Conservation Lake Tanganyika, Nsumbu National Park (also called Sumbu) lies on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika near its southern extremity, in Zambia's Northern Province. It covers about 494,211 square miles and 50 miles of lakeshore including four bays (Kasaba, Kala, Nkamba and Sumbu), and Nundo Head Peninsula. Lake Tanganyika is one of the most astounding natural habitats on earth. Its great productivity and biodiversity support millions of people in the Tanganyika basin.
Nsumbu National park is the second largest freshwater body in the world. It is one of only two sanctuaries that actually extend into the lake, protecting the famous Tanganyika cichlids of which over 95 percent is endemic to the lake. Next to that, this national park in far northern Zambia actually has a vegetation type named after it: Itigi-Nsumbu thicket. Unfortunately like so many other natural resources the pressures from population growth, poverty and greed has caused a steady decline of the fish life in the lake and the wildlife around it over the last decades.
Craig Zytkow, CEO of Conservation Lake Tanganyika made it his life’s work to protect the remaining 32 elephants in Lake Kasaba, all that are left from the region’s past abundance. Over the years, poaching to support Asia’s demand for ivory reduced the elephant herd to only 32 elephants. Conservation Lake Tanganyika is determined to help this tiny herd grow, and they are slowly building up a program of anti-poaching patrols, education, and working with local villagers to protect the remaining elephants. Craig built this nonprofit, bringing knowledgeable, experienced people on his board to help him restore this part of Zambia.
The programs you help support in Africa are replicable. Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, the South Luangwa Conservation Society, and the Zambian Carnivore Programme are examples of successful models people like Craig Zytkow can use to help rebuild the elephant herd in Lake Kasaba. This makes our work more effective because there are other regions where proven programs will help save endangered wildlife.
Written By: Pat Cole