Expert Reviews – Sioma Ngwezi NP
Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.
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Poaching Problems Thwart Recovery
Sioma Ngwezi lies in the midst of the KAZA transfrontier conservation area: the largest gazetted protected area in the world. This is a Zambian safari destination with serious potential for the future, but Sioma’s recovery has been thwarted by rampant ivory poaching and problems associated with illegal timber extraction. The Peace Parks Foundation is investing heavily in park infrastructure, but to date their presence has failed to turn the tide on poaching and community encroachment.
Despite these ongoing challenges and being ravaged by decades of war, there is still a surprising amount of skittish wildlife surviving in Sioma Ngwezi. The list of species we saw during the course of our two recces was impressive: elephant, eland, sable and giraffe as well as cheetah and wild dog. But don’t let this mislead you, wildlife sightings are erratic and the animals shy. Signs of human impact remain widespread and we stumbled upon a disturbing number of elephant carcasses during our last visit. But don’t let this put you off visiting, the park needs tourists in order to survive and Sioma offers somewhere for safari stalwarts who want to experience real Africa rather than see the Big Five.