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Cawston Wildlife Estate
Conservation Area
Game Reserve
60km north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
-19.705141, 28.354095



Cawston Wildlife Estate is a family owned operation 12,666 ha in size which is located north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Purchased as a derelict cattle farm in 1988 with less than 100 wild animals in residence, it took three intense years to convert it to a wildlife-based operation. Approx. 800 animals of a variety of species were introduced. 30 years later, through careful scientific management, a total of around 14,000 animals have been taken off through harvesting, natural deaths (all skulls found in the bush are picked up and recorded) and live game sales. Around 5,500 still live on the property.

Originally surrounded by commercial cattle farms, the migration routes of many species have been disrupted due to resettlement, with Cawston rapidly heading to be a wildlife island. Cawston has been a release site for rehabilitated animals from both Free to Be Wild and the Tikki Haywood Trust.

A small lodge with 5 rooms is located on the property and there are plans to build a second lodge. Along with standard safari game viewing, walks and horse-back safaris are also offered. 

A small corner of the farm is devoted to agriculture to supplement running costs in the tourist off-season.


Conservation & Community Highlights:

  1. Safe haven for 3 relocated domesticated female African elephants (as of Sept 2021)
  2. Annual opportunities for local university wildlife management student internships
  3. Sustainable management of wildlife aided by annual game counts (both waterhole & road strip) have resulted in healthy populations of plains game including sable and giraffe


Future Aims:

  1. Community and wildlife holistic living. Between us and the Hwange National Parks is approx. 100 miles of mixed communal land and forestry land. The wish is to create a long-term project where project facilitators living within the communities continuously educate on communal land use planning and most importantly on livestock farming practices that are beneficial to wildlife migration and existence throughout the area.
  2. Building of a second game lodge to expand tourism offerings and job creation
  3. Research opportunities for Southern Giraffe nutrition and habitat utilisation
  4. Provision of weekly wildlife ecosystem lessons in the local primary schools
  5. Collaring and research of kudu and eland movement patterns in the district


Images provided.