I wrote in a previous article about the impact of COVID-19 and cutting off the USD 30 million of foreign funds that flow into the Luangwa Valley each year. This has been felt keenly by the tourism operators already (in the form of postponed and cancelled bookings throughout 2020) but the effect is only now hitting home to the many businesses that are supported by tourism dollars.

Many developed nations are putting together impressive (eye watering?) rescue packages for all sectors of the economy. The support is admirable but the debts that will need to be repaid make this option unadvisable for developing nations. The best that tourism businesses can do in this area is to try to support their staff financially, knowing that this cash will enable them to buy food, but also therefore enable the shopkeeper to stay open, and the supplier to keep restocking the shopkeeper etc etc.

However there are a number of ways that “Luangwa-lovers” can support the area in a year when they are not able to visit (which is the best form of support possible!). I’ll lay out a few options below with a brief explanation:


Conservation projects are heavily funded by tourism and this funding is likely to dry up completely this year. Operators are forced to withdraw donations to ensure the sustainability of support to their staff. So, in a year when conservation efforts will be stretched to their limits, they will be the most constrained financially.

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe.

Conservation South Luangwa is the primary source of anti-poaching and habitat protection work in the Luangwa Valley. Without their work, it is safe to say that the visitor experience would be far poorer than it is now. We are all grateful for their dedicated work. By following the link above, you can send a donation that will go directly to paying scouts, funding patrols, facilitating aerial surveillance, running detection dog roadblocks or de-snaring animals; all small donations add up to help with the effort. (Please note that donations are made through the Africa Hope Fund’s PayPal site which is legitimate.)

Each year, I make a photo calendar which I sell via my website and in outlets in Mfuwe. For sales of the 2021 Calendar, I am donating all the profits from the sale of the calendars (around USD 10.00 from each) to Conservation South Luangwa. Please follow the link above to buy one…we are also offering free postage in the UK and reduced cost postage worldwide.

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe.

Public Health

Tribal Textiles are making cotton masks at their Mfuwe workshop to distribute to local communities, clinics and hospitals. When used properly, these masks are shown to reduce the spread of the virus by 70% which makes them well-worth the effort! Well-wishers can buy bundles of these masks; Tribal will make them and then distribute to the surrounding communities. Thank you for any that you can buy.

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe.


Finally, you can support Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust which continue to run as many of their conservation education programmes as possible despite the restrictions. And even though their operations may be curtailed temporarily, you can be sure that they will hit the ground running when they open up again!

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe.

Thank you for any support that you can give any of these organisations – you have my assurance, and the assurance of many others in the past, that the cash will be put to good use to protect the future of the Luangwa Valley for people and wildlife.