Celebrate on Save the Rhino Day

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

As May 1st marks the internationally recognised Save the Rhino Day, wildlife organisations take the opportunity to draw attention to the plight of this species while wildlife enthusiasts show their appreciation for each organisation’s conservation initiatives. These are some of the safari companies who stand out for their efforts in protecting rhinos across Africa.

Wilderness Safaris

Wilderness Safaris has long stood out for its dedication to conserving Africa’s wilderness and protecting its wildlife. The Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which was set up by Wilderness Safaris to run alongside but independently from its lodges and safaris, undertakes ambitious projects to monitor and better understand species, as well as providing protection and supporting local communities in preserving the wildlife around them.

Among the initiative’s long-running programmes is the successful Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project. A collaborative effort between Wilderness Safaris, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, the Botswana government and Botswana’s Department of Wildlife has resulted in the successful reintroduction of black and white rhinos into the vast landscape of the Okavango Delta. Since the project began in 2001, rhinos have gradually been reintroduced here, with the birth of rhino calves adding to the success of these efforts. Monitoring, anti-poaching efforts and re-location of wayward animals back to safety continue to benefit the species.

Adding to this, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust’s ‘Save the Rhino Trust Tracker Support’ effort provides training in rhino monitoring skills to conservancy rangers in the Kunene region of Namibia, which is where Wilderness Safaris’ Serra Cafema camp lies.


Care of the Land, Wildlife and People is the driving ethos behind experiential travel operator, andBeyond. Based on this philosophy, andBeyond has a series of Impact Platforms designed to bring about profound change. Rhinos Without Borders is a collaborative effort between andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation that’s dedicated to the survival of Southern Africa’s wild rhinos.

In 2013, andBeyond succeeded in translocating six white rhino from andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Rhinos Without Borders was born out of this project’s success in 2014 with the ultimate aim of translocating 100 rhinos to the safety of this remote and carefully monitored area. By early 2020, the total number of rhinos translocated is up to 87, with 37 calves then being born. These rhinos remain under close protection with the other 13 rhino to join them once conditions are optimum. Fundraising for the initiative continues to cover their monitoring and protection.

Rhino conservation safaris at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve give insight into these efforts.


Another leading safari operator pairing luxury eco-tourism with conservation, Singita continually strives to preserve the African wilderness, partnering with non-profit funds and trusts to implement strategic conservation projects in each region their luxury lodges sit within. In partnership with the Grumeti Fund and Tanzanian Wildlife Management Authority, Singita relocated nine critically endangered black rhino from South Africa to the conservation brand’s 350,000-acre private concession in Tanzania. This was the largest movement of rhino coming into Tanzania increasing the population by around 10 percent. Now, Singita is endeavouring to support the Grumeti Fund and contribute to rhino conservation here by establishing a healthy breeding population of the species in the greater Serengeti ecosystem with funds being raised to support the next translocation effort.

Over at the Malilangwe Reserve in Zimbabwe—home to Singita Pamushana Lodge—The Malilangwe Trust takes pride in having successfully relocated 28 black rhinos and 15 white rhinos from Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and subsequent anti-poaching efforts. Growth of the rhino population here has proven so successful the reserve is in a position to send black rhinos to other reserves in Africa. 

The Safari Collection

The Safari Collection, which encompasses lodges and camps in Kenya’s wilderness along with Nairobi’s legendary Giraffe Manor, is built around a drive for sustainability and conservation.

Out of this philosophy, the company endeavours to positively impact people by supporting the local community and benefit the surrounding landscape through environmental programmes. Solio Lodge—the latest edition to The Safari Collection’s portfolio—lies within the Solio Conservancy of Laikipia, which is tucked into a valley between the slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains.

Just like The Safari Collection’s other properties, Solio Lodge holds a Menu of Giving outlining each of its key environmental initiatives. The conservation fee guests pay here contributes to these initiatives and in particular its rhino conservation programme.

The reserve is responsible for having translocated over 100 black rhino and 60 white rhino to other parts of Kenya over the years, along with six rhino being translocated to Uganda. Being at Solio Lodge gives you the opportunity to see both black and white rhino up close and join in on the reserve’s conservation-led activities, which include spending a day with the Mount Kenya Trust anti-poaching pony patrols while riding through Mount Kenya National Park. 

The Royal Portfolio

Alongside The Kruger National Park, Peace Parks, World Wildlife Fund and the Association of Private Nature Reserves, The Royal Portfolio’s Greater Kruger lodge, Royal Malewane, is a founding member of the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation. This initiative is focused on anti-poaching efforts and protecting wildlife in its natural state. As such a high target for poachers, rhinos are central to these protection efforts.

In addition to this, The Greater Kruger Animal Protection Unit is on 24/7 standby to assist counter-poaching initiatives in the Greater Kruger area from its base in the Thornybush region where Royal Malewane is situated. This is one of the fastest counter-poaching units in the region with specially trained dogs and a team of special force handlers who have undergone intensive training. Light aircraft and helicopter transportation enable these dogs and handlers to cover remote areas. Initiatives like these are made possible by the funds raised through The Royal Portfolio.

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