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Founding Statement “Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Founding Statement

“Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal.

The members of Project Rhino KZN recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from the threat of poaching is symbolic of the broader threat faced by all wildlife, and that all wildlife will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino KZN. The association is also aware that the poaching of rhino is symptomatic of the overall, bigger conservation & environmental crises facing South Africa and its neighbours.”




  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
  • African Conservation Trust
  • Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (WWF)
  • Game Rangers Association of Africa
  • Magqubu Ntombela Foundation
  • Phinda Private Game Reserve (& Beyond)
  • Space for Elephants
  • Thanda Foundation
  • Thanda Private Game Reserve
  • Wildlife ACT Fund
  • Wildlands Conservation Trust
  • Wilderness Action Group
  • Wilderness Foundation
  • Zululand Rhino Reserve
  • Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative (ZWSI)
  • eThekweni Community Foundation
  • The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation



Falaza Game Park

H&H Ranch

Hluhluwe Farms Conservancy

Kube Yini

KwaZulu Private Game Reserve

Mahlalela Game Reserve

Mduna Royal Reserve (community-owned)

Phinda Private Reserve

Pongola Game Reserve - North

Pongola Game Reserve - East

Somkhanda Community Game Reserve (community-owned)

Sungulwana Game Reserve

Thanda Private Game Reserve


Zimanga Game Reserve


Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve

Zululand Rhino Reserve

  • Background
  • Est. 22 September 2011 by the KwaZulu-Natal conservation community.
  • Voluntary association -representative of:
  • 16 Founding Members:
      • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (provincial government conservation agency)
      • 11 leading Conservation NGOs
      • 3 premier Private Game Reserves
      • Anti-poaching security group representing 11 private reserves
  • 2 Associate Members
  • 19 private & community reserves
  • 5 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves (Zululand)
  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves
  • Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Park
  • Tembe Elephant Park
  • Ndumo Game Reserve
  • Ithala Game Reserve
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, incl Mkhuze Game Reserve


  • Improve:
    • Intelligence capabilities – information & informant networks
    • Surveillance - both traditional &new technologies (aerial etc)
    • Field ranger competency - equipment & training
    • Advocacy - legal expertise
    • Community awareness & support - education & outreach
    • Coordination & communication - conservation sector, public, media, stakeholders
  • Reduce duplication in:
    • Rhino-focussed projects & anti-poaching activities
    • Resources/equipment for game reserves & anti-poaching teams
    • Fundraising & media appeals for support
    • Public/donor confusion on who to support; prevent ‘fly-by-nights’ from siphoning funds away from genuine NGOs and sanctioned rhino protection / anti-poaching efforts
  • Implement:
    • Region-wide anti-poaching strategies to benefit large populations of rhino across several game reserves
    • Centralised equipment and resource support
    • Collective fundraising and media strategies
  • Create:
    • A common vision for KZN’s rhino conservation sector
    • A united front for KZN against poaching and wildlife crime in general
    • Credibility with donors, public and external stakeholders
    • Centralised platform for fundraising, events and partnerships
    • Centralised communications hub to media, public, government & external stakeholders
    • Space for information sharing, relationship building, sharing of skills & experience
    • Culture of learning and innovation: reporting, benchmarking, new thinking


  • NB: each member continues to manage their own specific rhino conservation and counter-poaching efforts as well as give input & support to the wider Project Rhino KZN activities
  • 1. Effective coordination
    • Encouraging cooperation between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, conservation NGOs and private game reserves in the province
    • Improving information-sharing and intelligence gathering efforts
    • Management of group via dedicated Secretariat, monthly meetings & reporting and adherence to financial governance, transparency and accountability ethics.
  • 2. Equipment & Resources for APU teams & game reserves
    • R660,000 Asset Register (to date): from funds donated to Project Rhino KZN
      • Includes: APU camp equipment, mobile solar power sites, water tanks, quad bikes, thermal-imaging cameras, first aid kits, camera traps, cyber-trackers, binoculars, chest webbing, handcuffs, spotlights, rechargeable torches, ground-to-air radios
    • 14 game reserves / APU teams directly equipped
  • 3. Community Relations – reaching hearts & minds
    • Kingsley Holgate Izintaba Zobombo expedition + community education/awareness using Rhino art & soccer competitions
    • 300 schools – 30,000 children reached in South Africa, Mozambique & Swaziland
    • 5,000 Rhino artworks collected to date – rural children’s voices
    • Improved relations with communities bordering game reserves, and also with rhino conservation leaders down the entire South Africa/Mozambique/Swaziland border.

Activities & Projects cont.

  • 4. The Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing
  • (partnership btw Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, private reserves, NGOs and donors)
    • 2 x fully owned light aircraft, 2 x helicopters on contract
    • Whole of northern KZN receiving aerial anti-poaching support (24 reserves +200,000ha)
    • Daily aerial patrols plus reaction support in cases of rhino poachings
    • Joint operations with law enforcement agencies (SAPS, Hawks, rhino security groups)
    • Full-time Project Coordinator & chief pilot, 3 reserve pilots + 3 helicopter pilots
    • Fully equipped operational air-base
    • Bateleurs’ support for additional needs
    • Signs of impact seen: arrests, recovery of weapons, reduction in poaching incursions, community awareness.
  • 5. GIS Spatial Intelligence and Analysis
  • (partnership with eThekwini Municipality)
  • Utilizing geo-spatial analysis and intelligence skills to map and interrogate poaching activities through time and space
  • Adding value to existing intelligence and counter-poaching efforts of APUs, reserves and law enforcement agencies.

Activities & Projects cont.

  • 6. Blythe Loutit Legal Advisory Fund (new)
    • Senior attorneys, advocates & forensic experts provide legal expertise & support to Investigation Officers & State Prosecutors to improve Court convictions and sentencing of rhino poachers & their affiliates:
    • Attendance at crime scenes to ensure evidence is properly collected
    • Assist investigators in compiling Dockets
    • ‘Watching Brief’ - assistance to the Prosecution during legal proceedingsto reduce Court postponements and ‘delaying tactics’ of defence attorneys
    • Institute civil action against poachers for damages suffered as a result of the loss of rhino
    • Lobbying Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice and other Government Departments to increase penalties for rhino poaching
  • Other
    • Facilitated Informant Fund for private & community reserves
    • Training: Advanced Field Ranger & Crime Scene Management
    • Improving communication between game reserves = better security coordination
    • Direct support in event of a poaching (actual or attempted); sharing of resources & personnel
    • Midlands/Berg, & central KZN reserves coming on board
  • Funding Mechanisms
  • ACT Rhino Fund (main)
  • Business & general public
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Trusts/Foundations
  • Major donors/supporters
  • Media partners
  • Fundraising events/campaigns
  • International donors
  • Members’ efforts
  • Financial governance & accountability provided by African Conservation Trust (nominated Founding Member)
  • – registered NPO with SARS PBO/18A Tax Exemption Status and annual Audited Financial Statements .
  • 2013: Winner – Rhino Rescue Award 2012: Finalist – Best NGO
  • Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Awards Rhino Conservation Awards