About Ambuya

About Ambuya

About the Us - Registered Charity No. 1141004


Ambuya is Shona for 'Grandmother,' the title given to Sally Plummer by the community when she started working in Zimbabwe in 2000. 

The Ambuya Foundation is creating a new balance between the human population and unique African wildlife and wilderness.

We do this through community development (agriculture, education, health) and wildlife & wilderness conservation.

Hunting game and cutting trees was a traditional part of life in the bush when people were in balance with the wildlife and wilderness.

However, the increasing human population, together with the commercial bushmeat trade, has created a ‘zero sum game’.

Wilderness and wildlife are vanishing before our eyes. Soon there will be nothing to kill or chop down.


Ambuya Foundation works with subsistence farming communities that eke a living along the Umfurudzi River opposite the Umfurudzi Safari Area, a National Park.

With about three hundred homesteads in one village and an average of five people per homestead, we estimate that 15,000 people potentially benefit from our work in this corner of Zimbabawe, Southern Africa.

The beautiful woman in the picture above, is now deceased.  She was a victim of AIDS with no access to healthcare.  Our new clinic could have helped her.


We are fortunate to have key members of the community as advisers – Iain Jarvis, Executive Director of Wilderness Africa and Village Head Nzwanai Mwanza. We also work closely with the Heads and School Development Committees of the five schools described below.


We concentrate on projects that will benefit the community at large:

  • Health Clinic
  • Boreholes for a clean water supply
  • Women's cooperatives
  • Secondary education
  • Road building
  • Solar power
  • Computers


So far, Ambuya supports five schools in this remote area, three Primaries and two Secondary for 1500 pupils

None of the schools have electricity or running water.  We have already brought them solar power for lighting, TV, DVD, a computer and a printer each. We have sponsored IT training.


  • Build classrooms, toilets & teachers’ houses, and fence the schools
  • Provide solar power and basic technology
  • Buy classroom furniture
  • Pay bonuses to attract and keep qualified teachers
  • Sponsor unqualified teachers to gain their qualifications
  • Occasionally sponsor individual children to go to secondary school
  • Work with other UK charities to supply goods to the schools
  • Support women’s sewing groups to make uniforms for AIDS orphans


The Ambuya Foundation funds Wilderness Africa Trust, a Zimbabwean charity.

Their HQ is at Hippo Pools Wilderness Camp, located on the bank of the Mazowe River, within the Umfurudzi Safari Area and opposite our flagship projects in GARURA & NYAGANDE COMMUNITY WILDLIFE PARKS


Our flagship projects, creating employment for the villagers, now and in the future. 

Through Wilderness Africa Trust we are creating a unique linked series of game reserves on community land, leased from the villages. Eventually this could be part of a game corridor from Mozambique to Zambia.

It is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can stay within a park or canoe across from Hippo Pools. Game drive & walks get you close to the animals we have introduced - giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, wildebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck. Other animals are spontaneously reappearing - otters, rock hyrax, civets, genets, jack rabbits...


For many years WAT Game Scouts were the only real deterrent to stop people killing game in the Umfurudzi Safari Area, a National Park.

However in 2011 National Parks entered into an agreement with a private company to jointly run the area as Umfurudzi Park. The whole Park is now being restocked - including elephants and cheetahs.  The local leopards are increasing in number too.


Wilderness Africa Trust runs Conservation Camps for schoolchildren to introduce them to their wildlife heritage.

Every year Ambuya funds a camp for twenty top performing children (both academic and sporting) from each of our five schools.

For most it is the first time they have seen their wilderness or had a hot shower, walked on lawn, had two good meals a day and slept on a proper bed.


Hippo Pools is a wonderful place for birders and specialises in scientifically monitoring the activities of raptors (eagles, hawks etc). 

There are over 30 'Specials' - rare birds that can often be commonly seen. Among them are Pel's Fishing Owls, Black Storks, Livingstone's Flycatchers and Crowned Eagles.