Jeffery & McKeith Safaris is a small, owner run safari company based in the northern sector of the extremely vast and diverse Kafue National Park. Here, they have two camps, their base camp, Musekese, which overlooks a permanent lagoon and Ntemwa-Busanga Camp which is their new, seasonal fly camp on the southern edge of the Busanga Plains.
Co-founders Phillip Jeffery and Tyrone McKeith both grew up in Zambia from a very early age. Spending virtually all of their lives in the bush, they both now understandably hold extensive knowledge of Zambia’s flora and fauna. Kafue National Park holds a special place in both their hearts due to its varied landscapes and the diverse wildlife that inhabits it. Growing up in Kafue as a child, Tyrone recalls hearing the sounds of gunshots - a hotspot for illegal activity - which is the key reason why they chose to build and conserve the area they now call ‘Eden’.
On moving into the Musekese region, there appeared to be no viable access routes, no infrastructure whatsoever and virtually no means of wildlife protection. Reality hit in their first year when the pair came across their first lion. A lioness which only had three legs, (most likely due to a snare), and at that moment they knew there was a lot of work to be done.
Gathering people from the local community to help, the team set about making a road into the area in order to get people and supplies in. They would then be able to explore further and really get a sense of the area they were working in.
Together they have now created a buffer zone for the Musekese region. To protect the area’s resources they have put in new tracks; work with the wildlife authorities and help with their anti-poaching patrols; set up camera traps and simply walk around, keeping an eye on what’s happening in their surroundings. The team has introduced a fire protection regime which has proved to be a great achievement already. Once a regular issue, the Musekese region has now been fire free for 5 years.
Jeffrey and McKeith chose to put themselves in an area where there had been no positive impact before and have successfully created a reserve where wildlife is given the chance to thrive.
Tyrone McKeith explains
“It’s very rewarding to see what wildlife wants to do, given the opportunity. Wildlife wants to proliferate and if we allow it to, it will.”
Plans for the future include enhancing resource protection, anti-poaching and fire protection.
“It’s such a privilege to be in an area where you’re seeing the wildlife change and evolve as a result of your presence in a positive way”
- Phillip Jeffery.
Watch Jeffery and McKeith Safaris’ inspirational video here.