Collaboration vs. Competition

To make meaningful, long-term changes to people’s behaviour in terms of their relationships with the predators and crop raiders that share community lands, we need to look at the situation from the people’s perspective FIRST. Human-wildlife conflict is NOT inevitable, but the current approach to kill predators and crop raiders IS inevitable if we neglect the impact they have on people’s safety and livelihoods.

As a community that boarders Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, we live in this special place, next to key wildlife populations. Hwange National Park and many of the protected areas aren’t fenced, leaving wildlife free to wander in to communities. As a result The Soft Foot Alliance Trust is testing innovative ways to support the local community live more harmoniously with our native, wildlife companions.

Our vision for the future is one of abundance for all. By using the principles of permaculture in every aspect of our lives we can ensure that the environment is rehabilitated, and communities and local wildlife thrive. Our motto: Earth Care People Care, Fair Share.



The Soft Foot Alliance logo shows the mammalian species that come into conflict locally:

  1. Honey Badgers
  2. Spotted Hyenas
  3. Baboons
  4. Lions
  5. Elephants and
  6. Humans

Co-existing On The Land We Share

Finding solutions to the challenges of the co-existence is the Soft Foot Alliance’s primary goal and this is why we take a holistic process in all of our projects.

The honey badger is a little spoken about species that conflicts directly with people over their poultry mainly but also those that keep bees. It is nocturnal and sports a set of very long claws that it uses to dig under fences and steal chickens. They can climb well and have a ferocious reputation when cornered

The spotted hyena accounts for as much livestock lost as lions. They tend to live amongst people in the communal lands rather than ‘raid’ and return to the protected areas like lions. They don’t tend to be dangerous to people in this area and as such people seem to accept their losses albeit bitterly

Baboons are by far the most challenging species in terms of conflict with subsistence farmers because they are smart, have amazing eyesight and can quickly learn your techniques. Baboon will raid crop fields and eat all your food whilst deploying decoys and other advanced strategies when dealing with people.

Lions tend to spend the day in the protected area and “come out” at night to kill livestock in poor stockades. Often, livestock are grazed in the protected areas during the day and lions have learnt that the sound of cow-bells means dinner. Adequate herding of livestock during the day and strong stockades at night can reduce the losses to lion by huge percentages

Elephant are the most widely spoken about source of conflict because they are very large, sometimes dangerous and can do a lot of damage to a field in a single night. They are very intelligent, but much success can be made with adaptive mitigation methods including chilli bombs and fences and bee-hive fences.

We are all companions and we, as humans, must be innovative in finding ways to not only survive, but thrive together.

Recent Awards

The Soft Foot Alliance Trust is delighted that Brent’s work on behalf of lions has been recognised; in 2016 he received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award. Similarly, it is very encouraging for a new organisation to receive such fantastic support, in 2017 the organisation was excited to receive a Lush Spring Prize.