At Savanna Wood we source our primary raw materials from the extensive Zambezi Teak forests of Matabeleland North in Zimbabwe.
There are approximately 2.8 million hectares of teak forest in the province, which have been controlled by the Forestry Commission since 1908. The preservation of these forests is dependent on the sustainable utilisation of the resource. Harvesting is strictly controlled on a rotational basis. The forest is carefully mapped and audited annually and divided into 'coups' for harvesting purposes. Only trees over a minimum size are carefully felled to avoid damage to surrounding trees, and a minimum of 3 large trees, and numerous smaller trees, remain per hectare.
The beauty of Zambezi teak is that when felled it 'copses' and a host of saplings spring up from the extensive root system to replace the felled tree, making re-planting irrelevant (instead the saplings are thinned out to leave two strong trunks to grow after a few years). Each coup is re-visited every 30 years. This method of harvesting guarantees the constant renewal of the forest and maintains a highly effective growing population of vigorous trees.
There is a second necessary condition to the long term preservation of the forests. Local communities must benefit from the resource. Royalties are paid to rural community funds for all timber harvested. In addition, the harvesting and manufacturing process provides a large number of jobs for local communities.
At Savanna Wood we take this a step further and manufacture high quality furniture which we donate to schools, clinics and other needy local community groups. These events are always highly appreciated and make a real difference especially in the schools where children had absolutely no desks prior to Savanna Wood donating them. With the continued support of our wonderful customers we will keep up this good work to make a real difference in rural Africa.