From Tragedy to Purpose!

From Tragedy to Purpose!

The senseless and brutal slaughter of Chippy and Isipho, two white rhino breeding bulls, and – just weeks later – the vicious poaching of a third rhino, Geza, tragically brought home the devastating reality of the full-blown poaching epidemic in South Africa for owners Brent and Chantelle Cook. “Even though we had been involved in wildlife and rhino conservation since 2003, it was an absolute shock and a real wake-up call to lose two of our rhino on our reserve and one we had sold on to a neighbouring reserve, all very special to us, and to become part of the horrifying rhino poaching statistics in South Africa,” says Brent. “We could not sit on the side lines. We had to move forward from the tragedy to a new purpose, and we established the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) to protect and preserve the last few rhino in Southern Africa – Saving Rhino One at a Time – and ensuring no other rhino endured senseless suffering like Chippy, Isipho and Geza did.” Every year on the 16 November, at the Rhino Remembrance Memorial at God’s Window on Amakhala Game Reserve, Chippy, Isipho and Geza is celebrated and remembered, along with the 7,000 other rhinos tragically lost to poachers across South Africa since 2010. “We salute Chippy, Isipho and Geza – and all the other rhino lost. They are gone, but never forgotten. In their memory, we recommit to our mission: Saving Rhino One at a Time!” says Brent. Chippy CHIPPY ‘Chippy’ – short for ‘Chipembere’, which means ‘rhinoceros’ in Shona, and also referred to the ‘chip’ in his horn –...
JuMu Donation Funds Rhino Tracking Collars

JuMu Donation Funds Rhino Tracking Collars

A massive thank you from all of us at Chipembere Rhino Foundation to our friends at JuMu Rhino Fund for another incredible donation of R50,784.00! Dedicated to protecting and preserving the diminishing number of rhino in South Africa, Chipembere Rhino Foundation has allocated the funds towards the purchase of 13 rhino tracking collars that were donated to two private rhino reserves in the Eastern Cape so that they may better monitor and protect their rhino. The funds were raised through the sales of beautiful JuMu pewter keyrings, wristbands, doorstops, beaded items and JuMu Christmas decorations, to individuals and schools locally and worldwide, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and the USA. JuMu was established seven years ago by Jules Murray, a young South African who after hearing about the plight of the rhino, decided to do what she could to make a difference. At the age of 11 years old, she decided to skip the traditional birthday party and instead asked her friends to join her in painting Save the Rhino pictures, which were auctioned. The money raised was donated to Chipembere Rhino Foundation. Today, Jules is in Matric at DSG in Makhanda/Grahamstown, and is still raising crucial awareness – and thousands of rands for rhino conservation. She has raised about R400,000.00 to date. “I think rhino conservation will forever be my passion,” says Jules. “I have met amazing conservationists over the last few years, who have inspired me to continue doing what I can to help. I have also been fortunate to have had many incredible, up-close-and-personal experiences with rhinos – it would be impossible for me to...
#WorldRhinoDay #RoastedForACause

#WorldRhinoDay #RoastedForACause

Photo Credit: Chris van Zyl On 22 September, we celebrate World Rhino Day. This year is a special celebration: the first time in five years that fewer than 1000* rhinos were poached in one year. The recorded number of rhino poached in 2018 is still a staggering 769, but there has been a steady decline nationally in the number of rhinos poached in South Africa since 2016. Last year, we also saw the first successful prosecution of the notorious Ndlovu rhino poaching gang in Grahamstown High Court. The overall decline in rhino poaching may be attributed to successful interventions including Anti-Poaching Units (APU) supported by specially-trained K9 units; advanced rhino monitoring and tracking; translocating rhinos to private reserves; and – perhaps most importantly – the collaboration, commitment and dedication of people and businesses raising awareness and funding to protect our last remaining rhino. A pertinent example is Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists, crafters of the ‘Chipembere’ Rhino Coffee Blend, roasted for a cause. Driven to protect our rhino and inspired by the conservation efforts of Chipembere Rhino Foundation, Mastertons donates R5 for every 250 grams of ‘Chipembere’ coffee purchased by retailers and coffee-loving rhino supporters to Chipembere Rhino Foundation, contributing significantly to their rhino conservation efforts. Indulging in a cup of ‘Chipembere’ coffee is just one of the ways you can contribute to this worthwhile cause. The unwavering support from retailers that stock ‘Chipembere’ coffee and coffee-lovers countrywide enjoying Chipembere coffee blend has already contributed significantly to the protection of our rhinos, empowering Anti-Poaching Units through initiatives such as a specially trained anti-poaching K9 team in the Eastern Cape;...
Eastern Cape APU teams trained as Combat Man Trackers

Eastern Cape APU teams trained as Combat Man Trackers

Well-trained and competent field rangers with an advanced skill set that includes the efficient tracking of humans, are an increasingly vital tool for Anti-Poaching Units (APUs) to successfully manage and counter the escalating threat of poaching of rhino and elephant for their horn and ivory. Eight highly skilled APU rangers from three private game reserves recently attended an advanced eight-day SASSETA (Safety & Security Sector Education Training Authority) accredited Combat Man Tracker Training course at Kwandwe Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, thanks to a Chipembere Rhino Foundation funded and Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) coordinated collaboration. The expert facilitation of the training course is also a joint initiative between the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) and Counter Insurgency Tracker Training (CITT). The course was designed to contribute to curbing the current poaching crisis in South Africa by upskilling APU and field rangers to identify signs of human activity and human tracks left by poachers and to identify and react to illegal and criminal activity in their areas of operation. “Within the current legal system, poachers are in many instances not convicted due to technicalities. For this reason, it is imperative that field rangers or game guards conducting counter-poaching operations are qualified, at a national level, in man tracking,” explains Colin Patrick, co-founder of CITT, who is a qualified professional hunter and Senior Tracker; an accredited training provider with the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA); and an approved Sasseta and Cathseta assessor. “The training serves to impart the skills, knowledge and tactics required for trackers to be successful and efficient, thereby maximising their effectiveness in the...
Irish GoHop Supports Local Rhino Conservation

Irish GoHop Supports Local Rhino Conservation

Across the globe, the plight of our precious few remaining rhinos touch the hearts of those who care about saving our heritage for future generations. “The sad truth is that poaching really affects all of us selling safari experiences. At GoHop.ie, we took the decision to donate to conservation from every booking made to South Africa,” says Andre Migliarina, Product Manager at Irish-owned and managed GoHop.ie. GoHop.ie is part of the Atlas Travel Group, which consists of two companies: Atlas Travel Services, the parent company specialising in corporate travel; and The GoHop Group which operates a number of leisure brands. Today, the Atlas Travel Group is one of Ireland’s largest independent travel agencies. “We donate ZAR 750.00 per booking to South Africa to Chipembere Rhino Foundation to contribute to the protection of rhino, as well as another ZAR 750.00 per booking to the Cape Leopard Trust. As such, a total of ZAR 1,500.00 is collected from each booking by our local Ground Handler, Tour D’Afrique, and proceeds are transferred quarterly to the two organisations,” explains Migliarina. “Most of our Safari sales in South Africa are based around the Eastern Cape Game reserves, so most of our clients benefit from the protection of these precious and endangered animals.” Migliarina says that GoHop.ie originally initiated their fundraising efforts with Springbok Atlas and later with Tour D’Afrique. “There is now a much greater awareness of the plight of rhinos in Ireland, thanks to the efforts of Dr William Fowlds, a number of talks on local radio stations as well as a high-profile theft involving black rhino horn from the National Museum of...

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