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Gamamwe Game Ranches was registered in 2004 with Zambia’s Department of National Parks. The ranch habitat had a wide diversity of environments already hosting many species that thrived along 5 major rivers that run through the farms or bordered the ranch (Nkanga, Momba, Semahwa, Chilala and the Mbabala rivers). Registration allowed the ranch to buy these resident animals from the Zambian state.

Resident species include a healthy population of preditors including Leopard, Civet, Genet, Caracal, and Side striped Jackal as well as plains game including Chobe Bushbuck, Greater Kudu, Oribi, Sharps Grysbok, Bushpig and Common Reedbuck although our resident herds of waterbuck have been decimated by virus.

Other species had to be reintroduced following game eradication by ranchers in the 1930/40s and the heavy poaching that took place after 1970. Impala, Eland and Zebra were re-introduced and we will continue to select and buy in new populations of game that were originally in the area. Southern Giraffe were introduced in 2008 and their population of 14 is expanding in a very promising manner.

Although in the last 30 years there have been the occasional Lion, Hyena and Elephant visitors these are no longer residents of the ranch and are not encouraged due to our continued cattle ranching business, however a whole cross section of less well known mamals retain their niche providing a genuinly complete wild life environment. Hyraxes, Ardvarks, Ardwolves, Bush Babies, porqupine and Monkeys remain plentiful, as do different types of Mongooses, Otters and Honey Badgers.

On the introduction of commercial cattle rearing to the Choma district, “pest control” measures were set up in the 1920’s through into the 1950’s. Sable were shot in numbers as meat rations for staff employed by commercial farmers to set up cattle ranches and cetain species that preyed upon cattle, like the Cheetah and Lion, were wiped out. Pest control eliminated/reduced any species that were a direct threat to cattle rearing

Poaching & Illegal Hunting

One of the main challenges that the Ranch faces is the Poaching of cattle and the wildlife.

The new administration led by the President has prioritised the reduction of poaching within its focus on supporting the farmer.

In our worst year Poaching accounted for 150 cattle killed


The 2018/9 drought aided the poachers as water points on the ranch were restricted which made it easier for the poacher to locate and shoot their targeted animal. We have our own anti- poaching unit who are registered to handle company security shotguns, screened and trained by our Local Police. The ranch also hires a security company to provide armed rangers. Although we erected a strong game fence around the ranch just outside a perimiter road this barrier is regularily penertrated by poachers.

Meetings have been held regularily with the Police and the Department of National Parks to assit us in controling this threat, which in some farming areas has lead to farmers giving up cattle production or game protection altogether. Both authorities have been helpful and have assisted on occasion with advice and even lending their reaction team when the number of incursions reach a critical point. Recently snaring with 2mm steel wire has increased with 80 snares taken out of one 100 acre block.

Choma’s population like that of other urban areas in Zambia, has grown threefold in the last decade, which has generated a higher demand for game meat, which is locally called bush meat. All our sections have managers who report gunshots. Such activity scatters the game across the ranch making it harder to monitor the herds and groups. Our Anti-Poaching team has been very active but is challenged by the vast area, with different poaching groups targeting different areas.

As the global human population increases, and as illegal wildlife trade is so financially lucrative, demand for wildlife and their parts has greatly increased, leading many species to become threatened or endangered within Zambia. Besides the grave consequences for targeted species and their habitats, Poaching has also created an imbalance in the ecosystem which is difficult to reverse.

Kafue Lechwe

The status of the Kafue Lechwe is a sad reminder of the devastating consequences of Wildlife Poaching.

Numbering hundreds of thousands in the 1930s, the Kafue Lechwe have been declining rapidly and maybe today number less than 15,000 largely due to Poaching.

The marshy areas where they wade knee-deep into water in order to fed on aquatic plants is suffering from human settlement encroachment hence reducing available feed.

Habitat Degradation and Loss is exacerbated by Invasive Species Encroachment which added to Unsustainable Hunting, as well as Nutritional Stress has decimated the Kafue Lechwe.

Hopefully, this unusual semi-aquatic Antelope species which was endemic our area, may have a future on this Ranch where eight calves have recently been born.



Our efforts to diversity our Wildlife population continued with the recent addition of a group of 23 Kafue Lechwe in October 2020. They are currently protected within a separate game fenced area around a dam, matching their unique habitat requirements.

Their planned release onto the greater Ranch area is likely to occur in the coming months, where there are ample dams and riverine areas of suitable habitat in which to thrive.

Genetic Variation

Genetic variation is an important responsibility in Wildlife Management to prevent inbreeding and over population of individual species.

In Zambia game capture and relocation is encouraged,
which contributes to the rehabilitation of other ecosystems and strengthens the genetic pool of the national herd.

Gamamwe Ranches participated in a game capture exercise in 2020, whereby some of their Puku, Kudu, Impala and Zebra were successfully captured and relocated to other conservancies around the country.



Wildlife and protected areas should be economically useful to generate income in a sustainable manner which can finance their upkeep and contribute in time to the welfare of people, in particular of the rural dwellers sharing the same areas. We beleive that natural resources which generate income have a higher chance of being conserved, than those resources, which constantly cost money to retain and protect. This has already been proven through our Community Outreach programme, where the village women benefit financially on seasonal pod foraging campaigns, which is is milled for our livestock supplementary feed in the dry season.

The options for sustainable use of our ranch are many and varied. These include Photo Tourism, Birding, Hiking, Biking, Canoeing, Game Viewing and Research projects. Empirical experience shows that a combination of different forms of utilization usually renders the highest income. In some instances environmentally friendly Ranch utilization can bring equal or even greater revenues per unit area than just cropping or ranching.

It goes without saying that animal numbers must be limited to the level at which competition for resources between individuals is minimised and each animal is capable of reaching its full healthy genetic potential. Therefore, in order to mitigate the effects of drought and/or over population, the Ranch maintains its stocking levels below the ecological capacity of the vegetation to support the resident Game.

The occasional Game Capture exercise contributes to establishing nucleus herds elsewhere, as well as a means of introducing genetic material into our established populations. From time to time, Conservational Hunts are necessary to keep individual species numbers in check, which in turn provides revenue for the Ranch and the local community.

Hunting is an important tool in conservation and well managed Hunting Tourism fulfils the concepts of Eco Tourism.

Eco Camps

We believe all Wildlife enthusiasts from Ecologists to Hunters share a single common vision of having access to a Healthy Outdoor Ecosystem.

Therefore by keeping our wild habitats as undamaged, clean, and natural as possible we can exercise a variety of activities sensitively and sustainably.

Our Eco Camps will give people the opportunity to experience and explore this unique landscape first hand and appreciate the delicate balance between man and nature.