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...
Eastern Cape Senior APU teams trained for night operations

Eastern Cape Senior APU teams trained for night operations

On the frontline of local rhino counter poaching efforts are a brave core of field rangers, working in harsh and hostile environments – day and night – often facing poachers who are armed, organised and ruthless. Ten highly skilled APU rangers attended a 5 day/night Advanced Marksmen and Tactics for Night Operations training programme, funded by the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) and facilitated in conjunction with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA). “Our rangers are on the frontline of conservation, protecting our wildlife. They need to be well-trained, well-equipped and well-supported,” says Brent Cook, founder of CRF, which specialises in providing anti-poaching teams with vital equipment and advanced training; as well as sourcing, testing and funding technology for rhino monitoring; and funding tracking and apprehension dogs. “The Advanced Marksmen and Night Operations training programme is vital to ensure APU rangers are prepared, trained and upskilled to do their jobs ethically, effectively and safely. These intensive training programmes also improve the rangers’ confidence, boosts morale and provides a platform for rangers to get familiar working in joint operations between different reserves. It creates a sense of camaraderie, pride and trust, which is critical to successful anti-poaching efforts.” Ten senior APU rangers from two bordering Eastern Cape wildlife reserves, Shamwari and Amakhala, were selected based on strict criteria to attend the training course at Amakhala. It covered advanced application of weapon skill set training, weapon safety, maintenance, latest technology, tactical movement and use of cover training. The night operations training covered the use of weapons at night, tactical use of flashlights for shooting in low light and darkness, and tactical...
Capturing Wildlife Moments For A Cause

Capturing Wildlife Moments For A Cause

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it captures an unforgettable experience like a close encounter with one of our planet’s most ancient, iconic and endangered species. And this is exactly what guests at HillsNek Safari Camp, one of the lodges on Amakhala Game Reserve close to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, are discovering, thanks to an innovative initiative started by Sebastian van Breemen, a junior field guide at the Reserve. Sebastian, a 25-year-old from Finland in his final year of studies, started taking photographs during a three-day game drive with the guests of HillsNek Safari Camp. Back at the lodge, Sebastian uploaded the photos onto the electronic screen in the lodge lounge, so guests could purchase the photographs as a picture memory of their trip. The response was enthusiastic! The first pictures were sold on 5 August 2017 and raised almost R35, 000. 100% of the profits is donated to Chipembere Rhino Foundation to assist with the funding of VHF tracking collars, training and equipping K9 units and APUs (Anti-Poaching Units) with field equipment. The photographs are printed on either photographic print paper or canvas in four sizes: extra small, small, medium and large, and can easily be rolled up and transported in a tube. They can also be purchased on a USB stick or be delivered via email. The images capture a real-life experience for the guests, many whom have never been so close to the African wild. “Our guests come to Amakhala to enjoy the African bush, to see our stunning wildlife with their own eyes and to experience the environment first-hand and...
Project Protect Rhino – Raising Funds For Rhino Conservation

Project Protect Rhino – Raising Funds For Rhino Conservation

Marina Berkett is a 22-year-old final year vet student at the Royal Veterinary College. She is the founder of Project Protect Rhino and has already raised £1000 for the foundation.  Here is her story. My mum grew up in Durban and I am forever indebted to her for my love of Africa and its wildlife. Our family have always had a passion for conservation. After my brother, Christopher, came home from a three-month veterinary internship with Dr William Fowlds in April 2016, he was so shaken by witnessing poaching scenes first-hand that we decided to take a more active role. I started by designing the logo, had it printed on a few t-shirts and I just went from there. Our family and friends were all so keen to listen and help, and this support has grown over the last 18 months. I have now developed a strong support base at the Royal Veterinary College and hope to expand this.   Working with rhino first-hand on the Vets Go Wild trip made me even more passionate. My main aim has always been to raise awareness in the UK, educating anyone who will listen about rhino – not only the imminent threat of extinction but, most importantly, the extreme suffering of each individual animal. I now sell a whole range of Project Protect Rhino merchandise and have already raised £1000 for the Chipembere Rhino Foundation. My next step is to make an awareness video at my university. Please visit my Facebook page called Project Protect Rhino where I post updates on where the money goes (last year it was for a...

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