Category Archives: South Africa

500 White Rhinos Up for Bid at South Africa’s Kruger National Park

White Rhinoceros5

South Africa’s Kruger National Park plans to make 500 white rhinos available for private bidders hoping to protect the animals and their highly-prized horns. The park asked potential investors to “make a written offer to purchase white rhinos in batches of 20 or more”.

Ideally, this measure would remove the animals from the rampant poaching that occurs at the park: over 1000 were poached in South Africa last year alone, more than three times the number in 2010. Rhino horn is used as a traditional medicine and a mark of wealth in growing consumer markets China and Vietnam.

As many as 5,000 of South Africa’s 20,000 rhinos are already owned by private ranchers, marking the expansion of a vast game farming industry that caters to eco-tourism and big-game hunting. Rhinos attract tourists for game viewing and legal trophy hunts, and some ranchers hold out hope that the horn trade will eventually be legalized.

Still, the risks and costs of keeping rhinos safe from poachers, even on private ranchers, may dissuade potential buyers from investing in the rhinos. “You are asking someone to put a large amount of money on the table in a speculative venture,” Pelham Jones, chairman of the Private Rhino Owners Association, told Reuters.

White Rhino5 (1)

This article was first published by The Guardian on 06 Oct 2014.


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Lions Return to Rwanda


african lion king

Seven lions in top breeding condition will be translocated this week from South Africa to Akagera National Park in Rwanda in a ground-breaking conservation initiative.

Lions became extinct in Akagera 15 years ago when the species was poisoned by cattle herders in the years following the 1994 genocide when the park was unmanaged. The lions destined for Akagera include five females donated by &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, and two males that have been donated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife from Tembe Elephant Park.

The Rwanda-bound lions have been selected based on future reproductive potential and their ability to contribute to social cohesion. They are sub-adult females and young adult males from different genetic stock. They will be fitted with satellite collars which will enable the Akagera park management team to monitor their movements and reduce the risk of the lions breaking out into neighboring community areas.


“The return of lions to Akagera is a conservation milestone for the park and the country, says Peter Fearnhead, the CEO of African Parks, the organisation that has planned and is executing the translocation. “Restoring national parks to their former biodiversity state is a key deliverable of the African Parks conservation model and we, in conjunction with our Government partner, the Rwandan Development Board, are delighted to have been able to reintroduce one of the key species to this beautiful national park.”

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board says: “It is a breakthrough in the rehabilitation of the park under the public private partnership between the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks. Their return will encourage the natural balance of the ecosystem and enhance the tourism product to further contribute to Rwanda’s status as an all-in-one safari destination.”

Ambassador Yamina KaritanyiAmbassador Yamina Karitanyi

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