Monday, September 30, 2013

Suspected Rhino Poacher Gets Bail

The suspected rhino poacher, arrested in the Kruger National Park a week ago, has been released on R 4 000 bail. 31-year-old Patric Mona has been ordered to report to the nearest police station once a week.

Mona was arrested at a village adjacent to the park during a joint anti-poaching operation by SANParks and the SAPS's Forensics and K 9 units.

Mona was arrested in a village bordering the Kruger Park. Police and SANParks officials found an assortment of hunting equipment, a SANParks Field Rangers Uniform and what is believed to be rhino parts.

The suspect, appeared relaxed in the Hazyview Court on Thursday. His case was postponed to November 7.

The latest figures indicate that 688 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year. More than half were killed in the Kruger Park.

This despite the many interventions to curb the poaching. The number of people arrested for rhino poaching related offenses has climbed to 194.

Almost 80% of the world's rhino population are found in South Africa. Negotiation to re-erect the border fence in the park are on-going.

By:
 South African Broadcasting Corporation

Friday, September 27, 2013

Safari Starting 21 September 2013

On Marks open Vehicle:

21 September 2013

What a busy month it has been!!!

Route : Napi - Boulders - Napi - Nkambeni camp

General animal sightings were poor this afternoon due to the bad weather we experienced. (Cold very very cold.)

Highlights of this afternoons drive was a herd of tsesabee just before shitlhave dam.

Just before napi boulder entrance we got 3 female and 1 male sable antelope.

On our return towards camp a female leopard walked out in front of us and crossed over the road.

Guest got good photos of her.

22 September 2013

Route: Napi - Eloff - Doispan - Albaseni – Nkambeni Camp

General animals seen:

Kudu, common duiker, impala, zebra, chackma baboon, vervet monkey, warthog, rhino and elephant.

Great sightings of buffalo bulls right next to the open vehicle as we left skakuza golf course.

After turning around at 3 different lion sightings because of heavy traffic and long queues of cars we found 2 lioness lying in the river bed approximate 300m from alpha exit.

Not much else to report as the weather is extremely cold and has had an impact on the animal sightings throughout the day.

23 September 2013

Dean enters the park today!

On Deans open vehicle:

We left Nkambeni safari camp at 15h30, and almost immediately got the call about Lions on Napi Boulders, we made our way in that direction getting only some kudu on Napi Road.

After spending about an hour on the lion sighting and also getting a chance to see rhino and elephant crossing the road while on the same sighting, we made our way back along Napi Road getting more kudu, giraffe and vervet monkeys together with two large herds of buffalo on the camp road.

24 September 2013

Today we left Nkambeni at 06h00 and made our way up the Numbi Gate tar getting good sightings of buffalo, we turned onto Napi Road and got more good sightings of buffalo, elephant, kudu, impala, giraffe and wildebeest before going down the H3 and back again to Skukuza for a break.

Rhino sightings were also enjoyed through the day.

After the break, it was back to the H3 down to Voortrekker road getting more sightings of impala, buffalo and elephant. We turned onto the Voortrekker road and got nine lions lying about 10.6 km's up the road. After spending about half an hour with them, we decided to
move on, getting more sightings of elephant and a martial Eagle before stopping at the camp of Pretoriuskop for lunch.

After lunch we drove around Faye Loop getting two buffalo Daga Boys, before moving onto camp for guests to have a rest as it was in the region of 37 degrees.

Marks Open Vehicle:

Route: Napi - Tshokwane tar - Satara - S100 - Satara

General animals seen today include:

Giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, kudu, warthog, impala, elephant herds, crocodile, hippos, vervet monkeys, chackma baboons, blue wildebeest and nyala's.

On our trip we came across a lioness trying to catch a warthog 7km before the baobab access road.

A leopard lying in a Tree 5kms past the baobab access road.

A "flight" hehehe of ostriches 11kms from satara.

Guests are happy with what they have seen and tomorrow is a morning walk and then on our way to the rehab centre.

25 September 2013

Today was one of those days you would like to have every day.

We left camp at 06h00, It was not long before we got a sighting of a female rhino and calf, we turned onto Faye loop and immediately ran into about five hundred buffalo stretched out over the next two kilometres.

After enjoying a great sighting, and busy contemplating which road to take to the next stop, we received a call of four leopards on Napi Road about 2.2 kilometres from the Voortrekker junction, we made our way in that direction a little faster than normal and came upon the sighting. Many open vehicles were there, but after a while all started to leave.

Some rhino's had also come into the picture and for the next hour and a half we enjoyed a wonderful sighting that is not enjoyed every day.

We carried on getting more rhino, buffalo and elephant.

We got a call of a female lion on Napi Road as we got to her location she was near a tree watching a leopard eating a warthog. She was nursing a wound on the mouth and paw, which had possibly come from the fight with the leopard.

After another good sighting, we made our way on getting numerous good sightings along the way.

We made our way into Skukuza only at about 10h00, and after enjoying a well deserved break made our way out onto the Tshokwane tar, over the high water bridge and back on Elloff street to Skukuza.

