DULZURA, CA, April 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- One American family from San Diego, CA has battled a hunting camp in Zambia for 6 years to remain on the land granted to them by Senior Chief Nsefu in the Game Management Area to establish an Ecotourism Camp. Now they are attempting to use crowdfunding to raise funds for much needed equipment for family-owned Zikomo Safari Camp. Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital in small amounts from large groups of people using the Internet and social media. Photographic safaris promote ecotourism and wildlife conservation. Ecotourism protects the wildlife from being killed and gives gainful employment to locals in Zambia's economically deprived Nsefu Chiefdom.
Last January the newly elected President of Zambia, Michael Chilufya Sata, instituted a ban on big cat trophy hunting. President Sata can see the long term value of saving wildlife and how closely this ties into ecotourism dollars in Zambia.
David and Victoria Wallace along with their son Demian are an American family from East San Diego, CA who could not turn their backs on the slaughter of African wildlife. After years of being tourists "going on safari" they decided to be a part of the solution to Africa's plight by starting a photographic safari camp.
"This new ban gives photographic safari camps a chance to show they are able bring in the kind of money that hunting camps have. If they do, the hunting ban could become permanent. This is huge news for camps like ours, the local people and especially for the wildlife" Victoria explains.
After acquiring land for the camp they were made aware of the hunting camp down river from them. Their newly acquired land was the hunter's favorite place to shoot elephants as they came out of the park to drink at the river. When men armed with AK-47s gave the Wallace family an ultimatum of "leave or you will be very sorry", the Wallace family did the opposite of what most people would do; they built the remote safari camp and stayed year round in order to protect the animals.
"How could we do anything else and still live with ourselves?" asked Victoria rhetorically, whose love for animals can be seen by the number of birds, horses, cats and dogs that inhabit the family's ranch in Dulzura, CA.
"Shots were often fired around the camp. A vehicle full of armed men once pulled into the camp and issued a warning to leave, officials were bribed, with so many things going on it is a wonder we all survived!" David reflects.
The Wallace family finally received their Title Deeds on a 99 year lease in late December 2011, but after battling with lawyers, and within the community, employing staff to build the camp and no money coming in, they had gone through their entire life savings.
"Now we are asking for those people that believe in saving African wildlife and who can see eco-tourism camps like ours are the future for wildlife conservation and economic growth in Africa. Please pledge your support through our Crowdfunder Campaign." David implores, "One of our Crowdfunding rewards plants an indigenous tree in the deforested parts of Zambia and we need only 100 people to pledge $100 to plant a tree."
Unlike funds from venture capitalists or angel investors, the money raised through crowdfunding doesn't necessarily buy the lender a share, and there is no guarantee that it will be repaid if the venture is successful. Instead, individuals are asked to make microinvestments or donations to causes and ventures within a framework of providing rewards to supporters. Zikomo Safari's Crowdfunder is offering a 10 day wildlife photography safari, 3 day safari, wildlife posters and even good karma as rewards to contributors.
Marketing /PR Director
Zikomo Safari Camp
Phone: 619 468 9313
About Zikomo Safari Camp
The Wallace family has built the Eco-friendly Zikomo Photographic Safari Camp with 4 private enclosed chalets on this very remote piece of land. Zikomo Safari Camp is located in the South Luangwa Valley in eastern Zambia, directly across the river from the South Luangwa National Park. The camp's location is ideal with the convergence of the Old and New South Luangwa River funneling game to the camp. Zikomo Safari Camp is 1mile due west of Milyoti Gate off the D104. Zikomo Safari has 23 employees and offices in San Diego, CA and Mfuwe, Zambia. Inclusive daily rates range $300-$450 per person. The camp opens May 15th and takes reservations until November 15th as the rainy season in Zambia soon makes the roads to the area impassable.