GRAA Rhino Conservation Awards 2018

Sam Taylor and Pete Newland high fives a ranger

The Game Rangers’ Association of Africa’s annual Rhino Conservation Awards are always eagerly awaited. It’s one time of the year when the attention is rightly focused on the men and women who risk their lives for rhinos.

Cathy Dean with Elise Serfontein and Chris Serfontein
Save the Rhino International’s Cathy Dean (right) with Elise Serfontein (Stop Rhino Poaching) and Chris Serfontein (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research)

The GRAA offers awards in five categories this year:

  • Best Field Ranger: Winner – Frans Nhlongo
  • Best Conservation Practitioner: Winner – Anti-Poaching Tracking Specialists & the Special Species Protection Unit (Zimbabwe)
  • Best Political, Investigative and Judicial support: Winner – SANParks Environmental Crime Investigators (ECI)
  • Best Rhino Conservation Supporter: Winner – Sam Taylor and Pete Newland (Kenya)
  • Special Award for Endangered Species Conservation: Winner – André Botha

For a full list of the short-list for the 2018 Awards, visit the website:

We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to all those nominated, and of course especially to the winners. There are so many deserving people working in rhino conservation today, who don’t receive the recognition they should.

Winners and runners up of all awards
Rhino Conservation Awards winners and shortlisted runners-up of all awards

We would like to add our own congratulations to two people we know and love, Sam Taylor and Pete Newland, who came first in the category of Best Rhino Conservation Supporter.

Sam and Pete both work in Kenya, providing training courses for rangers in their day job, and also running a voluntary initiative to improve rangers’ lives. Their nomination was focused on their ForRangers’ initiative, a project that is making a real difference to rangers working in countries from Nigeria to Kenya, Uganda to Zambia.

Sam and Pete’s own passion and dedication cannot go unmissed: they began by taking part in the tough Marathon des Sables (250 km in 6 days across the Sahara Desert) and since then have continued to take on many challenges, including Pete completing the ForRangers Ultra with Save the Rhino just a couple of weeks ago.

These feats (and many more!) have raised vital funds that are then sent on to the rangers that need it most. Almost as important as the practical difference that these grants have made to rangers’ working and living conditions, is the profile that Pete and Sam have raised of the dangerous, difficult and vital work that rangers do on a daily basis.

Their efforts have raised c. £200,000 in the past year alone, with resulting grants going towards life insurance for Kenyan and Tanzanian rangers, uniforms in Malawi and Nigeria, solar power in Kenya, hot water and ranger housing improvements in Kenya, and medical supplies.

Pete Newland and Sam Taylor of For RangersPete Newland credit Mikkel Beisner and Sam Taylor, For Rangers

They are continuing with more challenges during the coming next year, planning to climb Mt Everest in May 2019. By taking part in challenges themselves, and by inspiring others to develop their own, Sam and Pete expect the ForRangers initiative to expand and grow, long after they have to hang up their own running shoes!

Save the Rhino International is very proud to support Sam and Pete in a professional and personal capacity. They are great to work alongside; they are driving forces for rhino conservation and ranger welfare. We look forward to continuing our work together to benefit the rangers responsible for protecting Africa’s wildlife and wild places.

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