Akashinga means “The Brave Ones” is an all-female anti-poaching combat unit which operates in the lower Zambezi Valley. The founder of the Akashinga initiative is Damien Mander an Australian, military-trained sniper.


Damien Mander indicates that the formation of the Akashinga was inspired by the Black Mambas, the world’s first female, unarmed anti-poaching unit, who work near South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Having met some of the women on a fundraising trip to New York, where they were giving a talk, he saw the international support and interest they received and thought a similar project in Zimbabwe might be a good way to raise the profile of his own project, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAP. [1]


According to their website [[1]] The vision of Akashinga is to replace trophy hunting as an area management tool for conservation in Africa. This achieves landscape conservation at scale: A balance of ecology, economics, ethics, and politics for the long-term preservation of large wilderness areas.


As a stepping stone towards ending trophy hunting, Akashinga aims to recruit 2000 women, protecting a network spanning 30 million acres of African wilderness and biodiversity by 2030 – Wilderness reclaimed from trophy hunting and run by women.


The strategy for success is to work with the local community, primarily through the empowerment of women who are less susceptible to corruption, work harder, don’t get drunk, exhibit higher rates of honesty and pride and value their roles and opportunity highly. The project is locally driven, retaining maximum available benefits and management responsibility to motivate conservation.

  1. Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life , , Published: 17 December 2017, Retrieved:18 December 2017