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Heavy rains push Release Facility to evacuate!

Rain over Camp Phoenix

After 3 days of non-stop rain and receiving over 170mm in only 36hrs, the Nkala River broke its banks and flooded the Release Facility in Kafue National Park. This is something that we have experienced on occasion over the past 14 years and is the risk of being located next to such a river, however this year’s water levels have rendered the Elephant Boma unusable and this weekend the elephants had to be evacuated from camp!

The old flooded boma Boating past the old boma

Thankfully we had a safe and secure solution! With tremendous thanks to the @DSWFWildlife, we have implemented a second Elephant Boma across the River from camp. The location is only 500m from the human camp (the same as the distance from existing boma to camp) and is higher ground so not subject to the same flooding. The challenge though was how to move the elephants – with the river at its highest the only option was to swim!!

The elephants crossing the river

With Keepers leading by boat and standing on either side of the river, 17 clever elephants crossed the Nkala River together to access their new boma which is currently full of vegetation and most importantly keeping them all happy, safe and dry!

Lots of food inside the new boma

As this is only the start of the rains we are gearing up for some more wet times ahead. The elephants new enclosure is a huge source of comfort for their safety but our next challenge relates to human use infrastructure, a lot of which has been with us since we established and mud walls don’t like the rain!! Please donate and quote ‘Wet Weather Appeal’ to help keep our Keepers and field team dry!


The team under the new research deck, currently under construction


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