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Dande Anti-Poaching Unit - DAPU

Current initiative


Elephants in Zimbabwe.

Elephants in Zimbabwe. 

The Dande Anti-Poaching Unit (DAPU) was formed in 2014 to assist National Parks and support community scouts in their anti-poaching activities in northern Zimbabwe. DAPU provides assistance to National Parks in their anti-poaching efforts as well as running their own community-based scout unit. Their community-based approach has reduced elephant poaching in the area.


DAPU logo


Dande North, Dande Safari Area and Dande East cover around 200,000 hectares in Mbire District, northern Zimbabwe. Most of this area is communal land.

The poaching and wildlife trade problem

Species affected African Elephant Loxodonta africana

Products in trade

Ivory for international markets. 

Overview of the problem

Elephants are targeted by poachers for their ivory for international markets. Poaching is sometimes carried out by local people, especially in retaliation for crop-raiding.

The anti-IWT initiative

The Dande Anti-Poaching Unit (DAPU) was formed in 2014 to assist National Parks and community scouts in their anti-poaching activities. They use the CAMPFIRE approach to ensure that revenues are channelled to local communities. Their main activity is to support community scouts with a salary and equipment.

The strategy

Strengthening disincentives for illegal behaviour

Paid in money community scouts
Paid in-kind community scouts
Further detail

DAPU undertakes a number of different activities, including training, paying salaries, and providing rations and equipment for community scouts.

Has the initiative made a difference?

In 2010 forty elephant carcasses were found, but in 2015 this had fallen to just four.

What doesn’t work and why

Challenges include a lack of financial resources, proximity to Mozambique and Zambia, human population increases and lenient wildlife crime sentences.

Organisers, donors and partners

A list of contributors can be found here

For further information contact (