The Olifants West Conservation Trust / Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit
Transfrontier Africa founded the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit in 2013 to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Wildlife Reserve in South Africa. The Black Mamba APU is the only anti-poaching unit that consists of primarily women and has expanded to cover all 400 km² of the Balule region.
With an extremely high success rate, the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) continues to expand and have added an additional team called the Maseke Mamba Team to assist in patrolling the Maseke Tribal Lands.
The Black Mamba APU operates on three different planes. Level 1 entails routine procedures including foot-patrols, observation, vehicle checks and roadblocks. Level 2 is comprised of armed guards who protect the borders of Balule and an additional armed unit that is deployed into high-risk areas. Level 3, is a senior management team in charge of operations, deployment strategies and organizing on-the-ground patrol units. Black Mambas are recruited from disadvantaged villages as part of the Extended Public Works Program, a social uplift program working to address unemployment and promote skills development in South Africa. Although SANParks accommodates the rangers, Transfrontier Africa is responsible for all other costs including salaries, uniforms, equipment and transport for supervisors.