During our stay in South Africa, we were able to learn about the looming threat of rhino extinction. We visited two private reserves and saw that they have to be guarded 24 hours a day and they even cut off their horns to protect them from being killed.
It is a real fight between protection teams, who are often under-resourced and paid modestly, and poachers with their high-tech equipment to track down and kill these beautiful animals.
This has impacted us a lot and has prompted us to help.
Throughout the Rolling Mountains we want to support the cause to protect and hopefully save rhinos.
During our stay in the Drakensberg mountain range, we ascended to the summit of Rhino Peak, a 1300m ascent in 10km through a beautiful valley. He gave us plenty of time (1h33 and 1h46) to reflect on the issue and make an action plan!
With our initiative we hope to raise awareness so that people can take action and do their bit to help too.
We hope that through education and funding to associations or reserves that invest 100% of the funds in conservation projects (!!!), the rhino can be saved from extinction.
Hopefully our children and future generations will have the opportunity to continue enjoying and appreciating the rhino in the wild.
If you also support this cause, don't hesitate and make a donation here:
You want to know more?
The rhinoceros has a long history spanning the last 55 million years. Today its population is 28,000 worldwide.
Although in ancient times their ancestors were part of a larger group, distributed in America, Eurasia and Africa, today only five species remain.
Africa is home to two species, the white and the black rhino. They exist mainly in southern African countries, among which is South Africa. The other three species live in South Asia.
Naturally, the rhino has a relatively low population density and a slow reproductive rate. However, due to being hunted for sport and for their black market valued horns, both species struggle to survive and face extinction unless current trends are changed.
The southern subspecies of the white rhino was thought to be extinct until a small population of less than 50 was discovered in 1895, leading to the proclamation of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, the oldest nature reserve in Africa.
In 1933, only about 110 individuals of the black rhino were left.
Thanks to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, both the black and white rhinoceros were able to recover, and in the 1950s, the species recovered.
Unfortunately, the demand for rhino horns exploded and poaching became a major threat to their existence. From the recovery that reached 70,000 black rhinos in 1970, to near extinction in 1992. 96% were illegally killed, leaving only 2,300.
Even less fortunate was the northern white rhino. Of the 2500 specimens in 1960, now only 2 females remain so it is extinct. Not even the western black woman who was officially declared extinct in 2010.
Conservation efforts in South Africa were very effective, having 20,000 southern white rhinoceros by 2008. But with the growing middle class in Asian countries such as China and Vietnam, demand became higher than ever and illegal trade intensified. .
In the last decade alone, South Africa has lost more than 8,320 rhinos to poachers and this annihilation threatens to drive them to extinction.