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On a daily basis, our work is changing the livelihoods of communities and wildlife in Southern Africa and beyond. Your support can continue to change the direction of our future.

dimbangombe

Our 3,200-hectare learning site is 32 km south of Victoria Falls. It is home to a large wildlife population, a mixed herd of cattle and goats, and an ever-improving landscape.

watch these videos to learn more

Allan Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, co-founded the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in 1992 to support the dissemination of Holistic Management in Africa through innovative training and outreach programs based on a practical learning site that provides evidence of land, water and wildlife restoration using livestock.  In 2009 they co-founded the U.S.-based Savory Institute with others to expand the work globally.  

ACHM is a Zimbabwean-registered social welfare organisation affiliated with the Savory Institute as the first of an international network of learning centres, or hubs. Based on the 3,200-hectare Dimbangombe Ranch, near Victoria Falls, ACHM has been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of Holistic Management and Holistic Planned Grazing on its own land for over a decade.  From this solid foundation of proven results ACHM began working directly with local communal farmers in 2005 and with NGO’s and government agencies in 2010 following receipt of a multi-million dollar grant from the US Agency for International Development to develop training programs and curriculum, in partnership with the Savory Institute, for Holistic Land & Livestock Management community facilitators. By 2015 ACHM staff had trained over 100 facilitators from throughout Africa and beyond.

In 2010 ACHM won the international Buckminster Fuller Challenge (USA), which awards a $100,000 annual prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has “significant potential to solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems.” And, in 2014 ACHM was recognised as a “leading-edge innovator in food security” on receiving the Humanitarian Water & Food Award (Denmark).

In a million years, I would never have thought that cows could be so beneficial for the wildlife I love.


Dr. M. Sanjayan

Conservation biologist and host of Earth: A New Wild – The Plains  (2015 National Geographic series filmed on Dimbangombe)

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

  1. Holistic Management was developed by Zimbabwean-born ecologist Allan Savory following a lengthy personal search for solutions to the land deterioration occurring in Africa and the wildlife destruction and human impoverishment that always resulted.

  2. In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous farmers and land managers, eventually on four continents, to develop sustainable solutions.  What he had learned as a research biologist  tracking large herds of game was that the healthiest grasslands were those in which large herds of wild grazers remained bunched and moving due to equally high levels of predators that hunted in packs.  Savory later discovered that livestock could be managed to mimic the behaviour of the wild herds using a unique planning process he developed and tested on the farms of his clients as well as his own.

    In essence, Savory combined livestock into large herds to harness the power of their hooves to break up hard ground so that air and water can penetrate, and to trample down old grass so the soil is covered and less prone to the drying effects of sun and wind. Their dung and urine help enrich the hoof-prepared soil. Their grazing (which is timed to prevent overgrazing) keeps perennial grasses healthy and growing over a longer period. This minimizes the need to burn and expose soil. 

WHAT WE DO

We enhance food and water security and human livelihoods through training that utilizes livestock to restore degraded watersheds, wildlife habitat, and croplands to health.  

ABOUT ACHM