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Conservation education, rhino protection & rehabilitation
Learn about South African rhino and the poaching crisis so you can become a rhino conservation ambassador!
Rhino conservation is one of the most urgent conservation challenges in South Africa. Conservationists around the world are involved in combating rhino poaching and the trade in rhino horn, but each year the number of rhino killed by poachers increases, with little evidence in sight that we are winning the war against poaching.
Based in a large reserve in South Africa you will spend a week working with a population of rhino in their natural habitat and learning about rhino protection in a combination of informal talks and debates and while out on rhino patrol.
Tracking and monitoring rhino: You will join the monitoring patrols of the rangers on a daily basis. This will involve the use of tracking to locate the rhino and obtain sightings. The consistent presence of patrols in the reserve provides an effective deterrent against poachers.
Observing rhino behaviour: You will dedicate a significant amount of time to spending time near the rhino so you can observe their behaviour. During your patrols you will also have the opportunity to observe the many other species in the reserve, including elephant, zebra, giraffe, a wide variety of antelope and – if you are lucky – lion, leopard and hyena.
Topics for talks and discussions:
The factors behind the escalation of rhino poaching
Current methods and challenges in anti-poaching
Legalising trade in rhino horn – a realistic option?
South Africa’s Kruger National Park is renowned for wildlife viewing. It is, however, also the area most targeted by poachers. You will set off for a full day guided safari in the Kruger National Park. While you can enjoy game viewing along the way, you will develop an understanding of the challenges involved in protecting rhino and rhino care in this vast park.
Care for Wild Africa has become a leader in the treatment and care of orphaned rhino and works in close conjunction with, and is monitored and accredited by, the National Parks Board of South Africa, who have entrusted the centre with many of the orphans coming out of Kruger National Park. Care for Wild Africa is home to a large number of rhino orphans and houses both black and white rhino. You will participate in the rhino care duties at the centre on a daily basis. This includes preparing formula for those calves that are bottle-fed, taking responsibility for feeding rota, monitoring the older rhinos and assisting with ongoing veterinary care.
Petronel Niewoudt, the centre manager, has over 20 years experience in wildlife rehabilitation and is a specialist in rhino calf nutrition. She will share her expertise in a series of lectures and discussions on the following topics:
Veterinary nursing, diseases and pathology
Socialisation and behaviour of young rhino
The rehabilitation process: Transportation, settling in traumatised rhino, stress management, release prospects and process
The “Focus on Rhino” programme is suitable for anyone who is keenly interested in the topic of rhino conservation. It provides an opportunity to learn about it firsthand and in context, as you will work on site in South Africa. The programme will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of rhino as a species, the driving forces behind the escalation in the rate of rhino poaching as well as the current methods used to prevent poaching and protect rhino.
This programme contributes to active efforts in rhino conservation. The programme fee finances the operational costs of both participating projects and includes sponsorship for necessary veterinary procedures for the rhino at Care for Wild Africa.
8 – 21 August
These dates are the start / end dates in Johannesburg. If you are taking the flights from London, you will depart London one day before and arrive back on the day after the expedition ends.
£2,980 including return flights London-Johannesburg
£2,100 / US$ 2,700 excluding flights
Prices include accommodation, meals, transfers from Johannesburg airport, 24/7 support and financial contributions to the reserve. Prices are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.
We also accept payment in EUR, CAD, AUD and ZAR. Please ask us for a quote, subject to exchange rates at the time.
You are welcome to join the Focus on Rhino programme in combination with another project during your stay. These placements are more complicated as they include travel arrangements between the projects, so please ask us for a quote for your desired project combination.
The “Rhino Rating” is our way of ranking a project in terms of how challenging it is – both physically and in terms of culture shock, comfort levels and skills required. Please refer to the “Rhino Ratings Explained” section for the general criteria for each rhino rating. The paragraph below explains the method behind our madness in choosing the rhino rating for this particular project.
This programme is suitable for anyone with average levels of fitness and physical ability. The rhino tracking is done predominantly by vehicle, but during your time at Care for Wild Africa you will be fully involved in the practical rhino care. This involves walking across steep terrain between the camp and rhino enclosures, carrying and handling large bottles of rhino formula. This work is physical and can be tiring. The programme also includes several travel days.
Unsure of which project to choose or have a question for one of our enthusiastic and knowledgeable team? Fill in your details below and we’ll be happy to contact you. If you would like us to contact you by telephone, then please indicate when is a good time to speak in the box below.