Animals seen were giraffe, impala, baboon, bushbuck, lion, hippo, crocodile, elephant and buffalo.

We made our way back to Nkambeni Tented Camp along Napi Road getting more sightings of elephant, buffalo and another sighting of our leopard from the morning.

Guests had a break this afternoon, and left at 16h30 for their sunset / night drive.

26 September 2013

We left Nkambeni Tented camp and drove up the Numbi gate tar, getting elephant and buffalo.

We then turned onto Napi Road and came across the two leopard cubs from the day before playing under the tree with an impala carcass. No photos could be taken as it was in the long grass.

We continued on getting good sightings of rhino.

We then made our way to Napi Boulders and got elephant and wildebeest before going to the camp of Pretoriuskop for a break, after which we made our way out of the park and onto Nelspruit were we changed over vehicles and made our way back to Johannesburg.

Guests feedback was that they had a good time, got loads of photos and saw a lot of animals.

Technology To Help Fight Rhino Poaching In Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) has enlisted the help of technology research agency the CSIR to fight rhino and perlemoen poachers, it was announced on Sunday.

The Kruger National Park would be the initial focus of their five-year strategic technology partnership, CSIR spokesman Tendani Tsedu said in a statement.

The country’s parks faced a battle and needed to respond deftly and with best means they had, said SANParks special projects commanding officer Johan Jooste.

“We are therefore taking a long-term strategic view on increasing the effectiveness of environmental asset protection interventions at our parks throughout the country,” he said.

CSIR programme manager Charl Petzer said it would help SANParks with technology evaluation and testing to identify the best technologies to use for sensing, detecting, mobility and so forth.

He said technologies to detect human movement across border zones and to detect the location of shooters within seconds were already being evaluated.

Better sensor technologies were also being looked at to add to surveillance capabilities at poaching hot spots.

By:
 South African Press Association

Thursday, September 26, 2013

African Hotels Take Stand Against Poaching

Nairobi - Whilst nobody will say so publicly, for fear of repercussions, the suspicion is that ground rhino horn is leaving Africa in diplomatic bags, delegates heard at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Poaching was declared at the forum to be the greatest threat to Africa's tourism industry and branded poachers as Africa's Public Enemy number one.

"Poaching is a global problem needing a global solution, Lazaro Nyalandu, Tanzania's deputy minister for natural resources and tourism said in an address at conference.

It is estimated that Tanzania has an elephant population of 100 000 today, but this is cut by 30 a day by poachers.

"They are so sophisticated that we need a military response," said Nyalandu.

"If their activities are not stamped out, we will have lost all our elephants in 10-15 years."

Nyalandu wants to see Tanzania's neighbours taking a stand too, pressurising the countries where the poachers' clients live to stamp out the trade.

The value of ivory and rhino horn continues to rise rapidly, as does the demand for "wildlife products".

Across Africa, one elephant is being killed every 15 minutes for its tusks. This continued illegal trade will lead to the species' extinction by 2025.

The hotel and tourism industry's concern goes well beyond statements.

Five percent of all AHIF revenues are being given to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, (DSWT), which looks after orphaned baby elephants and rhinos.

"Wildlife is the reason why tourists come to Africa," said Nyalandu.

As each herd is decimated, so too is the potential employment of thousands of people, most of whom are on low incomes. Poaching is not just about killing animals; it's about destroying livelihoods."

Poaching in Africa is happening on an industrial scale according to Nick van Marken, head of Deloitte's international travel, hospitality and leisure practice.

"Poachers are using automatic weapons to slaughter entire herds. They then hack off the tusks and horns. Rhino horn is ground down in Africa and then smuggled out," he said.

"Wildlife is part of Africa's natural infrastructure - remove it, and one of the primary reasons for visiting the continent will disappear."

He said it is time for the tourism industry to step up and speak out.

"Africa is so huge and the borders are so long that it's incredibly difficult to police," said Andrew McLachlan, VP Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, Carlson Rezidor

Ivory, Rhino Horns Financing Al-Shabaab

Islamic extremists Al-Shabaab receive a large amount of money through ivory and rhino horn smuggling, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

This is according to the international Environmental Investigation Agency.

"Up to 40 percent of Al Shabaab's money comes from ivory-users and buyers," the EIA said.

While the global focus centred mainly on poachers, it was iv...
ory consumers, who used ivory for either ornamental or medicinal purposes, that financed the group.

An investigation done on behalf of the EIA in 2011 by Nir Kalron, founder of Maisha Consulting, and Andrea Crosta, executive director of the non-governmental organisation Elephant Action League, found that Al Shabaab was part of an international ivory smuggling network.

The group was also involved in the smuggling of rhino horn that enabled them to buy explosives, bullets and weapons.

The investigation brought to light the fact that Al Shabaab had earned between R2 million and R6 million per month in 2011 through illegal ivory sales.

In 2012, the estimated retail price of black market ivory was about R18,000 per kilogram.

