mare0 hippos éléphants lycaons impalas mare1

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Latest update November 6, 2012




and the animals that go with it....

Project MARES de HWANGE phase II

Go to page Mares de Hwange phase I (2010-2011, archive)


Project supported by the
Le PAL Nature foundation

- Project proposal (May 2010, 1Mo).
- Detailed map of Hwange national park .
- Map of Zimbabwe .
- Phase II proposal - Adopt a water-hole in Zimbabwe ! - (December 2011, 1.6Mo)

- Slides of the conference "Une mare pour les éléphants au Zimbabwe" given at the Nature and Environment film festival of the FRAPNA Isère on december 2, 2011 (in French).

Read l'Echo des Mares (Echoes from the water-holes), field journal of Steve Long, naturalist of the Bhejane Trust association in the park, in partnership with Le Pic Vert.

Visit the blogspot of Bhejane Trust (by Steve Long).

The Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is endangered. In a country whose economy is collapsed. The park management is out of resources and faces tremendous difficulties to fulfill its tasks of environment and wildlife protection.
Several associations grouped to help the park and conserve its biodiversity.
Four endangered species of mammals are present in the park:
- Black rhinoceros, UICN CR (critically endangered)
- Wild Dog, UICN EN (endangered)
- Cheetah and Lion, UICN VU (vulnerable)

Large as half of Belgium, the immense 14000 km2 park also hosts more than 30000 elephants. It is a wonderful sanctuary of biodiversity, one of the richest in Africa. In total 107 species of mammals and 433 species of birds are residents in the park, with 14 of the latter being endemic of the local biomes. During the extremely arid dry season the natural water-holes (pans) of the park must be supplied by pumping of the rich underground aquifer to water the animals. The total drying out of the pans in 2005 resulted in a tragedy that killed thousands of animals of thirst and hunger (see references in full report ).

After the phase I of the project, in which a solar pump has been successfully installed and operated during summer 2011 on the Bumboosie-South pan, Le Pic Vert in partnership with Bhejane Trust (BT) and Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe (WEZ) agreed to launch a second phase called "ADOPT A WATER-HOLE IN ZIMBABWE !" consisting in an extended project for outfitting several more pans with solar pumps.

Most of the 64 pans equipped with pumps in the park, are supplied with diesel pumps. All these pumps were timeworn, recurrently failing, polluting and very expensive to operate (running costs : 600 to 900US$ of gas per month of operation). Comparing with the solar pump installed at Bumboosie-South, the latter's full cost can be amortised in about three years.

Let us prevent the reoccurring of the 2005 dry season tragedy.

elephant dead of thirst

West Zimbabwe is close to the Kalahari desert and dry seasons in this region are dreadfully arid. It may not fall a single raindrop between mid-March and mid-November in a given year. And the prospects for global warming in this part of the continent are particularly somber, with forthcoming dry seasons more an more dry. The increasing dryness has already been evidenced from data collected over the past half-century.
Natural water-holes filled during the rain season dry up pretty fast before the mid dry season and this results in disastrous situations for years of extreme draught after a poor rainy season. This is what happened in 2005 resulting in terrible losses in the wildlife populations, with animals dying by thousands of thirst and hunger.
Similarly, on the year 2011, despite the great vigilance and reactivity of the associations (FOH, DART,..) acting in the park, the combination of a late coming rainy season - by about 10 days - and harsh heat wave during the late dry season, resulted in a severe losses in the wildlife, with 70 elephants carcasses found along roads, implying many more in the back country, and unnumbered deaths of impalas and other antelope species (see l'Echo des Mares). This shows how critical the climate balance can be in the park.

Le Pic Vert is in partnership with Bhejane Trust (BT), Zimbabwean association approved by the Hwange National Park authorities, acting for the conservation of black rhinoceros and more generally of biodiversity in the park. BT is in charge of the monitoring of the black rhinos population in the IPZ (Intensive Protection Zone) located around the Sinamatella camp in the Northern part of the park.

The list of pans to be equipped was elaborated between the partnership associations and the national park authorities. The targeted pans are all located in the Sinamatella sector in the northern part of the park or in the adjacent sectors (Robins, Mtoa).

With Le Pic Vert, you can contribute to the project by adopting or co-adopting one of those pans

with a donation that will help covering the cost of the solar pump for a given pan.

