Madikwe Conservation Safari

Jono Buffey All Authors, Jono Leave a Comment

Without stating the obvious – the protection of the species is ALL our responsibility and we have a moral and ethical responsibility to contribute in some way to ensuring that the Rhino does not become extinct.

When we hear the horrific poaching statistics on various media and social channels, we throw our hands up in air in anger and hurl abuse in the direction of the poachers, the Chinese and Vietnamese, corrupt government officials, poaching syndicates and anyone else we think that may be contributing to the eradication of the species.

Financial contributions will assist in the anti poaching efforts but, even with millions of cash being injected into various initiatives over the last few years, the problem still exists and still more rhino are being poached every single day.

The statistic that was released on 22 September stands at 787. Significantly more than last year!


Some other frightening facts:

Terrorist groups are funding their “ campaigns “ through the sale of rhino horn.

  • Poaching syndicates have already factored in that the rhino will become extinct .
  • Rhino horn is now being used in jewellery – a bracelet of rhino horn is now fetching $ 10 000 and they cannot keep up with the demand .
  • 65 horns have been stolen from museums and other sites that display rhino exhibits.
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I do not have the answers and there is plenty of rhetoric available – do we farm the horn or even legalise it?

You may want to take some time out to read the following link written by Colin Bell for greater insight

Into the subject

I have been closely associated with rhino conservation efforts in Madikwe and, although in a small way, have impacted positively on their proud record of not have lost a single rhino in 12 months. They have a very proactive management plan, driven by extremely committed individuals and implemented by highly a motivated anti poaching teams.

Obviously, I am not going to give any details on this but I can assure you it is largely supported by the private sector – not by writing out a cheque – but by being in the air and on the ground, working with these magnificent animals. The costs of the vet and helicopter are paid directly by the sponsor so the management do not have to go through the bureaucratic process of accessing funds from Government.

Apart from the notching and inserting of the transponders into the horn , the time that the chopper in the air acts as a massive deterrent to poachers due to the fear of being spotted.

During our recent trip, we took 7 guests to Madikwe to carry out work on 3 rhino.

We successfully immobilised and carried out the necessary work on a large adult bull and 2 young white rhino.

The most important aspect – the chopper was in the air for 6 hours.

During our stay we managed to also get some great sightings of cheetah hunting, wild dog, lions and loads of other general game.

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Let’s all come together and ensure the safety and lives of our animals!

Jono Buffey

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