Community & Conservation

Giving Back

At Royal Zambezi Lodge we believe in responsible tourism and supporting the environment around us through community and conservation, giving high priority to the well-being of our local communities and preserving the local ecosystem.

  • Conservation – at the Lodge we are committed to guiding responsibly, conserving and caring for the local wildlife and natural resources. We are Platinum supporters of Conservation Lower Zambezi, who we are privileged to call neighbours.
  • Community – we work with the local community in the Chiawa Game Management area of the Lower Zambezi to ensure a good standard of living by providing economic and educational support and empowerment.
Community - Maternity Ward
Community - Maternity Ward
At Royal Zambezi Lodge, part of our pledge to community and conservation, is that we are committed to ensuring that the people living in the Chiawa Game Management Area of the Lower Zambezi enjoy a good standard of living. We do this by providing financial and advisory support to the local schools and offering employment in the local area. Other features of our involvement with the community and conservation are as follows:
  • More than 80% of our staff are recruited locally – creating opportunity in the area.
  • We provide training for all our staff so that they can develop within our company or learn a skill when they join us — expertise range from mechanics to storemen, carpenters to cooks, to guides and the front-line staff.
  • Through the support of Conservation Lower Zambezi, we have helped communities learn about sustainable living and farming practices and also helped locals learn new trades such as jewellery making.
  • The Royal Zambezi Lodge shop supports local artisans by sourcing product locally.
  • We regularly donate nights at the Lodge as prizes to raise funds for charities which support the local ecosystem. Each year we give a minimum of 22 nights at the lodge to assist these charities in raising much-needed funds.
  • We have provided and installed water pumps in the villages for the community so that they now have clean drinking water.
  • Fixed and drilled seven boreholes in many communities along the river.
Many of our guests visit the Chiawa village, and some examples of the work we have facilitated at Chiawa with the guests’ help are below:
  • With support from the University of Washington Alumni, we have been able to install a solar-powered fridge in the small clinic in Chiawa to store perishable drugs.
  • Some Australian guests provided financial assistance to provide tables, chairs and other building materials to the primary school to enable the children to learn in a comfortable environment.
  • By harnessing the expertise of one of our guests and the right drugs we have been able to cure most cases of ringworm and the villagers learnt how to administer the medication themselves under the guidance of a professional.
  • Australian guests, in collaboration with Royal Zambezi Lodge and Conservation Lower Zambezi, are funding a project to provide Edu-pads/i-school tablets to the local school. Through the coordination of CLZ, the tablets will be pre-loaded with their conservation curriculum to aid in educating the local community.
  • In conjunction with the German Embassy, a borehole was drilled at the maternity ward to provide clean drinking water.

Kartagener Associates Inc. Foundation

In 2015, the KAI Foundation partnered with Royal Zambezi Lodge, to fundraise and build a maternity ward for the community. The project, having been pioneered by Henry Kartagener and the Royal team, is proudly named “The Claire Kartagener Maternity Ward” after Henry’s wife in honour of it being their first project. It officially opened with Henry from KAI and Natalie from Royal, being present to cut the ribbon. Two days later the first baby was born in the new maternity ward, aptly named Claire. The ongoing running and maintenance of the maternity ward have been kept afloat by various generous donations from guests who have stayed with us at Royal. Without them, we would not be able to sustain the tireless efforts it takes to run a project of this magnitude. Going forward, Royal Zambezi Lodge and the KAI Foundation have partnered once again to sponsor, fundraise and initiate a plan to build doctors accommodation for the maternity ward. Once fulfilled, this project will assist the Ministry of Health in placing a clinical office/senior medic at the facility that services around 4000 people from the surrounding villages. 

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of this initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.

