More than three rhinos are illegally slaughtered every day in South Africa. If current poaching levels continue, rhinos will be extinct by 2025.
Towards the end of the last decade demand for rhino horn exploded, which precipitated an unprecedented wave of poaching in South Africa. The current poaching crisis is attributed to the growing demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, mainly Vietnam and China. Vietnam has been identified as the largest consumer of rhino horn. Although rhino horn has absolutely no scientific medical benefits, consumers are using it to treat a wide range of conditions, from cancer to hangovers, and due to its high value it is now considered to be a status symbol by wealthy individuals. With the growing middle-class of these countries, the demand has never been higher. The high price fetched for the horn (more than gold or cocaine) has attracted the involvement of ruthless criminal syndicates who use high-tech equipment to track down and kill the rhinos.
Our team at Royal Malewane is passionate about conservation and, in particular, ensuring that our children and grandchildren witness these remarkable creatures in the wild.
Royal Malewane’s Involvement
Royal Malewane is a founder member of the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (“GKEPF”) which is a unique anti-poaching initiative. The founders include, The Kruger National Park (“KNP”), Peace Parks, World Wildlife Fund and the Association of Private Nature Reserves (“APNR”). Royal Malewane is located within the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve which forms part of the APNR.
GKEPF ‘s objective is to protect all wildlife in the central Kruger, the APNR reserves to the west and the private game reserves to the east of central Kruger in Mozambique. The GKEPF adopts a holistic approach to a problem that cannot be solved by individual reserves or lodges acting independently.
The GKEPF’s initial mandate is to protect wildlife in its natural state in its natural environment. In addition, the GKEPF will play an active role in combatting the illegal international trade in wildlife. While good work is already being done in this regard by the South African Police, Interpol and the FBI, GKEPF will ensure greater resources are allocated to this effort.
In addition, Thornybush Private Nature Reserve has its own anti-poaching initiative which is run by Protrack on the ground. A special anti-poaching headquarters has been set up on the reserve and all activities are monitored by a control room at those headquarters.
Royal Malewane has also been proactive in upgrading the access gates into the GKEPF area and sponsored the building of the Avoca Gate.
None of these initiatives would be possible without the valuable patronage of our guests, many of whom generously contribute additional funds after coming face to face with these majestic creatures at Royal Malewane.