Lochinvar National Park
Lochinvar's northern boundary is the Kafue River. The land on which the park stands was originally obtained from local chief, Hamusonde, in around 1908 by a Mr Horne, a man known locally as 'the Major'. Horne was a Scottish cattle farmer from Botswana who registered the land on behalf of the British South Africa Company, and built the old Lochinvar Lodge as his farmhouse.
Previously little of this land had been used for farming because of the game here, including lion and leopard. To convert the land into a cattle ranch, Horne set about exterminating these. In a ruthless programme of annihilation, populations of sable, roan, eland, warthog and wildebeest were wiped out, as well as lion – the last of which is thought to have been killed in 1947.
However, in 1966 Lochinvar Ranch (as it was then called) was bought by the Zambian government with the help of a grant from the WWF, and converted into a GMA; but the extra protection afforded to the wildlife by this designation was not enough to prevent its numbers from diminishing further, and so in 1972 Lochinvar was upgraded to a National Park.
Subsequently the park has been designated by the WWF as a 'Wetland of International Importance', and a WWF team has been working with the local people on a project to manage the park on a sustainable basis for the benefit of both the people and the wildlife. Details of the project are available within the park.
There are a lot of settlements around Lochinvar, and local people still come into the park – as they have done for centuries. Many were unhappy with Lochinvar Ranch – and have always felt that this is their land. They come to gather wild foods and fish, and even to drive their cattle from one side to the other; so although major conservation efforts are being made in Lochinvar, building up the diversity and number of game species here is not an easy task.