The Caprivi delta is little brother to the larger Okavango delta, yet the Caprivi delta sports the same amazing assemblage of African wildlife without the tourist crowds. In fact, although Mamili & Mudumu National Parks are directly adjacent to famous wildlife hotspots such as the Okavango and Chobe National Park in Botswana, they are rarely visited by foreigners at all and as such form one of the last true wilderness areas left in southern Africa.
In the Mamili & Mudumu National Parks and the surrounding community areas conflict between lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyaenas, wild dogs and people not only endangers the survival of the non-human species, but also threatens the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalised people in the developing world and is arguably the most important factor causing the decline in African carnivore populations. In order to break this cycle there is an urgent need to protect rural livelihoods, reduce their vulnerability, counterbalance losses with benefits and foster community based conservation in areas of human-predator coexistence. By the same token, there is also an urgent need to protect lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyaenas and wild dogs from human persecution. This can only be done by finding strategies of how humans and wildlife can thrive and exist together and in close proximity.
Although HPC is relatively well documented around the world, little progress has been made in recent years to address this escalating conservation concern. Furthermore, one of the fundamental shortfalls of population estimates for African carnivore species is the lack of accurate data for lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyaenas and wild dogs on marginal lands. Biosphere Expeditions will provide vital data on these issues, which can then be used in the formulation of national Conservation Action Plans (CAPs) for these species in Africa.