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Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust


The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust began in 2008 by Gavin and Shay Best, two passionate conservationists who at the time were shareholders in Wild Horizons; a top adventure & activity tour operator in Victoria Falls. They believed more needed to be done in the region for wildlife conservation. Wild Horizons helped establish the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, which initially involved a lot of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation due to the economic situation in Zimbabwe. In the last 15 years they have developed conservation efforts to include working with local communities to focus on conserving habitats, finding scientific wildlife management solutions, and improving health through screening and prevention of transboundary animal diseases.

Alison Baker, who runs the horse trails in this unique area, works closely with the Wildlife Trust and has set up the IMPI – Anti-poaching unit. She is a passionate conservationist and supporter of animal welfare, who goes out of her way to rescue any animal that needs help. Alison and her team of Scouts and horses play a massive role in wildlife conservation and have been doing so, very quietly, for years. They are an integral part of anti-poaching work around Victoria Falls, doing daily patrols in areas that other units cannot reach by road or on foot. They are constantly on the lookout for poaching activities, snares and injured animals. This often means assisting to track wounded animals and removing the snares.

Mission Statement of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust

Their vision is to have local and international communities across Southern Africa working together through effective management, to ensure natural ecosystems are sustained to the benefit of all. With a mission to actively advance and promote environmental conservation and the sustainable use of indigenous resources in Southern Africa. Their work is organized into these key areas:

  • Rescue and Rehabilitation of Wildlife harmed by people
  • Wildlife research to find scientific solutions for long-term conservation
  • Wildlife Disease and Forensics Laboratory which tackles wildlife management problems
  • Setting up Community Outreach to find sustainable solutions for communities and wildlife to co-exist


How your money helps

Examples of what they have done and how your money helps:

In May 2018 they completed the building of their new wildlife high-care rehabilitation centre. It consists of a laboratory/storage room, 3 small and one large outdoor enclosures that will allow the to hold rescued animals for short-term, high-care rehabilitation until they can be released back into the wild.

They have been able to contribute towards various research projects such as Lion Research in Zimbabwe, Human-Wildlife Conflict with predators, Human-Wildlife conflict with elephants and Rhino and Vulture conservation in Zimbabwe.

The laboratory is one of the only wildlife veterinary laboratories in the region and works with the Wildlife authorities to determine why animals are sick or dying. It also acts as a forensic laboratory for suspected poaching and trafficking victims.

They bring local school children to the centre and also set up environmental clubs to get students interested in conservation. Teaching kids about wildlife on their doorstep and showing them how important it is to protect them.

Impi Anti-poaching has conducted over 500 patrols, covering over 7500 thousand kilometres on horseback and recovered over 800 snares. They have rescued dozens of injured animals and reported over 600 potential poaching incidents.

Experience this for yourself

Head out on a horse safari and make a tangible difference in Africa!

We’ve created a tailor-made horse safari that includes visiting one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the great David Livingstone; riding through game-rich private game reserves, national parks, and along the banks of the iconic Zambezi River with the spray of the falls on the horizon.

We have partnered with Alison Baker in Victoria falls, who not only runs incredible trail rides in this incredible area, but also heads the Impi Horseback Anti-poaching unit. You will also get to explore the wildlife-rich, stunning scenery that surrounds the Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks, with longer rides to get to the banks of the Zambezi River. For those who are interested, you can join the anti-poaching unit out on patrol and get first-hand experience of what it takes to protect these wild places. Each day the anti-poaching team heads out on horseback for up to 8 hours, keeping a close eye out for snares and signs of poachers. In addition to riding in this area, you get to visit Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust where you can get insight into wildlife management in Africa and their important work in this area.

African Horse Safaris offers packages to suit every budget and can tailor-make them depending on your expectations and availability. Choose between an intimate retreat on a private game reserve, a luxury lodge along the riverbanks or a budget-friendly B&B option. Many of the lodges we use also include activities such as game drives and sunset cruises. There are daily transfers to Victoria Falls Town, where you can not only explore the falls themselves but embark on a myriad of adrenaline-fueled adventures from sunset cruises to bungee jumping


PHOTO CREDITS ON THIS PAGE: Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, Zambezi Horse Safaris