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...
Collaboration Intensifies Rhino Protection in EC with K9 Cyrus

Collaboration Intensifies Rhino Protection in EC with K9 Cyrus

Rhino protection in the Eastern Cape has been intensified with the deployment of Cyrus, a new K9 anti-poaching team member, thanks to a multi-year collaboration among several local organisations with collective passion to protect our wildlife. Cyrus, a specially-trained four-year-old Sable Shepherd, recently joined the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) at the local Kariega Game Reserve, following a three-year project representing a partnership between Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), K9DPS (Bronyx K9 Training College), RAGES (The Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species), Global Conservation Force (GCF) and Kariega Game Reserve. Cyrus is one of five trained CRF K9s that have been deployed to Eastern Cape anti-poaching units and are on active duty. CRF, the local registered non-profit and public benefit organisation in support of rhino protection, is the facilitator of the K9 programme in the Eastern Cape, due to its solid reputation, credibility and significant experience in project managing K9 units on the ground. CRF oversees and project manages the Kariega unit, and provides additional training, expertise and guidance to the handler.   Specifically bred and highly trained by Aidon, Cardel and Anthony Lippstreu from Bronyx K9 Training College, Cyrus was donated to CRF and housed at Sardinia Bay Kennels in Port Elizabeth during his three years of training. When Kariega approached CRF for assistance with establishing K9 operations on the reserve, CRF decided it would be suitable to donate Cyrus to Kariega. “Cyrus is very special to us and has mastered his highly specialised skills with drive and enthusiasm over the last three years,” says Aidon Lippstreu from K9DPS. “He is skilled in tracking, obedience and protection and we are very...
SAMBA Motorcycle Tours Donates R14,000 to CRF

SAMBA Motorcycle Tours Donates R14,000 to CRF

The CRF team was recently delighted to receive a R14,000 donation from SAMBA Motorcycle Tours, which will support CRF’s ongoing projects to create rhino conservation awareness and fund critical anti-poaching interventions. “We have a passion for Rhinos!” says Thomas and Nina Assenmacher, owners of SAMBA Motorcycle Tours, a tour operator specialising in motorbike tours – specifically Harley-Davidson tours – about their recent donation to CRF. “Many of our tours visit the Eastern Cape game reserves and experience the unique opportunity to see some of the few last remaining rhinos in the wild. We decided we wanted to contribute to the protection of our rhino and the idea was born to support Chipembere Rhino Foundation by donating R100 for every client that travels with SAMBA Tours. In this way, we can make a sustainable contribution to the fight against rhino poaching.” Thomas was born and bred in Germany and had passion for exploring the country on his motorcycle. In 1998, Thomas and Nina moved to South Africa, where they started a motorcycle touring business. As a registered tourist guide, Thomas has been showing off his new home – and its magnificent wildlife – to clients for the past 17 years, both from the back of a motorcycle and from the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. The company creates custom-designed itineraries for clients, whether they want to explore South Africa on a motorbike on their own, join in a guided tours or embark on an African motorbike expedition. SAMBA Motorcycle Tours also supports a small country school in Oudtshoorn and the Urban Caracal Project in Cape Town on a similar basis....
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...

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