The African elephant population has decreased by 30% over the last seven years, and across Zambia there are approximately 22,000 elephants remaining in the wild. However, in Zambia's Kafue National Park the elephant population has increased over recent years to more than eight thousand and is now the second largest 'home' in Zambia.
Sustainable tourism and conservation has been key in Kafue. In 2007, the Elephant Orphanage Project was set up in southern Kafue with the mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned elephants back into the wild. With a growing number of orphaned elephants that need aid, the Elephant Orphanage Project has two facilities - the Elephant Nursery and the Kafue Release Facility.
The Elephant Nursery, where the youngest elephants are taken care of, is located 12km south of Lusaka. The Kafue Release Facility is located in southern Kafue, less than half hour drive from Konkamoya Lodge, on the banks of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. Here, there are currently 12 baby elephants ranging from 3 years to 11 years old.
Every day in both facilities, during feed times, visitors can see what goes on here behind a discreet viewing wall. This is to ensure that human contact is kept to a minimal, increasing the opportunity for the elephants to integrate into a herd upon their release.
Elephants are prolific visitors to Konkamoya Lodge and it's easy to meet them grazing in the bush surrounding the four large tents, in front of the lapa or watch them enjoy their mud bath along the lakeshore.
Visiting the facilities is not only a fantastic experience for all ages, but it's also a way to help the Elephant Orphanage Project to keep running as they are 100% reliant upon donations.
For more information and rates for Konkamoya Lodge, please contact Kat at Kamili.