The Kasanka Trust (www.kasanka.com) is a Charity working to conserve and develop Kasanka National Park Zambia's Central Province, as well as having invested their efforts into the nearby Bangweulu wetlands and Lavushi Manda National Park.
Kasanka is a beautiful wilderness of woodland, plains, lakes, rivers and swamps in the North of Zambia. As well as its attraction for visitors it forms a valuable protected area for many endangered species.
The Trust operates 2 Lodges and 2 campsites in Kasanka as well as
Shoebill Island Camp in the adjacent Bangweulu Wetlands and is soon to commence operations in Lavushi Manda National Park close to Mpika.
About The Kasanka Trust
The Kasanka Trust in Zambia is incorporated as a non-profit charitable institution with tax exemption. It has a board of 7 honorary trustees who meet in Lusaka and take responsibility for all aspects of planning and policy making.
The Zambian Trust has responsibility for Park management, community development, and tourism under the terms of the management agreement with the government. Implementation in the Park is through a Park Manager, Community Relations Officer, Projects Coordinator and a team of around 90 locally employed staff.
The Kasanka Trusts in the UK and The Netherlands (http://www.kasanka.nl/
) are registered charities, both with a board of trustees. They are primarily concerned with fundraising for activities in Zambia. They also assist with expert advice and procurement of equipment from time to time.
All three trusts operate with minimal administrative expenditure, relying on trustees and volunteers giving their time free. With interest and tax incentives, 100% of money raised is spent directly in the field on conservation and community development.
HISTORY OF THE KASANKA PROJECT
In 1985, a British expatriate who had lived in Zambia on and off for many years, visited Kasanka out of curiosity. There were no roads or bridges and no tourists had penetrated the Park for many years, but he managed to explore a little on foot. On hearing the crack of gunshots he concluded that if there was still poaching, there must still be animals!
He was impressed with the beautiful habitats he found and decided to try and save the Park from complete destruction and the threat of losing its National Park status. He teamed up with a local farmer who had also explored the Park a little, and the two used their own resources to employ scouts and build roads, bridges and temporary camps.
These early efforts were encouraged by the government, which had been unable to manage the Park itself. In order to help raise funds and formalise their position, they formed the Kasanka Trust, which was registered in Zambia (1987) and UK (1989).
The Project soon attracted attention from conservationists, and tourism started to bring in a little money to help cover costs. In 1990, the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) was sufficiently impressed by the progress to sign an agreement allowing the Trust to manage the Park and develop tourism to help fund its activities. This agreement recognised the importance of co-operation with the local community, which has always been central to the trust