Celebrating 10 years of conservation with Mahlatini

Two white rhinos eating closely together at Ol Gogi, Kenya.

The last decade has brought tough moments, yet there have been many positive ones, too. One of those is that 10 years ago, we joined forces with Mahlatini Luxury Travel, a company that began because of a passion for Africa, and has sustainable travel at its heart.

Mahlatini’s support is vital in helping us achieve our ambitious vision of seeing all five rhino species thriving in the wild.

Together with Mahlatini, we’ve witnessed some incredible successes since 2013:

  • Mahlatini has raised more than US $20,000 for important rhino conservation activities
  • Black rhinos have increased to approximately 6,198 from around 4,000 individuals
  • Poaching numbers across Africa have dropped by almost 50%

Despite these successes, all rhino species continue to face immense threats. In Africa, the most urgent of these is the poaching crisis. Much of our funding towards partners across the continent focuses on addressing this. Often, we do this by supporting rangers – the brave men and women on the frontline. In recent years, being a ranger was even more difficult, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dealing with the horrors of tackling rhino poaching on a daily basis is something that seems unimaginable for most of us. Yet, throughout the pandemic rangers not only had to continue their often dangerous work (“conservation was not on lockdown”, was the phrase shared by our partner Save the Rhino Trust Namibia), but they also faced insufficient funding as one of their major sources of income, tourism, was wiped out. This affected all elements of rangers’ daily lives, from having enough effective equipment, to worrying about the health and safety of their loved ones. We are proud to have worked alongside Mahlatini and our other partners and donors to provide salaries, uniforms, and food rations for rangers working during this time.

When out on patrol, rangers often cover more than 30km a day looking for rhinos across vast areas. Naturally, the large landscapes that are home to rhinos are also home to other large animals, like lions, and much smaller species, like dung beetles. One of the incredible things about rhino conservation is that it has such a positive impact on these other species, by protecting their homes, too. Having long-term support from partners like Mahlatini helps us to champion projects that safeguard these large landscapes and the species within them, whilst also creating vital wildlife corridors, and building resilience into ecosystems so that they can withstand the increasing impacts of the climate crisis.

With one rhino still poached every 16 hours, we know we have a long way to go to achieve our vision. But, with Mahlatini and other passionate people and organisations like them supporting our efforts, we’re confident that we can, and are, taking significant steps forward for rhinos.

Our huge thanks to Mahlatini for being an incredible partner of ours, and truly working to save the rhino.

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