In the first ever private game reserve donation of rhino, luxury experiential travel company andBeyond has earmarked six white rhino to be translocated from their Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Facilitated in partnership with Rhino Force, this conservation coup has been generously funded by lead sponsor, Motorite Insurance Administrators.
“South Africa has already lost over 300 rhino to illegal poaching this year alone and Botswana currently has an excellent security system to protect the species. Translocations are fundamental to secure the ongoing survival of rhino for future generations,” says Les Carlisle, andBeyond Conservation Manager.
As one of southern Africa’s largest independent motor-related insurance administrators, Motorite has come on board as the lead sponsor of this translocation to ensure the ongoing conservation of South Africa and Botswana’s natural heritage.
The Okavango Delta has proven to be a successful rhino relocation habitat and Botswana has a strong security and monitoring framework in place whereby the military helps to protect the species.
“It’s the ideal opportunity for us to move our eggs out of one basket,” explains Carlisle. “The project has the full support of the Botswana Rhino Management Committee and we are thrilled to be driving such a vital initiative for rhino conservation in partnership with Motorite.”
After years of negotiation and planning, the translocation process is now set to begin in February 2013. From October 2012, game scouts from Botswana will travel to andBeyond Phinda to undergo intensive tracking and monitoring training, as they are not familiar with white rhino behavior in the southern part of the Delta. Capture and release bomas (enclosures) will be built in South Africa and Botswana respectively, permits obtained and various conservation initiatives set in place to ensure that the six carefully selected rhino arrive at their destination safely.
In terms of veterinary regulations, the rhino will be quarantined at an isolated facility for the specified period after capture, before being transported to the Okavango Delta via Maun. On arrival, the animals will be held in a specially prepared boma until local vets and land managers are confident that they have recovered from their journey. Telemetry units will also be fitted to the rhino during this time, to monitor their movements post release into the wild.
This project, with the final release of the six rhino scheduled to take place in April 2013, highlights the company’s commitment to its core ethic of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People.
andBeyond is one of the world’s leading experiential adventure travel companies, designing personalised luxury safaris in 16 African countries, as well as India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. The company also owns and operates 33 lodges and camps in Africa and India’s wilderness highspots.