Adventure Blogs

Sango – Shooting in the Save Valley Conservancy

Under the brazen afternoon sun, that only looses its bite once the lengthening shadows have stretched into a gift of gratefully received shade, I wiped a bead of sweat from my face. “Sho, it’s hot” I offered to the team of waiters and chefs setting up for the ‘bush dinner’. By way of explanation the chef smilingly shrugged ‘this is Region 5. We are used to it”.

Buck and I were in the heart of Region 5, shooting promotional material for Zambezi Hunters to convey the treasure that is Sango and the critical role the Save Valley Conservancy plays in ensuring the survival of wilderness in the province. Region 5, it sounds so grave, so harsh, so low on the list. For the most part, it is. Named last in the index of land quality in Zimbabwe, Region 5 is known for it’s sporadic rainfall, unyielding soils and an alternating history of famine and flood. However, within it is a gem of sustainably utilized land that has seen previously overgrazed pastures transform into spaces teeming with game and covered with indigenous trees.

The Save Valley Conservancy, formed in 1991 is made up of 15 dedicated wildlife properties – that is a 340,000-hectare, internal fence-free conservancy in which wildlife such as both species of African rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, wild dog and pangolin roam freely. The presence of these key species ensures the survival of the whole ecosystem and protects the concept of ‘wilderness’ as we know it. Within the Conservancy is Sango, an award winning, exclusive lodge and wildlife property built upon a model of sustainable utilization through hunting and photographic tourism. We were there to capture the essence of Sango, portray the warmth of Sango’s people and the freedom inherent in the place through the medium of video. Buck shot everything from mountain top sundowners to Belgian Malinois dogs on their anti-poaching exercises. He can’t wait to start editing together the videos!

*NB – faces have been purposely blurred in some images to protect the identity of anti poaching rangers.



Buck was obviously a little hungry. He got in real close to shoot the serving of the snacks!
Tea made over a fire is always best.
The sun rises while Buck gets those golden aerial shots.
Winston of Zambezi Hunters looks on.
Buck has a love/hate relationship with our DJI Ronin. It can get heavy but gives super sweet shots.
Checking for snakes Buck?
Bringing out the big guns.
It was a privilege to watch the anti poaching team training.
I would not want to get on this man’s bad side. Rambo is that you?
On duty.
The kit on parade.
Game face on. Staff highly amused!
Getting creative with the details is key.
It’s a sprint to the finish as the light dies down.
Thanks Sango for the great hospitality!


Written by:

Joanna Craig

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