Responsible Travel

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Photo Credit | 3.D.E. Studios

Ker & Downey® Africa > Responsible Travel to Africa > Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Give back to South Africa’s All-Female Anti-Poaching Unit

Home to some of the most endangered wildlife on the planet, Africa’s vulnerable animals face an ongoing battle against illegal trade and poaching.

Anti-poaching units (APU) are on the front line of wildlife protection and hold the shield for threatened wildlife in Africa. They actively patrol National Parks and private concessions, often putting themselves in danger to prevent poachers from reaching the animals. 

Having feet on the ground is a pivotal component in the fight against poaching. However, a larger part of the solution lies in the upliftment and empowerment of local communities. This multipronged approach seeks to educate those who might otherwise fall prey to the lure of poaching, and teaches future generations about the long-term benefits of protecting Africa’s wildlife.

With an ethos of fighting the war on poaching through empowering rural communities and education, we have partnered with the pioneering Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit – a group of fierce females working together with local communities of the Great Kruger to protect South Africa’s wildlife.

About the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit is the first all-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa. Founded in 2013, the unit consists of 36 women who operate, unarmed, in Balule Nature Reserve – a 50,000-hectare private concession in the Greater Kruger National Park.

The Black Mambas use non-violent methods to prevent poaching. Working as the eyes and ears on the ground, the Mambas spend much of their day on foot seeking out signs of poachers on daily monitoring patrols along the park’s borders. The Mambas inspect the fence, remove snares used by ‘bush meat poachers’ and scour the terrain for poaching camps.

Find out more about the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit here

Photo credit | Ilan Godfrey/Getty Images for Lumix

Meet the Black Mambas

About The Bush Babies

Heroines in their community, these fierce females not only play a vital role in wildlife conservation but are actively involved in educating the youth through The Bush Babies Program. 

The environmentally-based program works with over 1300 local children in 10 primary schools to teach the learners about ecology, conservation, and the importance of wildlife. Each school has a dedicated Bush Babies classroom that the Mambas have transformed into engaging learning spaces. 

Not only do the students receive a meal when they attend class, but the Mambas have also planted vegetable gardens at the school to feed many households in the community. 

Find out more about The Bush Babies here.

Photo credit | Julia Gunther

About our partnership

At Ker & Downey® Africa, we strive to create a life-changing safari experience that gives back. We have partnered with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit to further our responsible travel offering and help our clients play an active role in wildlife conservation and empowering local communities in Africa. 

For each trip booked with Ker & Downey® Africa, our clients can choose to donate $100 or more to one of our Legacy Partners. This donation will play an active role in the ongoing operation of the Black Mambas, as well as their community program The Bush Babies. 

Get involved

If you are traveling to South Africa, Ker & Downey® Africa’s LuxVenture® Designers can arrange for you to meet the Mambas and learn more about the work they are doing to prevent poaching in Balule Nature Reserve.

Not traveling but want to get involved? You can donate directly to the Black Mambas or exclusively sponsor one of the Mambas starting from 85USD per year here.

Contact us, we are here every step of the way

We encourage our clients, old and new, to band together with us on this important initiative that will leave a positive, lasting impact on Africa. Start planning your responsible safari today. 


Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit


Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit