SOUTH AFRICA – The Black Mambas Bush Grannies Project
We have recently purchased a vehicle for The Black Mambas, Africa’s first all-female ranger team, based in the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. Since their inception in 2013, elephant and rhino poaching has reduced by 76%. These women are working hard to protect wildlife and wild spaces, plus educate local communities on how to conserve and preserve their natural herit-age.
Their educational programme, ‘The Bush Babies’, now has over 1300 local children enrolled. This vehicle will enable the rangers to travel to more rural schools, allowing more pupils to get involved in community vegetable gardens, tree planting, social sciences and sustainable environmental management.
The Black Mambas also run a ‘Bush Grannies’ programme. As the grandmothers commonly raise the children while the parents go out to work, many have never seen wildlife in their natural habi-tat. We are helping to change that. The rangers take the ‘grannies’ out into the bush so they can see first-hand how the animals live and learn about the value of protecting them for future gener-ations. They then relay these stories to their grandchildren and help educate them on the im-portance of protecting local biodiversity.
We are working with How Many Elephants, a UK-registered charity that has championed and sup-ported The Black Mambas's work for over 8 years. They launched the hugely successful World Fe-male Ranger Week (June 23-30) to raise awareness and vital funds for female rangers to continue their work.
The founder of How Many Elephants and World Female Ranger Week, Holly Budge says, "having patrolled with the Black Mambas and multiple other ranger teams across Africa, I've seen first-hand how these bold women are impacting lives; Protecting wildlife, educating communities and empowering other women. Over the last two years, the pandemic has crippled tourism and fund-ing for conservation projects globally. The lack of tourists visiting National Parks has led to many rangers losing their jobs or having significant salary cuts. The knock-on effect of this is huge. For example, one ranger in Africa may support up to 16 family members. Additionally, reduced vigi-lance in tourist hotspots has left wildlife even more vulnerable to poaching. So, the often-challenging work of rangers such as The Black Mambas is paramount right now. We are delighted to be working with the Derek Moore Foundation to create impactful change.”