Tembe Elephant Park in northern KwaZulu Natal lies on the border with Mozambique and protects important Sand Forest habitats and populations of African Elephant and Rhino. From the Muzi Outpost, right in the north of Tembe, gunshots can regularly be heard from hunting gangs that operate within Mozambique and decimate any wildlife for the bushmeat trade.
As part of an intensive strategy to prevent incursions from poaching gangs into Tembe, a double security fence is in place with an adjacent sandy track that is constantly monitored for signs of poachers spoor. Lookout towers have been strategically placed to give a clear view into Mozambique and along the border fence. A highly committed ranger team, led by Section Ranger Len Gunter, battle tirelessly to prevent poachers from entering into this important wilderness area. It is these dedicated teams of rangers that will make the difference in this poaching war that is decimating Africa’s iconic wildlife.
This conservation photography project is carried out in partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) that provides support, networks and representation for game rangers across Africa. This conservation photography project will use rangers as the “lead characters” to highlight the issues faced by conservationists and showcase opportunities for improved support of rangers in the future. Positive and targeted messages will be communicated that emphasise the critical role that rangers play in African conservation in ensuring that the continent’s natural heritage is preserved for the benefit of future generations. Support Africa’s Rangers by supporting the GRAA.
Peter Chadwick is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. The iLCP’s goal is to use the art of high-quality photography to encourage people to take action in support of tangible and meaningful conservation measures.
Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Ranger images.