honored to help spread awareness and raise funds for this cause, as this work is important in the protection of the magnificent elephants as well as other animals of this area. I have just painted a series of elephants in Africa, including one of the Zimbabewe elephant turned YouTube star, Boswell. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these will benefit the Zambezi Elephant Fund.