Please click here to see what supplies are in demand for our project

Community - borehole
Community -People
Royal Zambezi Lodge - Charter-Aerial

At Royal Zambezi Lodge we believe it is essential to support conservation and actively ensure the preservation of the Lower Zambezi ecosystem. Sustainable use of the local biomass is, of course, something that has always taken place. Our guides are committed to guiding responsibly at all times, ensuring that every wildlife sighting is left as we find it, our footprint as light as possible, and we operate a catch and release policy on the river to ensure the sustainability of our fish population.


Current global problems occurring range from human/wildlife conflict, human encroachment into wildlife areas, deforestation, climate change, plastic pollution, poaching, wildlife trafficking and much more. To actively provide solutions to counter these issues requires endless resources from human to financial support and education. We are proud to partner and support conservation organisations working in the Lower Zambezi in their tireless efforts in tackling these various issues. Read more about the organisations below and the projects they are coordinating.


Conservation Lower Zambezi

CLZ is a Zambian non-profit organisation that, for over 25 years, has been committed to the conservation and sustainable use of the local wildlife and natural resources of the area. These values are implemeneted via its three core programmes:


Wildlife Protection Programme

CLZ supports the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in their wildlife protection activities by providing support to DNPW scout patrol teams to complete patrols in the Lower Zambezi National Park and surrounding areas. In recent years, CLZ’s approach to law enforcement has become increasingly proactive which is implemented through increased support to DNPW Investigation and Intelligence Units, the establishment of the Lower Zambezi Detection and tracking Dog Unit and the 10-man Rapid Response Unit.


Environmental Education Programme

CLZ aims to raise awareness within the local community about the benefits of protecting the environment by four main activities; outreach, centre visits, teacher training and facilitating Safari guide training. CLZ works with 65 schools and reaches over 3,000 students and 50 teachers each year.


Community Engagement Programme

CLZ supports the local community through human-wildlife-conflict (HWC) mitigation, and advising and supporting income-generating activities to help the community to benefit further both directly and indirectly from the safari industry.


Royal Zambezi Lodge is a proud Platinum suppoter of CLZ and assist their efforts in various ways:

  • A set annual donation in USD to assist with operations.
  • Sponsorship of flight costs for CLZ Management and donors coming in and out of the Lower Zambezi.
  • Donation of land on our airstrip for CLZ to build a hangar for their patrol plane.
  • Logistics assistance in regards to fuel transportation.
  • Lending a hand with supplies that they may be short of.
  • Donation of bed nights for various fundraising events each year – Rubatano Day, Online Auction and more.
  • Funding of operational support for the Lower Zambezi Fisheries Management project.



BioCarbon Partners

Founded in 2012, BCP is a mission-driven forest conservation company who, along with their partners are jointly trying to address deforestation in wildlife-rich areas of Zambia.


Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project

LZRP was pioneered in Zambia through the protection of 40,216 hectares of forest in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem. It is Zambia’s first verified Carbon Standard REDD+ project and in 2015 achieved a unique milestone when the Lower Zambezi National Park became the first in the world to go carbon neutral from operations.


This project has also achieved gold level validation in Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards or its exceptional climate change impacts an community and biodiversity benefits. As a result LZRP is now rated the most impactful REDD+ project in the world.

1) Replacing plastic straws with reusable straws. Now used at the bar AND available in the shop. Straws from

2) Using STASHER – a plastic-free and reusable storage bag for foodstuffs. Cook it – Store it – Freeze it. Visit

3) To replace the plastic water bottles, guests assisting us in our green initiatives, are offered a lovely branded reusable water bottle to use throughout their stay and can take home with them as a keepsake.

In 2020, whilst the world was dealing with various adverse effects due to the pandemic, we are proud to have completed our Solar Project. This project took 6 months to establish and consists of 480 solar panels to provide sufficient energy to operate the lodge 100% off the grid. The area where our solar panels are based is approximately the same size as half a soccer field and if guests would like to have a guided tour of this fantastic project, we would be happy to arrange it. Please speak to one of our managers in camp to organize this back-of-house experience into our green initiatives.