Guest Speaker Bio for Mark Butcher
Zimbabwe Painted Dog & Safari
January 11 Event
of Imvelo Safari Lodges
About Mark Butcher
Mark Butcher is the Managing Director of Imvelo Safari Lodges in Zimbabwe. "Butch" is a Zimbabwean Professional Guide, a former game ranger and a pioneer of community-based tourism in Zimbabwe. His wildlife career started in 1979, when he became a ranger for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. He completed a BSc in Zoology and Botany at Rhodes University in South Africa, before moving on to work for Zimbabwe’s Forestry Commission.
As Provincial Wildlife Officer, Butch was responsible for all the wildlife that roamed within 1.8-million acres of indigenous forest. Whilst undertaking this enormous task, he quickly discovered how essential the local people’s support was to the wellbeing of the estate. Butch began to develop programs that would both engage the people and benefit the natural ecosystems. In 2014, Butch was awarded the Guardian Newspaper's Ethical Travel Award for his work with the local communities around Hwange National Park. His lifelong passion for Hwange – it’s elephants, wildlife and communities – forms the cornerstone of Imvelo Safari Lodges.
About Imvelo Safari Lodges
Imvelo Safari Lodges operates six lodges in the Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park areas - Gorges Lodge and Zambezi Sands River Camp in the Victoria Falls area; Camelthorn Lodge, Nehimba Lodge, Bomani Tented Lodge and Jozibanini Camp in Hwange. Gorges, Bomani, and Camelthorn are built on the borders of National Parks on land that belongs to local village communities. This leads to a smaller environmental footprint in the park and provides a powerful economic benefit for local communities as well as an incentive to protect wildlife. Zambezi Sands River Camp, Nehimba Lodge and Jozibanini Camp are located in remote areas of Zambezi and Hwange National Parks, establishing a tourism presence to support nearby communities and reduce the threat of poaching.