Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs) are on the increase due to shrinking space that results in increased competition for land, water, and other natural resources between humans and wildlife. Investigating the occurrence of HWCs is important in that the results can be used to formulate better management policies and strategies. In this paper, we describe the nature of HWCs emerging between humans and the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and between humans and the African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius; hippo) on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba is the second largest manmade lake by volume in the world. Conflicts involving humans and these species are readily noticeable and played out around water bodies, which are sources of daily human sustenance and important habitats for aquatic wildlife. We used a mixed-methods approach to gather data on these conflicts, including questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation. The research participants involved national parks officials, fishing camp residents, and HWC victims. Our research confirmed that crocodiles and hippos have negatively affected humans through deaths, injuries, instilling fear, and destruction of sources of livelihood for fishermen such as fishing nets and boats. In retaliation, humans have implemented lethal methods to remove problem animals. The results of this research can inform the conservation community about the severity of the conflicts, which have been exacerbated by current economic hardships, to better inform conservation policies.