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Gamamwe Ranches

Gamamwe Ranch incorporates a number of farms within a single boundary fence with its headquarters in Demo Farm. The Ranch is dependent upon sales of sustainably reared produce from ethically managed farms some with interesting provenances. They are located within Southern Province, which hosts the Zambezi River with its world famous Victoria Falls as well as the Kafue River, which flows through Iteshi Teshi Dam, the famous Kafue National Park and its unique wetlands.

The Ranch where the wildlife browse alongside the cattle is privately owned. Natural Miambo woodland interspersed with Mopane and grassland provides an abundance of grazing and foraging options to support the wide variety of animals that naturally occur in this area. The wildlife herd has been built up successfully over the years, by re- introducing species such as Eland, Warthog, Giraffe, Puku and the Kafue Lechwe that had previously been wiped out by poaching, commercial farmers or disease. Many other species survived these challenges over the last century including Leopard, Jackal, Caracal, Civet and Cerval cats as well as Monkeys and Baboon.

Birdlife is the litmus test of the health of the environment so Gamamwe is pleased to be host to a number of environmentally sensitive birds such as the Ground Hornbill, Zambian barbet, White-Backed, White-Headed, Hooded and Lappet-Faced Vulture, as well as many resident raptors from the magnificent Martial Eagle to a multitude of small hawks and buzzards. Besides numerous local resident species, many migrating birds such as the Steppe Buzzard and Caspian Plover visit annually.

The commercial backbone of the Ranch is the production of beef which is managed in an ethical and sustainable manner. The Boran is the breed of choice which can withstand harsh conditions, and whose browsing habits complement the natural environment to produce a flavourful, healthy alternative to feedlot animals.

Gamamwe Ranch Conservancy

The area now known as Gamamwe Ranch was born of the amalgamation of more than a dozen farms. Each farm and subsection was divided numerous times with kilometers of fencing to both contain livestock and demarcate commerial crop farming areas.

This changed in favour of a more integrated approach to allow the livestock and game to co-exist. It has involved removing many intermal barriers to allow better freedom of movement of game and correcting various ecological issues.

Although this is a long-term project, already there has been a marked improvement in the veld and bush. The many dams across the ranch are vital to our cattle in the 7 month dry season as they are to our wide diversity of resdient game.



Demo Ranch was owned and initially developed from 1918 by Mopani Clarke, who acquired his nickname from his friend Lobengula, Chief of the Ndebele tribe, since he was as tall and hard as a Mopani tree. In 1889, 6 years before Livingstone town was established, Mopani developed the settlement at the Old Livingstone Drift on the north Bank of the Zambezi River, providing the only steam engine boat for crossing the River and a hotel for visitors. After the British South African Company closed the Drift in 1905 and moved the people to Livingstone, Mopani expanded his trading and cattle ranching activities. He bought and developed Demo Farm and other ranching operations closer to Lusaka including Blue Lagoon ranch, which is now a National Park on the Kafue River.

The Tonga Tribe were the major indigenous inhabitants of Southern Province in the early 1900s, having moved into the area an estimated 500 years beforehand. Unfortunately the 40 years from 1845 witnessed a decimation of the Tonga people not only around Choma but within all Sothern Province due to the constant raids of the Ndebele Impis (regiments) from the Bulawayo area of present day Zimbabwe and from the Impi raids of the Lozi tribe from the Barotseland in Western Province and their original co- adventurers from Botswana the Makololo, who operated a similar aggressive militarized society to the Zulus that took the cattle, women and children of surrounding areas after killing or enslaving the menfolk.

As a result of slavery and other raids, the indigenous population of the present area of the whole Zambia in the early 1900s was estimated at below 500,000 people; most of the country was empty. The defeat of the Ndebele Impis during their uprising against the Rhodesian settlers in the early 1900s eradicated that threat and the last Losi raid into the Choma area was in 1888 as subsequently the enlightened rule of Chief Lewanika of the Lozi’s ended their predations. In the following 100 or so years of peace the population of Zambia has expanded to over 13 million people today.

After Independence, Demo ranch was incorporated into the Susman Brothers & Wulfsohn Group, who at the time owned Lockinvar Ranch, now also a national park on the Kafue River opposite Blue Lagoon national park. Lockinvar ranch had been owned previously by the father of the author Wilbar Smith. That Group under the leadership of Harry Wolfsohn acquired a number of other ranches around Demo Farm as well as a herd of pedigree Boran, which had recently been imported from Kenya and eventually injected the agricultural assets into Zambezi Ranching and Cropping ltd “ZRC”.

The Heather Foundation, which had been an investor in ZRC, acquired Demo Farm in 1993 with its surrounding ranches which it manages through Sustainable African Developments Mauritius. It retained the pedigree Boran herd from which it selects bulls to service the extensive commercial herd into which it has also introduced other Sanga type African cattle breeds, including the Tuli, to develop the best suited cow for the veld.

Gamamwe diversified the ranch from beef production by game fencing the whole area and turning it into a registered Zambian game farm. This integrated method has allowed the Miombo woodland to remain intact and encouraged many species to become permanently resident.

Ecological Sustainability

Rainfall greatly influences the holding capacity of the Ranch. During recent years of prolonged drought, our farming practices have evolved to protect and develop the diversity of the veld, while building climate resilience.

Multiple-species grazing has been proven over the years to increase carrying capacity and benefit Ranch environments.

Each type of ruminant we manage, Cattle, Sheep, Goats as well as the large population of resident Antelope, all use a unique combination of the different forages in their diet allowing us to to get the best use of our pastures.

Collectively our animals will graze on many more vegitative species on the ranch so encouraging strong re-growth.



The Ranch must operate as a profitable enterprise to be sustainable. Our expansion into Eco Tourism is aimed at financial sustanability to contribute to the protection of our environment now and in the future.

Increasingly, the modern Tourist wants to witness sustainable biodiversity, which has been our goal over many years. We believe in managing for biodiversity, which can be best achieved by promoting our mosaic of habitats to ensure they are protected through effective vegetation management programmes, education and community awareness.

Through our management we strive to maintain our habitats undamaged as devloped over time by nature, so that we can share with other nature enthusiasts, an experience beyond game, into the magical spectrum of flora and fauna, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects that existed across most of Zambia a century ago.

Eco Tourism

Features such as bird-viewing hides on our numerous waterways, which host an abundance of waterfowl as well as nature trails to view the game in their natural habitat and exploring the natural world around us should be shared with all people who enjoy the outdoors.

Guided tours to view seldom seen animals, such as our Kafue Lechwe and endangered Vultures feeding at our established Vulture Restaurant will greatly enhance the experience.

For the more energetic, bikers and ramblers can explore off road tracks into the heart of our woodland or canoe at leisure on our dams. It is a naturalists paradise.