Gone But Never Forgotten – Rhino Remembrance Day, 16 November

Gone But Never Forgotten – Rhino Remembrance Day, 16 November

Every year on 16 November, our Chipembere Rhino Foundation team, and the guides and guests at Amakhala Game Reserve, gather at ‘’God’s Window’’ for a moment of solemn silence around the Rhino Remembrance Memorial. This memorial bears the names of Chippy, Isipho and Geza – to pay tribute and to remind us of these three magnificent Rhinos, as well as the 7,000 other Rhinos lost in South Africa since 2010, and renew our commitment to ensure the survival of this iconic species for generations to come. On the fateful night of 16 November 2010, two White Rhino bulls on Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape were tragically lost to the brutality of poaching, which has now become a full-blown epidemic in South Africa. ‘Chippy’, as he was affectionately known as because of the ‘chip’ in his horn, was a healthy breeding bull. Isipho – meaning ‘gift’ in Xhosa – was only 5 years old and would have taken over from Chippy as the breeding bull of the rhino conservation project on the Reserve. Just a few months later, Geza – meaning ‘the naughty one’ in Xhosa – died from his wounds after poachers barbarically cut off both his horns. After witnessing the senseless slaughter of their two Rhino breeding bulls, Chippy and Isipho, Brent and Chantelle Cook, the owners of HillsNek Safari Camp at Amakhala Game Reserve decided to step up their conservation efforts. Along with their business partners, Paul and Debbie Naudé and Derek Cook, they established the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) as a local registered non-profit and public benefit organisation to protect and preserve the diminishing...
Race4Rhino Raises Another R65K for Orphaned Rhinos

Race4Rhino Raises Another R65K for Orphaned Rhinos

Race4Rhino has again raised a substantial financial contribution for its beneficiaries, including our local Chipembere Rhino Foundation, which has in turn applied the funds to support the Care for Wild initiative to rescue and rehabilitate rhino calves orphaned by poachers. Now it its sixth year, Race4Rhino recently raised another R65,000 in support of rhino conservation, funded by confirmed entries into the 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans 21km and full marathons. Led by Scott Irving, Race4Rhino is a project under the Race4Conservation Foundation banner. It is used as a platform to raise awareness of rhino conservation in South Africa and has already raised R130,000 for Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), which has used 100% of the generous donations received to assist the Care for Wild initiative to care for orphaned rhino calves. “Race4Rhino has donated funds to Care For Wild through CRF previously and we’ve had fantastic feedback from our donors regarding how well the funding is spent,” says Scott Irving, founder of the Race4Rhino initiative, which raises awareness and funds for conservation through sporting events. “We want to thank our 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans runners, who participate for a cause and make a difference by ensuring that we can continue to support the rehabilitation of orphaned rhinos.” The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary is one of only a few specialists in the care of orphaned and injured rhino. “We are delighted to receive the generous Race4Rhino donation on behalf of our rhino babies,” says Petronel Nieuwoudt, Owner and Director of the Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary. “The funds will be used to care for our precious rhino orphans. They...
Global partners deploy new K9 rhino protection unit in EC

Global partners deploy new K9 rhino protection unit in EC

On World Rhino Day this year, the Eastern Cape’s rhinos enjoy enhanced protection from the poaching crisis, with the deployment of Ziggy, a cold scent tracking dog with a unique proficiency for tracking poachers. Ziggy’s deployment is an expansion of a local cold scent tracking dog programme made possible through an international partnership between the Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) and the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), as part of the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative. The project is solely supported by Medivet and the Medivet Save the Rhino campaign. The expansion of this local cold scent tracking dog programme follows the success of Ella, the first cold scent tracker dog funded and deployed by this remarkable international collaboration in 2017. Carefully selected by CRF and fully funded by Medivet, Ella – a beautiful Bloodhound Doberman cross – was introduced last year to assist all local private game reserves, provincial reserves and national parks in the Eastern Cape as part of WFA’s Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative. Ella has successfully tracked and contributed to collecting evidence in the Eastern Cape at most rhino poaching incidents and thwarted potential criminal activity in areas of operation. Her dedication and skill set are revered by reserve owners and managers, as well as crime scene detectives and feared by poachers. This has spurred the deployment of Ziggy to build on this success. A full Bloodhound owned by WFA and funded by Medivet, Ziggy recently joined the existing and respected K9 unit at the Addo Elephant National Park, which includes Bullet, Banshee and Loco, all specially-trained and skilled tracking and apprehension dogs. Ziggy brings his highly-effective...
Chipembere Salutes Rangers this World Ranger Day

