Conservation Agriculture Project
Conservation agriculture is based on the interrelated principles of minimal mechanical soil disturbance, permanent soil cover with living or dead plant material, and crop diversification through rotation or intercropping. It helps farmers to maintain and boost yields and increase profits, while reversing land degradation, protecting the environment and responding to growing challenges of climate change. Zero tillage is combined with intercropping and crop rotation, which means either growing two or more crops at the same time on the same piece of land, or growing two different crops on the same land in a sequential manner. These are also core principles of sustainable intensification. Shewula Community in The Lubombo conservancy is our pilot project community, we have established two farming training centers and signed up 26 farmers. We have provided GMO free seeds a huge array in our seed bank . We have tried out intercropping of crops with indigenous plants especially the Lubombo Cycad (Encephalartos lebomboensis) which is endangered and only found in the Lubombos. Results so far have been fantastic!
Education is a tool of conservation. Charuma has set up a Wildlife college in the Mlawula Nature Reserve right in the heart of the wilderness. The college has opened doors to aspiring, less privileged youths from The Lebombo communities who can be the future guardians, Safari Guides and Hospitality professional in The Lubombo conservancy. The Safari guide program is the First fully accredited Professional guiding school in Eswatini under FGASA. Students are trained to do Safari walks and drives guests into the game reserves to interpret, in a hands-on inspirational manner, the large and small elements of the wildlife around them. In doing this, a deep appreciation of nature and conservation is instilling nature in guests. In between training guides and chefs are interned in The Little Safari Camp and Shewula Mountain Camp in The Lubombo Conservancy to show case their skills and gain field experience under the supervision of their mentors. The college also runs a school programs with Eswatini National Trust Commission offering primary and secondary schools short environmental education. Mentors and students of the college share their knowledge and take kids out on safari walks and camping experiences in the park.
Shewula Tourism Initiative
We have taken under our wing ,Shewula Mountain Camp and Shewula nature reserve giving support through technical training in marketing , hospitality and guiding. Along with creating inovative tourism products such as Agri tourism which is linked with the Shewula conservation agriculture. Guests can learn volunteer in these projects after their big five safari in The Lubombo and not to mention the culture and traditions of Shewula are a spectacle. Warrior dances and local cuisine. Not to mention the rich bird life on The Shewula plateau. Walks and cycling tours all in one place. With our expertise we strive to increase bed occupancy and create more jobs for the community. We encourage our guests at The Little Safari Camp to spend some nights at Shewula Mountain camp to support the community. The Shewula Mountain Camp is the first community eco-tourism project in The Kingdom of Eswatini.The camp is fully owned and run by the community, meaning that all profits are shared by the community in an effort to continually develop and improve this traditionally impoverished area. The camp is a vital source of income and employment for the community and is a proud achievement for all.