What We Do
Ntengu Safaris was founded by the Cuturi family in 2015, the year in which they were granted management rights of the Kasonso Busanga GMA. Previously a super-prime hunting block, the Kasonso Busanga GMA had been exposed to high levels of poaching, and other detrimental activities, as this GMA had no safari operator for a three-year period. As a result, the family set about rehabilitating and restoring Kasonso Busanga GMA to its prime state. The Cuturi family are wildlife enthusiasts, who are passionate about Zambia’s protected areas and wildlife. With their passion for Zambia’s wildlife and wild places, they felt a need to ensure that the Kasonso Busanga GMA did not fall away from its rightful place as one of Zambia’s premier GMAs, and bid to take on this concession. They were granted the concession at the end of 2015 and commenced management almost immediately by supporting anti-poaching patrols, re-opening and developing new roads and by constructing the Lushimba Camp, a permanent 8-bed luxury lodge and head-quarters for Ntengu Safaris, which is situated along the Lushimba River. Since then, 4 scout camps have been erected and an extensive road network developed for the effective deployment of anti-poaching patrols throughout the GMA.
Ntengu Safaris realized the importance of maintaining a strong counter-poaching presence in the area, year-round, and as such, felt the need to form a dedicated anti-poaching unit based in the Kasonso Busanga GMA. Hence the Kasonso Anti-Poaching Unit (KAPU) was formed during the middle of 2016, with the training of scouts and purchase of dedicated anti-poaching equipment, such as a Bat Hawk light surveillance aircraft and Robinson R44 helicopter. The employment of dedicated scouts, based in the Kasonso Busanga GMA fulltime, as well as the formation of a dedicated airborne anti-poaching unit has led to numerous arrests of poachers, illegal timber, honey and fish harvesters as well as numerous confiscations of snares, guns, axes and related poaching paraphernalia. Protecting the Kasonso Busanga GMA in this manner has directly led to a marked increase in sightings of many wildlife species, which are recovering as a result. These include an enormous range of antelope species such as sable, roan, red lechwe, sitatunga, impala, puku, kudu, oribi and reedbuck as well as larger mammals such as buffalo and elephant. Ntengu Safaris strives to continually improve and modernize our anti-poaching efforts, in order to ensure that wildlife numbers recover and the ecosystems remain protected. We therefore maintain a presence in the Kasonso Busanga GMA throughout the year and do not cease operations during the wet season. For regular updates on our progress and to find out what we get up to everyday, please visit our Facebook pages and Instagram profile.
Management Aims and Objectives
Ntengu Safaris aims to preserve the biodiversity of the GMA through sustainable conservation management, whereby local communities’ support for wildlife conservation is obtained; sustainable community development is promoted; and the GMA’s wildlife is utilized through low impact tourism in a manner consistent with Ntengu Safaris’ concession holder agreement and management plan.
Ntengu Safaris has the following objectives:
Objective 1: Develop infrastructure and capacity to access and survey animal populations in the Kasonso-Busanga GMA.
Objective 2: Protect all-natural resources with on-the-ground law enforcement patrols and aerial support.
Objective 3: Collaborate with the Community Resource Board (CRB) to educate and uplift the surrounding communities of Lalafuta, Kaminzekenzeke, Shongwa and Mushima through sensitization meetings, sustainable harvesting of natural resources, employment and the provision of annual funding for community based projects.
Objective 4: Generate an income through tourism and sustainable consumptive utilization of resources in accordance with strict codes of conduct and quotas agreed upon by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW).
Objective 5: Conduct wildlife and ecosystem monitoring research with tertiary education institutions and non-profit organizations to inform management practices and protect wildlife populations.
Ntengu Safaris comprises a small management team, which includes a concession manager, who is in charge of administration, procurement, logistics and human resources as well as a helicopter pilot and a bat hawk pilot who are both responsible for aerial surveillance, anti-poaching and rapid response. Ntengu Safaris is supported logistically by its sister companies in the Avantech Group, as well as the dedicated Cuturi family. Ntengu Safaris employs 30-40 employees, ranging from scouts to camp staff, all from the communities surrounding the Kasonso Busanga GMA.