The time to save Africa’s rhinos is now. We have one spirit animal here at Rhino Africa, and there’s no need to guess what it is. Our very own modern-day unicorn is our proud symbol of everything magical about Africa’s wild spaces and animals. Sadly, our rhinos are also facing a decade-long resurgence in poaching, threatening its very existence. And given that the world’s attention is focused on other (validly significant) issues, the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa has gone largely unnoticed. The reality is that our rhinos need us. They can’t help themselves in this unjustified attack on them. It’s up to us to step in and be the warriors fighting the battle for them.
How Can I Be a Rhino Warrior?
If there’s one thing you should take from this blog, it’s this! Every single person has the potential to change the course of rhino poaching in South Africa. All it requires is action.
Rhino Africa has set the ambitious target of raising $100,000 for rhino conservation under our “Rhinos saving Rhinos” fundraising campaign. Every cent of this will go directly to the grassroots projects fighting the day-to-day battles of saving our rhinos.
All donations can be made directly on our crowdfunding platform below.
All funds raised will go to our Impact Partner, Wildlife ACT, an organisation with an impressively successful rhino conservation history.
No matter how small you think your contribution might be, remember that every unscalable mountain in history was conquered one small step at a time.
So, join us in saving the rhino and become a true Rhino Warrior!
Rhino Africa’s Fundraising Competition
As safari specialists, Rhino Africa is also jumping in and offering three incredible prizes.
For any donations of $100 (or R1,500) or more, you’re automatically entered into the draw. And you stand a chance to win 1 of 3 incredible tour prizes valued at over $30,000 (over R450,000).
With exclusive luxury safari lodges, boutique Cape Town hotels and once-in-a-lifetime rhino conservation experiences up for grabs, now is the time to become a Rhino Warrior. Also, there’s the added bonus of getting to see these rhinos in real life too!
Stand a chance to win one of these exciting prizes:
- 1st Prize: Kruger Safari and KwaZulu-Natal Rhino Dehorning Experience
- 2nd Prize: Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal Rhino Dehorning Experience
- 3rd Prize: 3-Night Luxury Cape Town Holiday
This competition will be running until 31 May 2022. T&Cs apply.
Poaching in South Africa: How Deep is The Crisis?
South Africa has long been praised as the “success story” for rhino conservation in Africa. As such, the vast majority of Africa’s rhino population (an estimated 70%) is found here, both in its national parks and private reserves.
However, over the past decade, South Africa has seen a substantial increase in the scale of rhino poaching, driven mainly in the national parks, with Kruger National Park at the epicentre. And unfortunately, it has also more recently filtered down into the private reserves.
Dark Days: Save Africa’s Rhinos
In December 2021, over 14 days, South Africa experienced possibly the worst rhino poaching period in decades, with 24 rhinos slaughtered.
And last year, for the first time since 2013, South Africa saw a yearly increase in rhinos poached, with 447 killed compared to 394 in 2020.
While this total is still around 60% lower than the record poaching highs of 2014 and 2015, this still equates to more than a rhino killed every single day – and that’s in South Africa alone.
So, Now What?
Over the last decade, almost 10,000 rhinos have been poached. With no time for current populations to stabilise or recover, we’re busy witnessing the heart-breaking gradual decimation of Africa’s rhino population.
The real crisis to highlight here is the cumulative effect of the prolonged, prolific poaching onslaught. And while the 2020 and 2021 poaching numbers are “low”, they come off the back of a much lower total population still alive.
As a percentage of the total rhino population, the current poaching numbers actually represent a far higher poaching crisis than five years ago. This is because a bigger percentage of the population was killed.
While we’re encouraged by fewer actual rhinos being killed, the lower poaching numbers cannot be seen as a success in any way. Until we have a growing rhino population again, the fight to save these incredible creatures needs to be increased and reinforced.
Hope Lies in our Private Reserves
National parks continue to wage an ongoing battle against poaching syndicates. And at the moment, our best efforts in making the biggest impact lie within the private reserves in South Africa.
With a smaller area to protect and manage, they’ve therefore been very successful in protecting their rhino populations over the past decade. In particular, the private reserves bordering the Kruger Park (and yes, sharing an unfenced border) and the KwaZulu-Natal reserves are a shining light in wildlife conservation in Africa.
Highly trained anti-poaching units work tirelessly to secure these wild spaces, protecting all animals, especially the rhino. Wildlife ACT in particular, does incredible work within these private reserves, adding their conservation expertise, dehorning skills and research teams as an asset to securing the protection of our rhinos.
The Knock-on Effects of Covid on Rhino Poaching
We all know the devastating impact the Covid pandemic has had on the tourism industry. And we also cannot ignore the knock-on effect this has on Africa’s wildlife and wild spaces.
Most communities surrounding South Africa’s national parks and private reserves rely heavily on travellers for their daily livelihood. Unfortunately, some had to resort to poaching for their own survival when the industry was decimated.
Rhino Africa has always passionately believed that Africa’s sustainable tourism model is the best way to uplift communities and protect our wildlife and wild places. Even in the darkest periods of Covid, we were doing all we could to make sure that communities were being fed and looked after.
We know that bringing more people to Africa creates more jobs. And this, in turn, supports more people surrounding our wild spaces, thereby actively protecting these wild spaces. Travel in this format drives change, and we’re excited to be welcoming back more and more people to African soil every day.
We Need YOUR Help to Save Our Rhinos
We often feel that the problem is too big to solve. Therefore, we don’t even try. However, our goal is to change the plight of our rhinos, one small step at a time, and we encourage you to join us.
There’s no magic bullet to solve the poaching crisis. It will take a mix of the best tools we’ve got. However, having well-trained and equipped rangers is an important start. So too is securing the best habitat and enabling excellent rhino monitoring to know exactly where the rhinos are and how they’re breeding.
We know how dedicated the Wildlife ACT team are. Therefore, all they need is the resources to continue to change the world – one rhino at a time.
Donate now and become a Rhino Warrior today!