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Savé Valley Conservancy
Conservation Area
Game Reserve
25km from Birchenough Bridge, South East Lowveld, Zimbabwe
-20.5275677, 32.0198864


Savé Valley Conservancy (SVC) is one of Africa’s largest private conservancies. The Conservancy is part of the Greater Limpopo Trans Frontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), linking biologically significant protected areas in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. Despite decades of economic challenges in Zimbabwe and a spike in poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking, SVC supports critical populations of rare, threatened and endangered species such as an IUCN-listed ‘Key 1’ population of black rhinos and an ‘Important 1’ population of white rhino, the endangered wild dog and ground pangolin.

The 150,000 +/- households that live in and around SVC suffer from food insecurity and high levels of poverty. SVC is in an arid region and communities rely on agriculture and livestock, which are heavily impacted from human-wildlife conflict. SVC’s long-term goal is to expand community engagement in the conservancy to help them transition out of poverty and increase their resilience. SVC’s income is dependent upon the wildlife, which has and continues to be under severe threat from poaching.

SVC was established in 1991 from land that had previously comprised privately owned cattle ranches. All internal fences were removed from an area totalling 3,442sq km and a 350 km double perimeter fence was constructed. Approximately 4,000 animals of 14 species were reintroduced, including elephants in the largest translocation of that species ever undertaken. In 1991 the original SVC was approximately 866,000 acres in extent, however, due to land reform and resettlement over the years it now extends for approximately 750,000 acres. 

Under Zimbabwe law, the SVC is classed as a “universitas - a non-profit voluntary association regulated by a constitution agreed upon by its members".
In addition, we have a fundraising arm - The Savé Valley Conservancy Fund Inc. (SVCF) is a non-profit, registered public benefit corporation organised under Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, USA. It was formed for educational and charitable purposes, including, but not limited to wildlife management and protection, environmental conservation, ecological education and scientific purposes. The SVCF has Registered Public Charity Status 501 (c)3.

Our vision is to spearhead land use revolution in wildife areas, be a yardstick of mutually benefial models as well as strategies towards communities and wildlife.


Conservation & Community Highlights:

  1. Protecting endangered species such as rhino, African wild dog and pangolin
  2. Wildlife projects – rhino notching ops; elephant collaring; giraffe tagging
  3. Wildlife translocations – reintroduction of rhino to Gonarezhou in 2021 after being absent for 27 years
  4. Recent completion of Gudo Clinic in Chiredzi servicing over 13,000 community members
  5. Delayed roll out of Pan African Conservation Program into 48 schools due to Covid-19


Future Aims:

  1. Establishment of a Social Ecological Research Centre to assist with best practice decisions on sustainability of wildlife plus incorporating intern students to carry out research programmes for mutual benefit.
  2. Establishment of a Human Wildlife Conflict Task Force to prevent or minimise the risk of conflicts arising between people and animals.
  3. The Government of Zimbabwe is initiating resettlement schemes throughout the country and once land boundaries have been redefined within the Conservancy, there are major plans to engage with the communities in new initiatives to create a better environment for them.


Images provided.