Chipembere Salutes Rangers this World Ranger Day

World Ranger Day is marked annually on July 31st to acknowledge and honour the hard work, passion and dedication of our rangers who spend day and night making sure our wildlife are safe and protected. World Ranger Day is also a day to commemorate and pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty fighting to protect iconic and endangered species like the rhino and elephant – animals widely targeted by poachers for the illegal wildlife trade. On the ground, the brave conservation soldiers of the Anti-Poaching Units (APU) face hot days and long, cold nights patrolling thousands of kilometres of bush, up against poaching syndicates that are armed, dangerous, highly-organised and well-equipped. To ensure that APUs are professionally equipped and motivated for their vital role on the frontline, Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) donates proven and tested anti-poaching equipment for APU rangers, including bullet-proof vests, first aid kits, uniforms, boots, torches, hydration backpacks, monitoring, tracking and essential field equipment. CRF also funds effective training courses facilitated by the The Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) including guidance for rangers in correct arrest procedures, the lawful and appropriate use of force and Advanced Marksmen and Tactics for Night Operations training programmes. Established in 2010 to protect and preserve the diminishing number of rhino in Southern Africa, CRF’s key focus is to lend our solid reputation, significant experience and vast network of resources to provide proven tools to improve stringent anti-poaching efforts that will assist Southern Africa’s Rhino custodians in protecting Rhino against poaching on the ground – where it counts! “We rely solely on donor...
The Rhino Ride donates R60,000 to CRF

The Rhino Ride donates R60,000 to CRF

Chantelle Cook (CRF), Andre Barnard (GM: Sales) and Glenn McKeag (CEO) of Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris   CRF is delighted to have received a R60,000 donation from The Rhino Ride, a unique conservation initiative supported by Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris, which will bolster CRF’s ongoing projects to create rhino conservation awareness and fund critical anti-poaching interventions. The official handover took place in Berlin, where Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris attended a trade show. This donation is part of an ongoing contribution to CRF as specific Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris tours are sold. CRF – along with The Next Generation Conservation Trust Namibia – is a selected beneficiary of The Rhino Ride, a conservation initiative supported by Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris, a Cape Town based tour operator. For each guest booked on specific long-distance tours, a donation is made to the rhino conservation beneficiaries, which were chosen based on their credibility and transparent fund application. Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris believe that tourism can and does play a vital role in the conservation of Africa’s spectacular wild places. The Rhino Ride is aimed at creating awareness and sustainable support in the fight against rhino poaching through guided tours. This unique project also offers a platform for diverse partners in tourism and business to get involved and actively contribute towards the greater goal of eradicating rhino poaching. “The Rhino Ride is an initiative called to life by myself and Gavin Green from Swartberg Biking around five years ago,” says Andre Barnard, GM: Sales at Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris. “The idea is to support selected rhino conservation...
Kosta’s 250th summit of Lions Head: Reaching the Lion 500 Halfway Milestone

Kosta’s 250th summit of Lions Head: Reaching the Lion 500 Halfway Milestone

Just before sunrise on 24 May, Kosta Papageorgiou summited Lions Head Mountain in Cape Town for the 250th time since 11 September 2017, reaching the half way mark of an inspiring goal to complete 500 summits by the end of 2018 for the Lion 500 Fund Raising Challenge. Kosta has been climbing Lions Head Mountain daily, and sometimes even two or three times a day -braving extreme heat, rain showers, thick mist and slippery trails – in support of the Lion 500 Fund Raising Challenge. And for his milestone 250th summit, he was surrounded by supporters, friends and some of Cape town’s most experienced hikers, to make a positive difference and to remember fallen fellow hiker, Jennifer Harlow. Another 250 summits lie ahead, begging the question: “What motivates Kosta and his supporters?” “I used to climb the mountain frequently, just for the love of it,” says Kosta, who is a Cape Town tour guide and hosts teambuilding for corporate companies. “However, after I lost a friend to suicide caused by depression, and another very dear friend of mine survived rape, I felt very helpless. Being in nature seemed to ease the pain. I began to feel as if I were avenging my friends by climbing the mountain and reaching the top in their honour. Then I started to think about how I could make a positive difference, bringing hope and inspiration to others who face similar ordeals as my friends did. And that is how the Lion 500 Fund Raising Challenge was born. “I started with two causes, Rape Crisis and South African Depression and Anxiety Organisation, to honour...

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