We are Wildlife Management
The wildlife management plan for Royal Jozini, prepared by professor Jeremy Ridl, includes vegetation management (with invasive plant eradication and controlled burning programs), game introductions, game monitoring and on-going management as well as the development and maintenance of all that is required to maintain and protect this Big 5 reserve.
The application of sound wildlife management practices ensures excellent wildlife viewing and a great variety of game.
Since the inception of Royal Jozini in 2007, one of our core objectives has been rural upliftment.
By creating job opportunities as well as educating those neighboring communities in conservation – we strive to work towards a mutual status-quo between the parties concerned allowing for a sustainable and prosperous future.
Prior to the development of the Royal Jozini project, with the assistance and guidance of the then acting chief Nkosi Prince Mzweleni, a Lavumisa Community Trust was set up to ensure their fair participation in the roll out of the project. The Lavumisa Community Trust represents the 16 chiefdoms of the district and all labour is sourced through this trust on a fair and representative basis.
As it stands, we are proud to state that we currently employ in excess of 50 permanent staff, the majority of which are sourced from the local districts. Together they have grown in experience and helped make this place what it is today.
We are also pleased to state that we conduct our own field ranger training in-house. Due to the nature of the job, these recruits are sourced from further afield and put through a rigorous 3-month training programme which covers all the fundamental skills required to do this job. Those that succeed and pass the course are given full time employment.
Recently an initiative was put in place by our General Manager to harvest the trees pushed over by elephant impact and pack this into 10kg bags of acacia firewood. Not only does this clean up the habitat, but this project has also served to create further employment for 3 more employees on an adhoc basis.
WWIF was established in 2010 by water quality professionals who are passionate to meet the need for clean, safe drinking water around the world. After only a few years in operation, WWIF has already undertaken several deployment projects in other countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Japan.
Royal Jozini has hosted these expeditions and assisted in putting the Foundation in touch with key role-players from the local community to ensure maximum benefit is obtained from this fantastic initiative.
We have a saying here which flows through all walks of life – ‘’no water, no love!’’
Royal Jozini has always been open to allowing research activity on the property, however due to our infancy this has only started to take place in more recent years as both the wildlife and reserve itself have evolved.
The arrival of elephants from the Pongola Game Reserve in January 2016 allowed us to partner with WEI (Wildlife and Ecological Investments – http://wei.org.za/). The mission at Wildlife & Ecological Investments is to provide support for conservation managers in their fight against biodiversity loss, and help to protect the natural resources on which we all depend. They do this through self-funded conservation research in ecologically important areas, environmental education programmes for local communities, and international training courses to inspire the conservationists of tomorrow.
Since 2016, Royal Jozini has assisted in hosting two student groups under the careful watch of Vicky Boult (Post Graduate Researcher & Group Leader for WEI students) and Heike Zitzer (Elephant & Rhino Research Monitor – White Elephant). The research that was conducted was an ecological survey of Royal Jozini and Elephant vegetation Impact. These reports are available for viewing.
This is an ongoing function conducted by the insightful Heike Zitzer who has been studying the Jozini Dam elephants since 2007. Since 2016, Royal Jozini has been working with Heike by assisting where possible to ensure that Heike keeps the monitoring and research current. This research and Heike’s ability to identify any member of the herd is invaluable when it comes to population control measures and any initiatives surrounding this herd. We remain open to assist where possible on the elephant population inside Royal Jozini where we fulfil a custodian role.
The Space for Elephants Foundation is a non-profit national organization created by concerned individuals about the livelihood of elephants and their restriction to move from one area to another. The vision for Space for Elephants is to have an interlinked network of protected areas throughout the country to allow elephants and other wildlife to maintain their natural movement and behavioural patterns, to promote an economic base to all people living around and within these areas and, through the elephant, promote Ubuntu and African Unity.
Royal Jozini works closely with SEF to assist in promoting elephant awareness. ‘’Elephanting’’ experiences are open to those who wish to understand more about this species. Funds generated from these activities will be kicked back into ongoing management of the Jozini Dam herd.
Project Rhino KZN / Jozini Rhino Swim – www.projectrhinokzn.org/
In June 2014, our General Manager became the first person to swim across Jozini Dam along the South African / Swaziland border. The distance was 2.5km and the objective was to promote rhino awareness and cross border co-operation between the two neighboring countries in the fight against rhino poaching. The event was done in partnership with Project Rhino KZN and a total of R85,000.00 was raised for this cause.
Please click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPqjaJMTuSY for a video of the swim.
Elephant Ignite Expedition – www.elephantignite.co.za/
The ELEPHANT IGNITE EXPEDITION saw a group of passionate females, from all walks of life, travel a distance of over 10 000kms through 10 southern African coun¬tries, visiting African organizations dedicated to the pres¬ervation of elephants that need our ongoing support.
We were lucky enough to host the Elephant Ignite Expedition on the first leg of their fantastic journey.