The Bhejane Trust (“Bhejane” is the local Ndebele name for Black Rhino) is a Zimbabwe registered non profit trust, established in 2010 by two Zimbabwean conservationists, Trevor Lane and Stephen Long. The trust was initially established with the objective of monitoring of the remaining Black Rhino population in the Sinamatella area of Hwange National Park, in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the SAVE the African Rhino Foundation of Australia. The Trust has a comprehensive Memorandum of Agreement drawn up with the Parks Authority, covering their spheres of cooperation.
Stephen, in 2010, based up at Sinamatella and commenced the rhino monitoring program. However, Stephen soon found that he was having to assist Parks in many aspects of their operations, not just the rhino monitoring. He ended up helping on ranger deployments, anti-poaching, carrying diesel to pumps, fixing pumps, installing donated solar pump units, Parks staff welfare, helping provide for tourist camp sites, plus a host of other duties, as Parks had the enthusiasm and ability, but not the vehicles and equipment to undertake these tasks.
The operations of the Trust were, in 2011, then extended to the Zambezi National Park, close to the renowned Victoria Falls, where Trevor has been instrumental in reviving the Chamabonda Vlei section of the Park, by resuscitating old boreholes, drilling new ones, installing solar pumping units and restoring pans after many years of neglect. He also assisted Parks on road development, fire management and controlled burning programs, anti-poaching, monitoring game populations, renovating and building new game viewing hides, so as to restore this park to its former status..
Bhejane Trust then further expanded its conservation programs to cover the Kazuma Pan National Park, where we have revived game water points and have solar units pumping into three pans, plus we have assisted with infrastructural work and roads., plus staff support.
In 2016, with the threat of a pending drought, the Trust moved into the Robins area of Hwange National Park, where we have assisted with the installation of pumps and the restoration of game water supplies ( we now have 11 pumps working here) and have also assisted with tourism infrastructure including refurbishing hides, and with road development, mapping, deployments and general Parks assistance.
In 2018, the Trust set up the Rhino Monitoring and Protection Unit at Sinamatella, with the object of assessing and looking after the remaining Black Rhino.This unit has proved highly successful, not only in monitoring the rhino, but as an anti-poaching force, and has been expanded in 2020 to include more field units
Bhejane Trust has thus evolved to an entity which is assisting National Parks in many aspects of the management and operations of the Parks estate in north western Matabeleland, including facilitating anti-poaching and deployments, research work, staff welfare, and a host of other missions, as well as the original Rhino monitoring program. Bhejane Trust relies on donor funding to continue it’s operations.
Bhejane Trust runs a volunteer, or Field Assistance, program, which makes it possible for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts to join up with the Bhejane team, and enjoy this rare and exciting opportunity to experience the real Africa of vast, remote places, and to actively assisting the conservation and survival of the magnificent wild animals which inhabit this wilderness.