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HKLM breathes life into Karingani - a visionary new brand in African conservation

Karingani is a piece of iconic Mozambican wilderness. Adjoining the Kruger National Park, this largely untouched reserve represents one of the last authentic wilderness areas on the continent. Leading African strategic branding and communications agency, HKLM, was tasked with conceptualising the Karingani brand so this exceptional new destination could be introduced to the rest of the world.
HKLM breathes life into Karingani - a visionary new brand in African conservation

HKLM created the brand positioning, brand identity and website for Karingani. In keeping with the ancient majesty of the landscape, a long-term approach to sustainable conservation has been implemented at the reserve to preserve and protect the land, its people and its wildlife. HKLM anchored Karingani’s positioning around this idea and the three most important aspects of the brand, namely the people, wildlife and conservation efforts.

The logo was inspired by the instantly recognisable butterfly-shaped leaves of the mopane tree, one of the most distinctive species in the region. These leaves represent metamorphosis and the emergence of something new and beautiful; fragile yet resilient. Throughout the day, mopane trees open and close their leaves to regulate moisture loss. Similarly, Karingani is committed to preserving precious resources but is also open to new approaches in conservation.

Mopane trees are vitally important to the local community and ecosystem. The Shangaan communities that neighbour Karingani rely on the trees’ hard, termite-resistant timber to build their houses and for charcoal for their fires. The brightly coloured mopane worms – caterpillars of the emperor moth – that feed on the leaves are an important source of protein. Traditional healers also use mopane leaves to dress wounds, and these trees provide welcome shade in which storytellers can gather their audiences.

HKLM director Gary Harwood says the agency’s decision to use tree symbolism is indicative of a holistic conservation philosophy.

“Many conservation bodies choose animals or birds as symbols, but we felt the mopane perfectly summed up Karingani’s potential to shelter, nourish and heal wildlife and people. It is a short step from the shape of the mopane leaf to the mathematical sign for infinity, a symbol which in this case represents the importance of sustainable conservation practices. It also speaks to Karingani’s long-term investor- and donor-funded business strategy, and its focus on the interconnectedness of people, wildlife and conservation. The infinity symbol is reminiscent of the circle of life, and that Karingani is bigger than any of us and will endure,” Harwood explains.

As part of the visual language, a range of patterned fabrics were created based on the kanga cloths worn by the woman from neighbouring villages. Motifs in these patterns are educational and reflect the reserve’s solid focus on conservation.

Bound in the north by the Olifants River and Massingir Dam, and in the south by the Nuanetzana River, the 371,000-acre positive-impact Karingani in southwest Mozambique is the largest privately owned tract of land within the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.

15 Apr 2020 16:09