By adopting a pan you will adopt all the animals that live in the area, allowing them to drink every day, even during the dry season. This water will be their only guarantee of survival in the second half of the dry season when all natural surface water has disappeared while the tropical heat is at its peak for several more months, all too often deadly. Elephants, of course, but rhinos and wild dogs so severely threatened, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, wildebeests, and antelopes (impala, kudu, roan,...), and lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and warthogs and monkeys (baboon and patas), and small animals (civets, genets, mongooses, porcupines, squirrels, etc ..., and the world of micro-mammals), a significant fraction of the 107 species of mammals living in the park, not to mention the non-migratory species of birds among the 433 in the park. All relentlessly threatened by the increasing aridity of the dry seasons at these latitudes. Adopt a water-hole in Zimbabwe ! Your money will never have been as efficient for biodiversity preservation.


mare Baobab This pan is located about 15 km east from the Sinamatella camp. It was equipped on 2013.
Technical features of the pumping site:
- Borehole depth : 60 meters
- Daily flow : 20 m3


abreuvoir Inyantue

mare Inyantue
This pan had been abandoned for years. It is more a small vlei than a pan strictly speaking. It is located about 50 km east-south-east from Sinamatella camp. This water-hole is particularly precious for small animals since elephants are saturating Inyantue dam a few kms away, keeping other animals away from water. It was equipped in 2015 (see below).


 bomas This site is close to the Sinamatella camp, by about 2 km by road. It would allow fixing the animals populations in the sector ofter the drying out of the river close by at the beginning of the dry season.
Features of the pumping station:
- borehole depth : 80 meters
- pomping depth : 50-60m (upper aquifer level : -5 m)
- flow/day: 20 m3

4 - The other PANS

mare These pans are all interesting for various reasons. They are ranked second priority for some of there features like location, remoteness, difficulty to be monitored, proximity of other sources of water, etc....
- Bumbumutsa
- Deteema (Robins administrative sector). This will be pump #5 (see below).
- Gurangwenya
- Mopane
- Tshompani. This is now pump #4, installed on 2014 (see below).
Latest phase II steps:
- Installation of a solar pump on the Baobab pan (april 2013)
- Installation of a solar pump on the Tshompani pan (september 2014)
- Installation of a solar pump on the Inyantue pan (march 2015)
- Installation of a hybrid solar+diesel pump on the Deteema pan (scheduled for 2016)

Join us !


You can contribute to this effort of international solidarity and biodiversity preservation by becoming with Le Pic Vert a sponsor of one pan of the park with joining the funding of a solar pump:
- With 1US$ you offer a drink (100-200 l) to 50 elephants
- With 20 US$, not only you give a chance to 1000 elephants for drinking, but also a few herds of impalas and kudus, and a few lions, and may be a black rhino and a pack of wild dogs as well.
Are you still hesitating ?

If you pay income taxes in France, you will be entitled to deduct 2/3 of your donation from your tax, and it will cost you finally only 1/3 of the donated money.

The simplest way to donate is to use your credit card (Visa or else) and pay via Paypal by clicking here first, next on the "donate" button,
and once on the Paypal page, enter the amount and the email address of our Paypal account:, and that's it !
If you have a bank account in France, you can also be old fashioned and send us a check at the address :

Association Le Pic Vert, 24 Place de la mairie, F38140 Réaumont, FRANCE
(please write the reference to "Hwange" on the back of the cheque)

Le Pic Vert is a registered environment protection association under # 2008-00282 to the interior department of the French administration.
The association is a member of the "Réseaux de Veille Ecologique (ReVE), Patrimoine Naturel (RPN) et éducation Nature Environnement (RENE) de la FRAPNA Isère, association éducative complémentaire de l'Enseignement publique, par arrêté #2004-23 du Rectorat de Grenoble du 24 juin 2004.

Any question ?
contact us

The amount collected from supporters since the first call for donations from March 16, 2010, amounts to about 5800€ on Dec 13, 2015. Previously, on-time support was provided from the same budget for a set of basic mechanical tools that were painfully lacking to our partners on the field (2012). Similarly, an emergency support of 500US$ had been provided to Bhejane Trust for the upgrading of the Masuma (diesel) pump, when this pan was dramatically close to total dry out on october 2011.

Download the Phase II proposal


Our partners on the ground:


The Friends of Hwange Trust (FOH)


For the latest news from the Park, read the (original) edition in English of l'Echo des Mares, the field book. You will find in it all the events, incidents, adventures, that occurred since the beginning of the project until summer 2011, the first year of operation of our young (first) pump.

Go to Phase I (2010-2011) of the project

Back to page d'accueil

zèbres girafe Guépard (DaveDell).jpg lion bateleur éléphant

Pans (top of page) and Park animals (above), pictures from the author, mission Planète-Urgence , september 2009, except cheetah (courtesy David Dell).