To celebrate World Rhino Day 2017, Alison looks back at her trip this past May/June which was an itinerary woven to focus on important rhino projects. It began when 1 flew deep into the Okavango Delta, continued up to Victoria Falls, through to the Mara Triangle, into Rwanda, and finally to Tanzania to find rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater and in the Serengeti.
What a success story:
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority
A highlight of the trip was to dart a white rhino to make safe with security monitoring for anti-poaching.
- The rhino conservation trip was organized through Safari Pros a team of like-minded safari tour operators
- It costs $50,000 to relocate a rhino and $7,500 to make safe with security monitoring
- Thanks to Wilderness Safaris for our Abu Camp stay!
- Map Ives runs the Rhino Conservation Botswana Project (RCBP) and we joined him for this rhino dart operation – resources dependent on vehicles on the ground, the local vet, helicopter horizons to find them from the air, and staff to pull together the one hour start to finish dart and release
- Maps’ goal is to establish a reservoir of rhino in 3-4 areas, making the world better one rhino at a time. Wilderness Safaris, AndBeyond and Great Plains are 3 of the camp portfolios teaming up with RCBP.
We think World Rhino Day is truly everyday here at AAC. We’re passionate about protecting these amazing wild animals and supporting organizations and safari camps that put their conservation as a top priority.
To celebrate World Rhino Day, Alison looks back at her and Mark’s lifetime of incredible rhino encounters with a very personal message:
My passion for Rhino was ignited in Zimbabwe when I managed Sanyati Lodge in Matusadona in the late 1980s. We would take our raw and ready first time clients for a “Run Rhino Run” walking trail into the mountains behind the gorge. It was common to see 3 or more black rhino on a morning walk! I’m happy to say Zimbabwe still has a nice population of both black and white rhino today.
Recently Conde Nast Traveller named Singita Pamushana as one of the 5 Luxury Lodges that Give Back, citing their stewardship of the Malilangwe Reserve where they work to protect black and white rhino.
Photo by Rance Craft – Zimbabwe
Photo by Rance Craft – Zimbabwe
I remember camping on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, Mark and I were one of the last to do so with Nomad. Soon after, they had to stop these camping trips so there would be no activity in the crater at night (to stop the god-awful poachers hunting for the endangered black rhino). How encouraging that you can now see black rhino in both Ngorongor,o and the Serengeti today.
We were part of those pioneering days when Lewa Downs were fighting the battle for black rhino in Kenya – what a success story that has been.
Photo by William T. Webb – Kenya.
Who can forget seeing black and white rhino in the Sabi Sands game reserve in South Africa? The guides and park rangers fight the battle each day protecting these hugely valuable natural resources.
by Richard McLaughlin – South Africa.
Mark was at Mombo Camp when the first rhino were released on Chiefs Island in 2001 – kudos to the Botswana government and Wilderness Safaris for spearheading the translocation process.
And in Namibia, conservation and community efforts go hand in hand with the increase in numbers of black rhino in Damarland and Palmwag region.
Photo by Jennifer Steck – Namibia.
My message is pure and simple: Together we, the Africa Travel specialists, and you, the savvy safari traveler, do make a difference each time we travel to one of these destinations in conserving and protecting the rhino. Your continued presence is needed in these parks and private concessions!