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Conservation and Community are closely linked in Zambia and fundamental to our philosophy. Gamamwe Ranches needs to maintain its economic viability while protecting and developing its existing wildlife, yet no ranch or National Park is large enough to protect its habitat without the support of its local community and neighbours.

The communities who live on the Ranch itself are an integral part of the preservation of this unique habitat. They depend on the abundance of foraging resources for their livlihood as much as the creatures and animals with whom they share. In turn, the ranch’s farming practices are fundamental to maintaining this delicate balance.

Threats to Zambia's Biodiversity

Extensive habitat loss has occured in Southern Zambia over the years from deforestation for farming and charcoal production, fire, erosion, soil exposure, urban expansion, large scale monocropping agricultural activities and the use of toxic chemicals. To date, the most significant causes of extinctions are habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and over exploitation.

Our philosopry is to protect the wide variety of species in our area, whether they’re plants, animals or microscopic organisms. They are all vital to keep the world’s many ecosystems healthy, balanced and thriving.



The entire system depends on a healthy environment in order to survive, the management of which requires both flexibility and a multifaceted approach. Not uncommon in commercial farming regions across the globe, the Ranch has suffered some environmental issues due to previous poor farming practices and mismanagement.

Overgrazing in some areas have led to land degredation, soil exposure, erosion and the establishment of certain invasive species. Selective deforestation of certain valuable tree species such as the useful Mukwa tree has disrupted the natural forest habitat and resulted in bush encroachment, the ultimate loss of natural grasslands and an increase in fires.

The perimeter fencing of the Ranch and increased patrols have protected the forests from encroachment, fire and timber loss. This has been complimented by the introduction of a unit, dedicated to removing exotic tree and shrub species such as lantana and apple thorn that have become a problem.

The cattle herds, together with a small number of goats, have been moved into Ultra High Density Grazing (UHDG) units, which fights bush encroachment while opening up the canopy to encourage grasses, especially palitable ones, to return.

The ranch is fortunate to border on the west and south three other commercial ranches in a consevancy, which has kept a good tree cover while protected their wildlife. In contrast on the northern boundaries communal farmers have extensively cut down trees for charcoal and little wildlife has survived outside our boundary fences.

Deforestation and forest degradation is not only a National concern, but our concern. The problem is driven by agricultural over expansion (commercial and subsistence), heavy reliance on wood fuel – energy demand (charcoal and firewood), unsustainable timber extraction (both legal and illegal) and infrastructure development for housing as well as mining and other large industrial projects.


The ranch has a tree nursery for indigenous treesto encourage re-forestation of previously damaged areas within and outside our boundaries.

We are in contact with some NGO agencies to work on a sustainable program to achieve this aim on neighbouring communal farms.



Cover cropping for silage and supplementary feed is an important wet season event and necessary to assist the recuperation of over grazed paddocks. The residue also sustains the animals during the long, harsh dry months which has become increasingly important in recent years due to prolonged periods of drought.

No-till farming (also known as zero tillage) has been adopted as the method of choice on the Ranch for growing our crops on pasture without disturbing the soil through tillage. On our open veld the UHDG has also started to contribute to an improvement in the soils and flora that had suffered from 100 years of selective grazing by the herd. This has helped to decrease soil erosion as well as to increase water retention and soil infiltration due to retention of organic matter for nutrient cycling. These methods have encouraged healthy life in the soil and attracted an abundance of insect and birdlife while slowly increasing the quantity of more plaitable grasses that were being hammered by the old selective grazing system.

While conventional no-tillage systems may use herbicides to control weeds, our system is completely organic where we plant cover crops as mulch to suppress weeds and companion planting regimes that deliver different nutrients to the soil.

More recently, we have engaged the local village women to drill cover crop seed into these fields. Besides the economic advantage to their families we also benefited from high germination rates with minimum compaction.

Community Outreach

There are certain indigenous pod bearing trees around us that have a high nurtritional value and have become a very important part of our ability to sustain our herd in the dry season.

The collection of these pods at various times of the year would not be possible without the help of our village women. Their dedication and determination has helped the Ranch avoid purchasing expense feed supplements, but rather put this economic value into their hands.

This partnership has also given these women certain social
This partnership has also given these women certain social and economic independence.


The Ranch has been very active in supporting local communal cattle raising families in two main areas. Firstly it has ensured that bulls from its very highly regarded Boran pedegree stud are made available for these neighbours to acquire. Also it has bought in cows, heifers and steers from the comunal farmers, which have been especially useful for of cash generation for them during drought years as well as for settling their regular school fee payments.

The ranch was the first of the commercial farmers to provide water bowsers to Choma through co-operation with the Albino co-operative so that hand washing took place at key points of entry. Thankfully Choma has managed to ride out the Covid virus with very few reported cases.