“One step at a time is all it takes to get you there.”

~ EMILY DICKINSON ~

1990
The Beginning of The Story
Black and White Butterfly on branch

Coming from his successful almost 40 year old Londolozi where he had already invested decades of hard work, money and belief nurturing the reserve and building a leading eco-tourism destination, Dave Varty’s first visit to the farms that were to become Phinda conjured up for him, the word “hellhole”. A…
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1991
Phinda Is Born
Bateleur flying - Phinda is born

Phinda, meaning “return” in isiZulu was brought in to its first phase of reality in 1991 as it pioneered the groundbreaking model: Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife and Care of The People. Dave Varty wrote in his book “Full Circle” of the enormity of this undertaking. The…
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1992
Care Of The People
Care of the people - kids at school

The core values of AndBeyond (or CCAfrica as it was named then) Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife and Care of the People have been the DNA of the company from day one. The Care of the People ethos has always been a heartbeat strong in the company’s…
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The Getty Family Commit
Zuka Private Game Reserve Landscape

Dave recounts his pitch to the family in his book Full Circle: “Yes, we are aware that Nelson Mandela is calling for sanctions. And yes, we have bought derelict farms in the middle of northern KwaZulu Natal where the Zulu leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi is trying to go to war with…
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1999
Robin James
Robin James - Zuka Private Game Reserve

1999 was a significant moment in the timeline of Africa Foundation. Rob James negotiated the first important endowment for Africa Foundation. Rob undertook Africa Foundation from inception, as a steady, committed supporter, donor and Chairman of the UK Board of Trustees of Africa Foundation until he died all too soon…
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2001
The Purchase of Zuka
Paula Louw at the entrance to Zuka Private Game Reserve in 2001

In April of 2001 Tara and I flew from London to Seattle to present Zuka to the Family Trust. Prior to landing on the other side of the world, we had dedicated four months to this proposal. Now, standing outside the board rooms doors in a suite of offices in…
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2002
Munywana Leopard Project
Leopard lazing in a tree at Zuka Private Game Reserve

The leopard is a species that was never reintroduced into the Munywana Conservancy. It was widespread across Zululand and like the spotted Hyena, managed to survive the onslaught of habitat loss, decimation of food source and indiscriminate hunting, both legal and illicit for trophies and their skins. Leopard were shot…
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2004
Zuka joins the Munywana Conservancy
Hand shake when Zuka joined the Mun-Ya-Wana Conservancy

In April 2004 the fences separating Zuka Private Game Reserve and Phinda Private Game Reserve started to come down, adding an additional 3,300 hectares of land to the Munywana Conservancy. Zuka Private Game Reserve is constantly motivated by a desire to expand green frontiers and see new uninterrupted horizons with…
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Black Rhino Reintroduction
Black Rhino

Another triumph in 2004 was the introduction of Black Rhino in to the newly formed Munywana​ Conservancy. The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) was created in 2003 to protect this endangered species which had neared extinction in the 1990s. The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project is a partnership between the…
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2007
Conservation and Community Partnerships
Conservation and Community partnerships - moving of Rhino

From the start in 1990 our core values, Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife and Care of the People resonated in everything that was undertaken within the Munyawana Conservancy. 2007 was no exception and saw the restitution of over 9000 hectares of land within the conservancy returned to…
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2008
Purchasing Sutton
Lioness with cubs at Zuka Private Game Reserve

Zuka Private Game Reserve shared its southern and western boundaries with a property called Sutton, an area of 2,099 hectares. The Sutton property was finally incorporated into Zuka Private Game Reserve in 2008, extending our footprint to excess of 5,500 hectares. Consequently this meant the Mun-Ya-Wana Conservency could count over…
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2010
Purchasing Nkonka
Lions drinking at Nkonka - Zuka Private Game Reserve

In the early 1970’s a 610 hectare portion of the original Zuka property called Nkonka was subdivided out and sold. Nkonka lies on our western border and in 2010, we bought the property, removed the fences and incorporated it back in to Zuka Private Game Reserve. This pretty area sitting…
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2012
Khulani Special School, Mduku
Children outside of Khulani Special School, Maduku

The life of Khulani Special School, in the Mduku community began in 1998; a daily gathering of special needs children, with mild to extreme physical and cognitive difficulties watched over by two mothers, Elsie Nsukwini and Crazentia Ngobesie, giving the greatest care they could offer, under a tree. Khulani Special…
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2013
Rhinos Without Borders
Rhino calf at Zuka Private Game Reserve

