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Facebook Logo Chipembele WildLife Education Trust
Steve and Anna Tolan and semi-resident Roxy the warthog


Steve and Anna Tolan

Steve and Anna Tolan - founders of Chipembele

Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust is a charitable organisation that focuses on conservation education for local school children in the area of South Luangwa, Zambia. The programme is comprehensive, innovative and above all, fun! There is a unique education centre, with a widely acclaimed interpretive room, located on the banks of the Luangwa River opposite South Luangwa National Park - a wonderful, unspoiled setting for local children to learn about the value of their natural environment. The Centre provides an interactive and contemporary learning facility for Zambian children that embraces wildlife, the environment and conservation issues.

The programme also encompasses an outreach programme of conservation lessons and activities in the local schools. In addition, general school improvement projects (infrastructure, resources, equipment etc.) are carried out and there is a Pupil Sponsorship Scheme, with Conservation Scholarships for starred pupils. There is a small animal rehabilitation facility where orphaned and injured animals are reared or nursed back to full health before being returned to the wild.

Why Chipembele? Chipembele (pronounced chip-em-beh-leh) is the local or Chinyanja name for rhino. Until the 1970's the Luangwa Valley held the highest concentration of black rhinos on the African continent. Then poachers began hunting them in huge numbers for their horn, which is in demand in Asia for ‘medicine’ and in the Middle East for traditional knife handles. By the late 1980's all the rhinos had been completely wiped out. It is an important conservation lesson for everyone to remember… if we do not look after our wildlife, even once abundant species can become locally extinct in a very short period of time.

Recent Chipembele Rehabilitation Projects

Tafika was separated from his family when he fell into a latrine pit in a village in the South Luangwa Valley and he was being persecuted by the villagers, a kind man notified the South Luangwa Conservation Society who sprang into action and rescued the young elephant. He otherwise would have ended up as meat. Unfortunately, his family could not be found and they did not come back after being driven off by the locals who were protecting their crops. He was taken to Chipembele for a month to recover from his trauma and was cared for in the first instance by Anna and his keeper, Gift. As Tafika relaxed and grew more confident he was taken for daily walks in the bush - his favourite place was a waterhole.

Tafika - the orphaned baby elephant enjoying his day at the water hole

Wheeeeeee …………………….!


First this little hippo orphan was a Douglas then he became Douglina then back to Douglas!

Douglas Douglina Douglas

Chipembele Wildlife Rescue has a very special orphan - a hippopotamus. He arrived on 15 May 2013 and will be in Chipembele's care for the next few years and all going well, eventually rehabilitated to the wild hippo population in the Luangwa River adjacent to Chipembele's land.

The abandoned baby was rescued in the Lower Zambezi area in February 2013, estimated to be two weeks old at the time. Named "Douglas" it was believed the baby hippo was a male at the time, but then several vets and conservation people thought he was a she. So, Douglas became 'Douglina' instead.

In late August 2013 three months from the time 'she' came to Chipembele, Douglina had an amorous encounter with a water barrel, it was very evident that boy bits were involved. So Douglina is once again and permanently 'Douglas'.

Links to Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation centre website and Chipembele website Go to Chipembele Website Go to Chipembele Facebook Page

The other Charity we support is Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

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