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Zambezi Valley – The Lost Stronghold by Silvana Olivo is an account of Zimbabwe’s Rhino War. It testifies to the dedication of those who fought against all odds to protect Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, considered in the 1980s the last stronghold for the greatest concentration of wild black rhinos in Africa.


The war against poachers by heroic Game Scouts and Rangers, who risked their lives for very little in exchange, was lead in Zimbabwe by the initiator of Operation Stronghold, Glenn Tatham.  With a foreword by Clive Walker, this account is the result of the author’s personal involvement in the campaign run by Zimbabwe’s National Parks Department almost thirty years ago, when, at 21, she became its official Italian chapter for half of the decade-long Operation Stronghold.


The pace of the emergency unfolds in Silvana’s story through the direct reporting of experiences in the field – the aftermath of shootouts with poachers, the translocation and dehorning of rhinos – and the documentation of the crisis at various levels, from Parks field stations to rhino management decisions.


Describing Zimbabwe’s visionary conservation policies of the time, the account testifies to the complexities of conservation in Africa.

Zambezi Valley - The Lost Stronghold by Silvana Olivo



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