By:
South African Press Association

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rhino Poaching

#PoachersUpdate: 20/09 (Houtboschrand). Whilst conducting a follow-up this morning after last night's contact with 3 poachers, Rangers made contact with 4 suspected poachers coming into the park. During the contact, two of the suspects were fatally wounded and the other two arrested. A .458 hunting rifle, ammo and poaching equipment were recovered.

World Rhino Day March

Visit our Facebook page to view a little boy receive a standing ovation for his speech on Rhino Poaching https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nhongo-Safaris/43657075115?ref=hl#!/pages/Nhongo-Safaris/43657075115

 





 
 
 
 
 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks and Stakeholders To Host Rhino Street Parade

Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks and Stakeholders to host rhino street parade to mark World Rhino Day

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, will lead a Rhino Day Parade to mark World Rhino Day in Pretoria on 21 September 2013. World Rhino Day is observed annually on 22 September.

The Street Parade, aimed at showing support from the youth of South Africa to the scourge of rhino poaching, involves a march by an estimated 1 500 children and adults from Church Square to the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. The event is also aimed at raising awareness around the serious issue of rhino poaching.

A formal programme will take place at the National Zoological Gardens. During the event, school children will sign a pledge to show support for the work being done by government in the war against rhino poaching.


The 2013 Rhino Day event is being hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks, the National Zoological Gardens of SA, the City of Tshwane, SA National Biodiversity Institute, Unite Against Poaching and the Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre, Mamelodi.

The details of the event are as follows:

Date: Saturday, 21 September 2013

Venue: Street Parade: Start at Church Square, Pretoria CBD

Time: 09:30

RSVP:

Raymond Ramaru
 Tel: 012 310 3990
 Email:
rramaru@environment.gov.za

Eleanor Momberg
 Tel: 012 395 1884
 Cell: 083 400 5741
 Email:
emomberg@environment.gov.za

Issued by:
 Department of Environmental Affairs

Crime Scene Investigation: Rhino Division

 
It took Noddy Tshabalala only one minute to find the bullet. Treading softly among the scattered remains of a recently killed rhino, she swept a metal detector over the largest part of the carcass. The detector whined.

"There," said Kobus de Wet, head of the Kruger National Park's crime investigations unit. The machine was silent. "Back a bit."

Tshabalala moved the detector a hair's breadth. A long beep. De Wet knelt and dug gently into the soil with his gloved hands.

"There," he said, and held up a bullet.

It was a .357 calibre round, fired roughly two weeks ago, probably by a practised shot using a high-quality hunting rifle.

The crime scene was a tiny clearing in the thick bush, about 80km southeast of Skukuza camp.

Like any crime scene, the area was cordoned off until De Wet and Tshabalala had completed their first thorough sweep of the ground.

While his assistant continued sweeping the clearing for other clues, De Wet turned his attention to the carcass. There was little left. In the time between the shooting and the discovery of the carcass by rangers, hyenas and vultures had fought over the remains, tossing them about the clearing.

De Wet pointed to gouges on the animal's upper jaw where the poachers had hacked off its horns.

"Axe," he said.

The Kruger National Park is losing about two rhinos a day to poachers.

The stakes are high: according to a recent report on the Bloomberg business news website, rhino horn trades for as much as $65000/kg (about R650000/kg), making it more costly than gold, on the black markets in Asia. It is used as a cure for fevers and as a hangover remedy in Vietnam.

The potential earnings have attracted the attention of organised crime. The poaching is largely controlled by syndicates based in Mozambique.

"If you take out the syndicates, then you really solve the poaching problem," said retired army major-general Johan Jooste, who is head of the Kruger Park's anti-poaching operation.

The two investigators have worked hundreds of crime scenes but the job never gets any easier.

They recently found an injured female rhino near Satara camp.

"They had cut her tendons," said De Wet, "so she was sitting [on her haunches] for about a week."

She was the 397th rhino poached in Kruger this year.

There was no more evidence to find. The bullet was bagged and sealed. Perhaps it will turn up as a match. De Wet shrugged. Perhaps.

By:
 Times LIVE

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Safari With Dean From 16 September 2013

16 September 2013

Dean picked up two guests at the Emerald guest house as well as another two guests at OR Tambo International Airport after which we made our way to Nelspruit.

After changing over to our open safari vehicle we made our way to the Numbi. Gate. After checking in, it was off to the camp of Pretoriuskop for a lunch stop.

After a good lunch we made our way down Napi road, getting good sightings of impala, kudu, zebra and wildebeest.

We turned onto the H3 and made our way down to Quagga Pan and back again to Napi Road. Things were quiet on the drive back with some good sightings of elephant and kudu.

We then made our way to Inkambeni Tented Camp where guests enjoyed a great dinner,
before retiring to bed.

17 September 2013

Today we left camp at 06h00 and made our way down the Numbi gate tar getting good sightings of kudu, impala and stenbuck.

We turned onto Napi road travelling in the direction of Skukuza. It was not long before we had good sightings of giraffe, elephant and three good sightings of buffalo of which one sighting was just outside Inkambeni Tented Camp.

