The Zambezi Society’s weapons training courses for ZimParks, have been so successful in the Zambezi Valley, that at the end of September 2018, the Society’s training team was asked to assist with providing two similar firearms courses for 20 ZimParks anti-poaching rangers in Hwange National Park.

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Gary Layard and Andy Hunter travelled to Sinamatella Camp in Hwange National Park at the request of ZimParks, the Tikki Hywood Foundation and the Bhejane Trust. They were joined by Gary Cantle of Friends of Hwange and Steve Alexander of Conservation and Wildlife Fund, as well as Innocent Chipangura, the ZImbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority trainer.

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The 20 rangers were selected from various stations in the NW region of Zimbabwe, including Sinamatella, Hwange Main Camp, Robins, Matetsi, Umthibi, Zambezi Camp, Katembora, and Kazuma Pan.

The training took place at the Sinamatella airstrip area, with some excellent results being achieved over the 4 day period. Of particular note was the effort and outstanding results that this training group achieved in their oral exams on safety and principals of accurate shooting.

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The Zambezi Society has over the past two years conducted seven of these Level 1 training courses and two more advanced Level 2 courses with rangers from all stations in the lower Zambezi Valley, (Total 90 rangers). (See Zamsoc provides Advanced Weapons Training for Rangers). As a result of this training, there have been some notable anti poaching successes over this period

The Hwange double training is the first to be conducted outside of the Zambezi Valley and the training format will be adopted by Gary, Steve and Innocent for ongoing training in the NW area.

The Zambezi Society would like to express its grateful thanks to the Tikki Hywood Foundation and the Bhejane Trust for funding the Hwange training. We would also like to thank the ZimParks Regional and Area managers for their valued coordination and assistance. In addition, we are most grateful to Overnight Express (ONE) in Zimbabwe, for providing free freight for weapons training equipment to and from Victoria Falls for use on the Hwange weapons training courses. We are also most grateful to Rob Bates and Ginny Ross from Print Pix who print the firearm training certificates and logos for the Zambezi Society vehicles at not cost.

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