For years the concession where the Hideaways’ eco lodge Elephant’s Eye, Hwange is located was used for illegal poaching. It is hard to believe, that just a few years ago, this paradise was not the unspoilt sanctuary it is today.
Covering 6000 acres, the concession borders the internationally renowned Hwange National Park. The park is famous for its large elephant and lion populations – and Cecil the Lion. Garth Jenman, owner of Hideaways explains: “When we first took over the land, we very rarely saw game – the animals were weary of humans”.
Since 2012, there has been a slow change in the number of wild animals and their behaviour around the lodge and game vehicles. Due to illegal poaching, their numbers were scare and many of the animals would run and hide at the sound of a safari vehicle, but now game viewing has become much easier. “It seems that every month, we are seeing increasing numbers of lion, buffalo, and leopard. Now almost daily, we have elephant herds visiting the lodge’s pool for a drink of water,” says Garth Jenman.
Hideaways has established several boreholes, along with the Conservation & Wildlife Fund, resulting in more water for the animals especially during the dry months. Rehabilitation is important to Hideaways and this change was highlighted last month when a herd of 300 buffalo made the concession their temporary home. The resurgence in lions – some rumoured to be related Cecil the Lion’s famous brother Jericho – shows that Elephant’s Eye, Hwange is heading the right way in terms of conservation.