It was not long before a message came in on the radio of a lioness down the H3 together with her two cubs who had pulled down a large warthog.

We started making our way in that direction. As we made our way down Napi Road, we got good sightings of more impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe.

We got to the lion sighting, but the lioness together with her cubs were lying a bit back from the kill. It became apparent that there was quite a bit of hyena activity in the area and we were lucky to experience some great interaction between the two species.

We carried on towards Skukuza also getting a good sighting of a female leopard at Deleport bridge.

We made our way onto Skukuza were guests were given a break before carrying on with more game viewing.

We made our way back to Inkambeni Tented Camp for lunch, and a break from the heat before leaving again in the late afternoon for another game drive.

The afternoon session was going down to Shithave dam, getting good sightings of hippo, waterbuck, kudu and baboon before returning to the camp, getting in just before 18h00.

After a good dinner, guests left for a good night’s rest.

18 September 2013

Quite a day was experienced by all today,

We left camp at 06H00 and made our way down the camp road, getting good sightings of buffalo, and elephant.

We made our way down the Numbi gate tar and got more elephant. We made a turn at Shithave dam getting a great sighting of lion lying on the dam wall.

After a call on the radio, it was off to Napi Boulders were another sighting of mating lions was enjoyed. After watching the lions mating and making loads of comments that people should try this sometime, we made our way on towards Skukuza.

About three kilometers from Napi Boulders loop we ran into more elphant.

Also great sightings of impala, kudu, wildebeest and zebra were experienced. About three kilometers before Transport Dam, we got a call of a leopard sighting about one kilometer before the dam turn off, so it was off on action stations to get there.

It was only about four minutes before we arrived on the sighting and managed to get some great photos, before pulling out of the sighting in order to give some other open safari vehicles a chance to get some good photos.

We made our way onwards to Skukuza, when we came upon a great sighting of rhino that was feeding in the open area.

We made our way on and got more great sightings of elephant, baboon, stenbuck, impala and common duiker.

After a stop off at the camp of Skukuza, we made our way up the Tshokwane tar, getting more great sightings of elephant and buffalo at Mutlamuvi Dam.

We made our way over the high water bridge and down Elloff Street getting more good sightings of elephant, Ground Hornbills, buffalo and hippo.

We then made our way back to the camp of Skukuza for lunch as the temperatures were reaching 36'C,

We left Skukuza at about one thirty and made our way back down Napi Road as guests needed to have a rest, before going out on the Sunset safari, but as fate would have it, sightings were good on the road and this took president of the situation.

We got more lions at Klipspringer Kopies, as well as more elephant on Napi Road and a lovely sighting of a hyena pup of about three weeks old lying outside of the culvert next to the road.

More elephant and rhino were enjoyed on the way back.

We got back to camp at about three thirty, giving guests at least an hour’s rest, before they left on their afternoon / evening safari.

19 September 2013

Today we say goodbye to all guests as their safari comes to an end and they return back to Johannesburg.

Next Safari starts on Saturday 21 September with mark so keep watching!!!!

"High Value" Alleged Rhino Poacher Held Near The Kruger National Park

Police have arrested an alleged rhino poacher in a village near the Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said on Wednesday.

The arrest of the "high value individual" followed extensive investigation by a special police unit. The man was detained on Tuesday in Cork Trust village, SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla said.

"The arrested individual... is suspected to be part of an active group of poachers operating in the Kruger National Park and surrounding reserves," Phaahla said in a statement.

Police recovered what was thought to be rhino body parts, a SANParks field ranger's uniform, hunting equipment, guns and ammunition.

In a separate incident, three alleged poachers were arrested after a shoot-out with rangers in the Malelane section of the park.

One of alleged poachers was shot and wounded. Police recovered weapons and various hunting equipment.

By:
 South African Press Association

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

High Value Rhino Poacher Arrested 17 September

On Tuesday, 17th September 2013, In a joint anti-poaching operation carried out external to the Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park rangers supported by members of Pathfinder Risk Management, South African Police Service Forensics arrested a high value rhino poaching suspect.

During the arrest, a .308 hunting rifle, two 9mm pistols, a variety of ammunition, hunting equipment and suspected rhino body parts were recovered. Investigations are underway.

Issued by:
 South African National Parks

Rhino Poachers Arrested In The Kruger National Park

Poachers Update: Field Rangers made contact with 3 suspected armed poachers today. During the incident, 1 of the suspects was wounded and the other 2 were arrested. A 375 rifle, ammo and other hunting equipment were recovered.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rhino Projects And Fundraising Required To Register With Department of Environmental Affairs

Non-Profit Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals involved in Rhino Projects and Fundraising required to register with Department of Environmental Affairs

The Department of Environmental Affairs is inviting all Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), businesses and individuals involved in fighting rhino poaching to register with the Department by 30 September 2013.

The initiative is one of numerous steps being taken to rid the sector of illegitimate and ill-intended operations and ensure greater legitimacy of organisations and individuals involved in projects aimed at addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.

