The Department of National Park and Wildlife says the number of both local and foreign tourists has continued to plummet in the Lochnivar National Park due to dwindling wildlife population.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS today, Area Warden Akayombokwa Kamona said only about 6,000 local and foreign tourists visited the National park last year a figure which is likely to dwindle further if no drastic measures such as intensified Anti- poaching patrols, and restocking of the National park are undertaken.

He said apart from birding opportunities, most foreign tourists in the past were attracted to the National Park because of larger mammals such as wildebeest, Zebra which have gone extinct and buffaloes whose population are also hanging on a miniature thread of extinction.

Mr Kamona also observed that the encroachment of the National Park by local communities for grazing of their domestic livestock was another factor hindering tourists from visiting the park as they were only interested in seeing wildlife and not livestock.

He explained that there is need to put in place robust Anti-poaching measures, recruitment of more wildlife staff, and transport, as well as financial resources to put to an end all poaching activities in the National Park and thereafter, restock the Park with larger mammals that got extinct.

He added that, this is the only potent way to attract more foreign tourist to the park and earn government the much needed revenue.

“We have seen a remarkable reduction of both local and foreign tourists coming to Lochnivar National Park mainly due to dwindling wildlife especially the larger mammals such as zebra, wildebeest which have gone extinct due to poaching. As of last year, we had about 6,000 local and foreign visitors a figure which is likely to go down in the near future if no drastic measures such as intensified Anti-poaching and possible restocking are not done,” said Mr Kamona.

However, Mr Kamona says there has been a 40 per cent reduction in poaching in the National Park due to measures that were put in place such as community sensitisation on the need to protect wildlife, and changes in Anti-poaching tactics among others.

Since its establishment in 1969 the Lochnivar National Park was teeming with thousands of wildlife and in particular over 125,000 Kafue lechwe which are now at about 8,000 due to massive poaching in the past years . The National park has also vast birding opportunities with over 420 different bird species in its 428 square kilometres.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. It’s sorrows every where.
    Even Luangwa death-valley is empty, you only hear Hippos mourning and begging for their lives sparred by the brutal violent PF.

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  2. Everything is shutting down under Lazy Lungu but guess what? He bought himself a 10 seater worth $60milllion

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  3. Boosting tourist numbers takes more than just building new airports, we have to manage the other details too, comparative costs, accommodation, & most of all, the animals & all other attractions in good condition!

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  4. Though wildlife populations have drastically been depleted, it is an overstatement to posit that wildebeest and zebra in Lochnivar park have gone into exitinction. I was there a few days ago and saw some very, very small herds. There is cimpelling case to reverse the trend now…..than ever before

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    • Area warden Kamona says:”there has been a 40 per cent reduction in poaching in the National Park due to measures that were put in place”.
      I think it was the poachers themselves who caused the reduction: With a greatly reduced numbers of animals, there is not much to poach any longer, is there?

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  5. come to Liuwa a thriving National Park in Zambia and learn how these guys have managed the once shadow of a park now its one one the best destinations in the world. Kudos to Liuwa National Park

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    • Tell us my bro. I have seen so many documentaries on Liuwa on international television. I remember one of the hyenas was very captivating

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  6. Mwaciona manje. I said this years ago kuti be kind to yourselves and exercise the kind of governance that is all inclusive, selfless and respectful. Manje na nyama zayamba kutawilatu shuwa!

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  7. If people have no food the temptation to poach is high. In Finland rabbits and wild ducks have the courage to run around in the city. No one eats them because most can afford to buy food, so there is no temptation to twist a duck’s neck and throw it in a pot when nobody is looking. Sensitisation is necessary, but without eliminating the root cause, which is hunger, this is an uphill battle. People need to be aware that this is not just for tourists but also for the eco-system and biodiversity.

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  8. When I was at primary school lochinvar was known for black lechwe. The whole world knew about this. This and the bird population. Such a gem is being lost because of Zambian incompetence. When a government does not pay attention to examination leaks all sectors of society are going to suffer

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  9. I was at the park a few months ago and the ranger told me poachers take the meat to Lusaka to sell , its not the locals taking it all , as it states in the story there is cattle from the area so the people are not starving as they would be forced to eat the cows, but bush meat is better as the cow is status, the gate ranger told me only 72 foreigners had visited the park last year , the most of rest were fisherman from elsewhere. if the National parks was serious they would encourage a private company to run the park like Luiwa ,creates jobs and protects the wildlife.

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  10. When will you get it in your heads…. Zambia is to expensive and service is poor, until you change this tourists will go to better places.

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