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 three Remembrance Crosses. These three white crosses – bearing the names of Chippy, Isipho and Geza – pay tribute to and remind us of these three magnificent Rhinos, as well as the 6,000 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...
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...
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...
EC Rhinos now under Ella’s protection

EC Rhinos now under Ella’s protection

The growing threat of rhino poaching in the Eastern Cape has sparked a remarkable international collaboration which has resulted in the first ‘cold scent’ tracker dog funded for use throughout the Eastern Cape. A dog so unique that her presence and skill set will be feared by poachers and advance rhino protection in the Eastern Cape to new strengths. Her name is Ella. Ella has been recently deployed and is based on a local game reserve in the Eastern Cape. She has been carefully selected by the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) to be part of the Forever Wild Rhino Protection initiative. This project represents a partnership between Wilderness Foundation Africa, Medivet Saving the Rhino (UK) and the Chipembere Rhino Foundation, in support of rhino protection. This international collaboration between South Africa and the UK has facilitated the deployment of Ella.  Medivet also provides funds which support other tracker dogs, but shares such sponsorship with other corporate and individual donors. ‘We are excited to introduce Medivet’s first ever fully funded tracker dog, Ella, who will play a key role in our fight to save the rhino. Ella will use her amazing sense of smell to track down poachers and she will be a vital tool during poaching incidents. Thanks to the continued support of our clients and colleagues, we look forward to a future where Ella can help save rhino from poachers’, says John Smithers, Medivet Senior Partner and coordinator of the Medivet Saving the Rhino campaign Ella is a beautiful Bloodhound Doberman cross with an amazing sense of smell which gives her the ability to track poachers long after...
Chipembere Takes to the Catwalk

Chipembere Takes to the Catwalk

Rhino conservation efforts took a glamourous turn recently when Chipembere took to the catwalk at the Fairview Horse Racing Derby in Port Elizabeth on 13 May 2017. Chipembere is both a special All African Arabica coffee blend, roasted for a cause by Port Elizabeth-based Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists, and a local registered non-profit organisation committed to the protection and conservation of Africa’s rhino, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF). For every 250 grams of Chipembere coffee purchased, Mastertons donates R5 to CRF to aid their rhino conservation efforts. As a result, CRF has already funded a successful anti-poaching K9 team in the Eastern Cape and continues to train anti-poaching K9s to track and apprehend suspected poachers, and to provide invaluable assistance on poaching crime scenes. Responsible for placing Chipembere on the catwalk was Samantha Cunningham, a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) designing student who participated in this year’s NMMU fashion show. The fashion show is hosted annually at the Derby Day by the university’s Fashion and Textile Department to showcase garments designed by their second-year students. This year, Masterton’s Coffee added a touch of “coffee flair” to the Derby Day fashion show with the theme “Out of Africa”. The participating students were briefed to create a garment around a Masterton’s coffee blend, incorporating an African feel as well as elements of coffee inspiration ranging from the beans to hessian packaging bags. “I knew as soon as I walked into Mastertons and saw the printed and framed Chipembere Coffee Blend hessian bag on the wall that I wanted to use this package in my design!” says Samantha. “I care deeply...
Local Boy Riley’s Rally For Rhinos

Local Boy Riley’s Rally For Rhinos

Riley Devan, a 13-year-old boy in Grade 8 at Selborne Primary School in East London, has already helped to raise more than R25,000 for organisations that work to save his favourite animals: the critically endangered rhino. Riley’s Rally for Rhinos started in 2014 after a Rooting For Rhino campaign at his school. “My Dad and I both chose the rhino as our favourite animal. We wondered how sad it would be if they were extinct by the time I became a dad.  I wanted to do something to help save the rhinos, so I started thinking about ways to raise money for the organisations who work to save these wonderful creatures.” Riley, with lots of help from mom, Meg, began selling cookies and popcorn at school to raise funds. Soon Riley had a great idea: creating a dice-type game called Rolling Rhinos. The game is played by rolling two little resin rhinos and scoring points depending on how the rhinos land, with the first player to score 100 points winning the game. Every part of the game is made locally in East London, creating local economic benefits too. The polyester resin rhinos are made in a local family-owned décor factory. The game inserts and labels are printed locally and even the bags are sewed by a local NPO using Shweshwe fabric, synonymous with the Eastern Cape. The games are sold for R100 each at markets and via the Rolling Rhinos Facebook Page, and for each game sold, R25 goes to rhino protection efforts. To date, Riley’s Rally For Rhinos has donated R8,300 to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation and R6,000...

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