In light of the serious concern by government and members of the public about the increase in rhino poaching, a common goal is being shared by the South African government, private rhino owners, non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations, stakeholders and the public at large – to reduce the illegal killing of rhino and secure and grow rhino populations.

As a result, a number of private individuals and organisations have decided to get involved in the fight against rhino poaching. This has included raising public awareness; the collection of funds to fight the scourge of poaching within national, provincial and private game reserves in South Africa; and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation and safety and security.

Under the present system, NGOs and NPOs are required to register with government through the Department of Social Development. The failure of organisations or individuals to submit annual audited reports results in the de-registration of such bodies from the Social Development database, but some continue operating despite deregistration. The Department and rhino industry stakeholders have also expressed concern about the increase in illegitimate operations.

The registration of NPOs, NGOs, organisations and/or individuals involved in rhino anti-poaching projects with the Department of Environmental Affairs will improve monitoring of compliance with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and ensure that their financial records are up-to-date.

The total number of rhinos poached in South Africa since January 2013 has increased to 635, while number of people arrested for rhino poaching-related offences has climbed to 194.

The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa with 396 rhinos killed for their horns so far this year. Of the total number of rhinos poached, 64 rhinos have been killed in Limpopo, 63 in KwaZulu-Natal, 62 in North West and 43 in Mpumalanga.

The establishment of the national database, and for a credible national financing mechanism for rhino anti-poaching, were agreed to by government and rhino stakeholders during a public engagement on 12 July 2013. During the stakeholder engagement, the Department of Environmental Affairs was informed by more than 20 NGOs and NPOs about the work that they do to fight the scourge of rhino poaching. Numerous industry role players raised concerns about the legitimacy of organisations involved in fighting rhino poaching, and some of the projects initiated, particularly fundraising.
The aim of the registration process is to:

- rid the industry of illegitimate operations and ensure that funding for rhino interventions are channelled to the relevant, identified projects;

- establish a register of rhino projects, including but not limited to fundraising, anti-poaching, safety and security, support and conservation initiatives;

- identify gaps that exist between the work of government, NGOs, NPOs and individuals;

- identify priority areas that requires additional assistance;

- identify opportunities to collaborate, cooperate or consolidate projects / initiatives or parts thereof;

- confirm the registration of rhino-related NPOs with the Department of Social Development and obtain information relating to the registration and reporting requirements; and

- develop criteria to assist in determining whether NPOs, NGOs or individuals involved in rhino related activities are contributing towards the fight against rhino poaching and the conservation of the species.


In an effort to coordinate the financing of anti-poaching initiatives, the Department is planning to establish a National Rhino Fund in consultation with the National Treasury. The Fund will address all interventions directed to rhino poaching.

The establishment of the National Rhino Fund, and the compilation of a database of all NGOs, NPOs and any other organizations and/ or individuals who raise funds to save the rhino are among the recommendations being implemented following the adoption of the Rhino Issue Management report by Cabinet earlier this year.

The Department is also reviewing the National Strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros Populations in South Africa (NSSSRPSA), adopted in 2010, to ensure it addresses all new concerns and efforts to ensure rhino poaching is dealt with in a coordinated and effective manner.

The National Rhino Fund will result in the consolidation of all funding requirements and ensure that funding is distributed successfully to state- and privately-owned rhino anti-poaching initiatives, including conservation, safety and security, skills development and research.

The increase in government funding to save the rhino demonstrates the Department’s commitment to the National Rhino Fund to which business, international funders, local NGOs and individuals will be able to contribute.


The autonomous nature of the National Rhino Fund will ensure that identified legitimate funding requirements will be immediately met, and not be caught up in red tape.

All NPOs, NGOs, organisations and individuals involved in raising awareness or funding to address rhino poaching are requested to email the name of the organisation, contact details and details relating to the project / initiative / intervention to Ms Olga Kumalo through e-mail:
okumalo@environment.gov.za

South Africans are encouraged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Issued by:
 Department of Environmental Affairs



Friday, September 13, 2013

Desperate Measure Of Literally Poisoning Rhino Horns

In a desperate attempt to turn the tide against rhino poaching, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has opted for a desperate measure of literally poisoning rhino horns in order to render them unusable if the rhino has been poached.

The trial was launched yesterday at the Tembe Elephant Park and Ndumo Game Reserve considered the frontline of future poaching in the province. Both parks in the northern KwaZulu-Natal are on the border with Mozambique.

This pioneering trial rhino horn infusion programme is being funded by the Peace Parks foundation as part of their broader involvement in the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation area that connects protected areas in Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland.

The injection of this poisoned insecticide and the infusion of an indelible coloured dye are the work of Rhino Rescue Project’s two founders, Dr Charles van Niekerk and Dr Lorinda Hern. Both infusions are considered harmless to the rhino.