With Rhino poaching at an all time high in South Africa, andBeyond, together with Great Plains Conservation launched their collaborative initiative of translocating 100 rhino from these areas of heightened risk of poaching to safer havens in Botswana. Creating multiple populations in different geographic regions makes it harder for poaching…
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2015
Rhino Translocation
Rhino Translocation via helicopter

In February 2015, soon after launching the programme, 10 more rhino were successfully translocated from Zuka Private Game Reserve and Phinda Private Game Reserve to Botswana as part of the Rhinos Without Borders initiative. An intense, yet slick operation was carried out in less than 48 hours by the team…
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Rhino Dehorning
Rhino capture for dehorning

The increased pressure on rhino population in both private and state-owned conservation areas within South Africa catalysed the Munywana Conservancy management team to draw up a renewed security plan in 2015 with pre-emptive measures to reduce the risk faced by both the critically endangered black and threatened white rhino within…
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2017
Africa Foundation 25 Years
Distinguished guests and Nkosi Gumede at Zuka House to celebrate this 25 year landmark of Africa Foundation

Africa Foundation celebrated its 25th year in May, 2017. Members of the community, andBeyond employees, members of the Africa Foundation team, Africa Foundation Trustees, finalists of the inaugural Africa Foundation Robin James Award with distinguished guests and Nkosi Gumede all gathered at Zuka House to celebrate this 25 year landmark…
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2018
Bayala
Lion at Zuka Private Game Reserve - Bayala

The Bayala property purchase and removal of the fences expanded Zuka Private Game Reserve on the western side of the Lebombo Mountains. With traverse over the 10 300 hectares of Zuka Private Game Reserve, came the opportunity to resurrect the two existing Bayala lodges situated within the western sector of…
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Sungulwane and Fever Tree
Cheetah at Zuka Private Game Reserve

Purchasing Bayala presented another opportunity in land assembly and partnership with two existing private, family owned game reserves bordering Bayala: Sungulwane and Fever Tree. The owners of these two properties, share our conservation and expansion vision, and together with their willingness to join Zuka Private Game Reserve, wonderful relationships have…
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Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and wife Nomalizo Leah Tutu at Zuka Private Game Reserve

Our beloved, indefatigable Arch and Mrs Tutu accepted our invitation to come and stay at Zuka. It was a joy for us to take care of them as a token of deep appreciation for the incredible people they are and of course, being our Patrons of Africa Foundation since 2004.…
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2019
Musa Msweli
Musa Msweli House Manager at Zuka House and Gladstones

As a young boy growing up without parents in Mnqobokazi, a rural community adjacent to Zuka Private Game Reserve, life was not easy or straightforward for Musa Msweli, however, matriculating in 2002, Musa’s character, intelligences and determination created opportunities which took him on a path he loves and relishes to…
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Pangolin Reintroduction
Pangolin at Zuka Private Game Reserve

Pangolins are the most heavily trafficked wild mammals in the world (Chandler et al., 2014) with the demand for live pangolins, their meat and scales, leading to a global decline in their populations. The declining numbers in the Asian populations has seen increased pressure in the African populations and the…
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2020
Tembe Elephant Introduction
Elephant lifted by crane and introduced to Zuka Private Game Reserve

It is estimated Tembe Elephant Park, situated in northern Zululand, is home to the largest concentration of Big Tuskers anywhere in Africa. Although these giants once roamed freely across the Pongola River between South Africa and Mozambique, in 1989, as a result of frequent poaching incidences in Mozambique, a fence…
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2020
2020 Pandemic Response, packages

Food insecurity is a reality for many South African households with approximately 50% of households living below the poverty line and unable to afford food for basic healthy eating. The spread of the global Covid 19 pandemic to South Africa continues to cause added pressure on vulnerable households as they…
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2021
2001-2021 Zuka Private Game Reserve Celebrates 20 Years!
Zuka Private Game Reserve Landscape

Nature. Thriving and beauteous in her perfection, she needs nothing from us. We are called to be with her and to watch, witness, observe and learn. Nature is our axis that inspires an instinct to revolve around her and respond. Zuka is our response. Under our auspices since 2001, Zuka…
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