Dr Van Niekerk said the poison could be safely and relatively quickly injected into the base of the horn, spreading throughout the keratin protein that comprises a horn, making it “extremely toxic” in the event of human consumption. The indestructible dye acts as a warning to end-users that a horn has been contaminated and should not be consumed as well as reducing its aesthetic appeal.

“This dye is visible on an x-ray scanner even when the horn is ground to a fine powder. Airport security checkpoints are almost certain to pick up the presence of this dye,” Van Niekerk said.

At the end of this battle, we should emerge as winners, not the poachers
 rhino will have their DNA recorded and transponders inserted.

Speaking at the launch, Ezemvelo CEO Dr Bandile Mkhize said the war against poaching would not be won by poachers. “Through collaboration, the winner will be all of us.

“At the end of this battle, we should emerge as winners, not the poachers,” said Mkhize.

So far, KZN has lost 63 rhinos due to poaching while the Tembe and Ndumo parks combined have lost 11 rhinos.

Four Suspected Rhino Poachers Arrested In KwaZulu-Natal

Four rhino poaching suspects have been arrested near the Tembe Elephant Park in northern KZN in what Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife says is its single biggest anti-poaching success to date.

A bolt-action rifle, ammunition, silencer and an axe were found on the group consisting of three South Africans and one Mozambican national who were arrested yesterday in the Bhekabantu District.

The rifle will be sent for ballistic tests to determine whether it has been used for to poach any rhinos.

Ezemvelo KZN's Musa Mntambo says they're slowly honing in on suspects.

"Last year during the course of the whole year we arrested 33 people who were involved in rhino poaching. And this year alone, we've surpassed that...we are approaching 45 people arrested already," he said.

Mntambo says the four suspects are expected to appear in court this week.

By:
 East Coast Radio

Kruger National Park Raises Rhino Awareness With Vietnam

The Kruger National Park is, for the first time, hosting a delegation of environmental authorities from Vietnam in a bid to raise awareness about rhino poaching and its effects in Southern Africa.

The Vietnamese officials revealed rhino horn continues to gain popularity in their country and the penalties for poaching and smuggling are far less stringent.

The deputy chief of Vietnam’s environmental police said only five people were arrested in Vietnam for smuggling wildlife this year.

If found guilty, the accused can face a jail sentence of between five and seven years.

Vietnam’s National Assembly member said there’s still a big perception amongst his country’s general population that rhino horns have medicinal benefits, adding that dispelling the myth is one of their biggest challenges.

At present 100 grams of rhino horn costs about R50,000 in Vietnam.

This has made the rare commodity a symbol of status amongst the country’s affluent class.


Vietnam’s deputy police chief has also revealed that a person was caught at the Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi with six horns that weighed approximately 16 kilograms.
He said this was one of the nation’s biggest busts.

By:
 Eyewitness News

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On Safari With Mark From 9 September 2013

9 September 2013

Dean hands over two guests Kate and Al from the United States to Mark.

Route: Albeseni - Doispan - Eloff - Napi – Nkambeni Tented Camp

General animals seen:

Kudu, giraffe, zebra, chackma baboon, vervet monkey, nyala bulls, common duiker, steenbok, rhino and buffalo.

2 lion sightings for the day: 1 female next to a buffalo bull that they killed in the river on the eastern side of highlevel bridge on ellof. 3 female and 1 male just past nkuklu picnic spot all lying in the shade.

On our return along napi a young male leopard walked out next to us crossed over the road and into the bushes. Brilliant sighting!

10 September 2013

Today after a good breakfast it was out to see what we could find!

Route: Napi - Ellof - S30 - Ellof - Napi

General sighting was also very good today with the following spotted:

Kudu, waterbuck, bushbuck, nyala, chackma baboons, vervet monkeys, crocodile, hippos, many elephant sightings, rhino and buffalo.

As we approached the S65 on napi we had a female and male lion walk out in front of us. They lay down approximately 5m from the open vehicle.

We found a male leopard 400m from napi on the H3. He walked next to the open vehicle and great photo opportunities given to the guests.

At skakuza we herd of a kill on S30 and took a drive there. It wasn’t long till we found a male giraffe killed by 3 lions on the road. Was fantastic!

On our return back to camp not much but elephants to be seen on the road. Guest will be going on their sundown drive this evening.

11 September 2013

Today we say goodbye to Kate and Al and hello to Darrel, his wife and 10 year old daughter.

Morning Route:


Route: Fayai loop - Numbi tar

General game spotted:


Kudu, giraffe, warthog, rheedbuck, chackma baboon, vervet monkeys, hippos and sable antelope.

500m before the end of fiaya loop we got a pack of 8 wild dogs run into the road and lie down in front of us. Spent approximately 30min with them and then headed to the gate to hand over guests to Verity to return to Johannesburg as well as receive Darrel and his family.

Afternoon drive:


Route: Napi - Klipspringer Koppies - S65 - Doispan - Albaseni back to Pretoriuskop camp.

General animals seen:


Kudu, waterbuck, common duiker, steenbok, warthogs, rhinos and hippos.

Male leopard spotted on the napi 500m past klipspringer koppies busy eating an impala on the ground.

Herd of buffalo at Niamundwa dam distant visual.

3 large elephant bulls on napi 200m before the S65

8 lions killed a buffalo bull 1.2kms from albaseni junction on doispan.

That's all for today, we see what tomorrow gives.

Keep watching for more!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Giants Sold For The First Time In Five Years

Following the approval of the SANParks Elephant management plans, elephants from the Kruger National Park will be sold for the first time since 2008. The first sale was to take place in August (but was not confirmed due to permit requirements from buyers) and a second round is expected to take place again next year.

“an advertisemengt asking for bidding prices was put out for the elephant to be sold on the best price principal,” says Markus Hofmeyr, head of SANParks Veterinary Wildlife Services.

“There may be requests for donations, especially family groups, which we will be considered on a case by case basis,” he says. “these elephants are then moved and we only recover the cost of the capture and transport.”

Hofmeyr adds that the market for elephants is very limited as most areas that can take them already have.

Many reserves with elephants also want to move theirs. Yet there are still game farms in KwaZulu-Natal that can accommodate them and there are two properties that want bulls.

Income from the sales will go to the Parks Development Fund, which is used for SANParks conservation priority and conservation projects.

By the SANParks Times Newspaper

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Leopard Sighting 5 September 2013 with Nhongo Safaris


Plane Donation Helps To Fight Rhino Poaching In Kruger National Park

Rhino in the Kruger National Park will get additional protection with the donation of a light aeroplane to spot potential poaching activities.

The massive park makes it difficult for ground-based poaching prevention activities.

"The Kruger National Park covers an area of almost 19 633km² - that's roughly the size of Israel," said Bryn Pyne-James, senior general manager for SANParks fundraising.

"Protecting an area that large against poachers with ground-based vehicles alone is impossible, but with air support we have a chance," he added.

Rhino populations are coming under increasing threat and a large percentage have been poached in the national park.

According to the department of environmental affairs (DEA), 553 rhino have been poached in SA so far this year. Of these, 345, or 62%, have been poached in the Kruger Park.

Poaching is on course to nearly double the 668 total of 2012, which was also significantly higher than the 448 poached in 2011.

Rangers in the park had access to an aircraft, and it proved to be effective in deterring poachers.

"We initially used a four-cylinder Bantam light aircraft, which we traded up for a six-cylinder Bantam," said ranger Steven Whitfield. "It proved to be a very important anti-poaching tool."

However, that plane was destroyed in an accident in 2012 and this year, a chance meeting between Vox Telecom CEO Jacques du Toit and senior general manager of SANParks Fundraising, Bryn Pyne-James, resulted the telecoms company donating an aeroplane for use in anti-poaching operations.

"Conserving our natural environment is one of the core aims of our corporate social investment programme, and this was one of the most rewarding investments we could make," said Clayton Timcke head of Marketing at Vox Telecom.

Efforts against poachers are paying off, but more needs to be done on the demand side for horn before rhino populations begin to decline.

The DEA said that 148 poachers have been arrested in 2013, compared to 267 last year, and 232 in 2011, but the WWF said that the focus should be pointed to Asia while continuing to target local poachers.

"I absolutely agree Asia is the root of the problem - obviously in South Africa we must do as much as we can to protect the rhino, but that's not going to solve the problem. I think that's a key point," Dr Jo Shaw, Rhino Co-ordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) told News24.

The park is trying to raise funds to buy four additional aeroplanes to conduct anti-poaching activities.

By:
 Duncan Alfreds | News24.com

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

On Safari with Mark And Dean from the 3 September 2013

3 September 2013

Dean picked up four guests Ellen Li and company as well as Irvin Choo and company from the Splice Rivera Hotel in Johannesburg. They then made their way to Nelspruit where Mark was waiting. Two guests then got on to Marks open vehicle as they were on a private safari. The remaining two guests got on Deans open vehicle.

After the necessary check in at Numbi Gate it as out to see what the afternoon would bring.

Route: Napi – Nkambeni Tented camp

We had a rather quiet afternoon drive with just some general game spotted:

Warthog, impala, kudu, steenbok, common duiker and distant visuals of a giraffe.

As we got onto camp road we spotted 3 buffalo bulls near a waterhole.

We then made our way onto camp for the evening.

4 September 2013

Today after breakfast it was back on the open vehicles and out to see what this new day in Africa would bring us.

Route: Napi - Marola loop – Eloff Street - Napi – Nkambeni Tented camp

General animals spotted though out the day was as follow:

Kudu, giraffe, warthog, rhino, chackma baboons, vervet monkeys, common duiker, steenbok, impala, hippo's, spotted Hyena and klipspringer.

We then came across a male leopard 500m before transport dam access road. After a while he returned to the road and crossed over between our open vehicles.

Dean heard about lions near klipspringer koppies after proceeding in that direction we found 2 lioness with 2 cubs, quiet far off the road.

Crossing over the sabi low level bridge another leopard was spotted lying on a flat rock under a Marola tree enjoying the shade the tree provided.

Great sightings of elephant during the day with a herd of 40 drinking water at delaport waterhole.

Dean spotted a Mozambique spitting cobra, but once we arrived it had moved off into the thicket (they don’t stick around for very long).

We then returned to camp as all guests were going on a sundown drive.

5 September 2013

Today the game drives only started after 11:00am as all guests went on their bushwalk.


Update still to come keep watching...

Media Statement 4 September 2013

MINISTER MOLEWA COMMENDS LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES FOR WORK WELL DONE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST RHINO POACHING
 


The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, has welcomed the arrest of 24 alleged rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the past two weeks.

The arrests bring to 191 the number of suspected rhino poachers arrested across the country since 1 January 2013.

The law enforcement agencies, and rangers in the Kruger National Park, are commended for their actions and commitment to the fight against rhino poaching.


The arrests happened amidst the increasing number of poaching incidents reported in South Africa.

The total number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year has increased to 618.

The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching, with 381 rhino having been killed for their horns since January.

Among the total number of rhino poached, 64 have been killed in Limpopo, 62 in KwaZulu-Natal, 62 in North West and 42 in Mpumalanga.

South Africans are encouraged to continue supporting the work of the security forces, rangers and conservationists. The commitment to conservation requires the support of everyone in order to stem the tide of rhino poaching.

South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kruger National Park To Apply The High Intensity Prescribed Burn

The Kruger National Park (KNP) Scientists and Rangers in conjunction with Working on Fire teams will apply the high intensity prescribed burn in the southern part of the Park on 2 - 3 September 2013. The teams will start with what is called a multiple spiral ignition on the 2nd of September at 15:30 and then perimeter ignition on the 3rd of September, also in the afternoon. Some parts of the gravel roads will temporarily be closed during the burn; in order to completely allow the ignition to end.

“The aim of this fire treatment is to determine the desirability and feasibility of researching with high intensity burns to address bush thickening at selected areas in the KNP. The data analysis indicated that we have the most suitable weather conditions to conduct the treatment around this period in September,” indicated the GM: Communications and Marketing - KNP, William Mabasa.

Gravel roads to be closed will be: S112 and S118 on 2 September; and parts of S23, S113, S114 and H3 which will affect routes towards the Jock of the Bushveld, Afsaal Picnic Spot, Gardenia bird hide, Lukimbi Private Lodge and Biyamiti Bush Camp) on 3 September 2013.

“The areas around the target sites will be cleared to ensure animals are safe and ground teams to guide tourists on alternative roads will also be available at the affected roads”, concluded Mabasa.

This is a follow-up on a high intensity burn which took place in 2010. In preparation for this year’s treatment, prior vegetation surveys were conducted such as sampling the vegetation before and after the fire treatment, collecting of data a year after the burn to look at re-growth responses, plot work – recording of all woody vegetation, information such as species, height, diameter and number of stems etc; assisting in giving an indication of the amount of fuel that is available to burn.

Issued by:
 South African National Parks Kruger National Park Communications

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three Rhino Poachers Get 16 Years Each

Three Mozambican nationals were jailed for 16 years each on Friday for killing a white rhino and its calf in the Kruger National Park.

A SAPA correspondent reported that Julius Ngwenya, 20, Daniel Jadere, 22, and Antonio Malunga, 20, pleaded guilty to five charges when they appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court.

Their charges included entering the Kruger National Park without written authorisation from management, two for carrying out a restricted activity in a designated area (namely killing and dehorning a white rhino cow and its calf), and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.

They were arrested in the Crocodile Bridge area on May 10 last year during a joint operation involving South African National Parks (SANParks) environmental crime investigators and rangers, police and army.

During their arrest, a fourth suspect, known as Benet, was shot dead.

In their confession statement, the three men stated they knew what they did was a very serious offence, and pleaded for leniency.

They told the court they were recruited by the fourth suspect who was fatally wounded during their arrest.

They said Benet had promised them R2000 each for helping him get rhino horns.

They testified in their statement that they gained access to the KNP by jumping over a fence and that Benet shot both animals using an automatic hunting rifle.

Their testimony included that they dehorned the animals using an axe, but got caught when they started walking back to the fence.

Prosecutor Isbet Erwee said the State accepted their plea and argued that they pleaded after realising the seriousness of the charges and strong evidence against them.

Erwee said the Kruger National Park was hardest hit in the country and most of the suspects were from neighbouring Mozambique.

She stated the three accused, despite being remorseful, gave rangers a hard time during their arrest, and that a helicopter had to be used to search them out.

Magistrate Edward Hall told the three their charges were very serious as a hunting automatic rifle and ammunition as well as three rhino horns were found in their possession.

"The rate of poaching increases despite the efforts by the two governments. Mozambican poachers will in future be followed right into their own country and be arrested there," he said.

"This is what the ministers in the two countries have agreed upon, as [before this] Mozambicans could not be arrested once they have crossed the border."

By:
 South African Press Association