August 2014 – Wilderness Safaris is proud to announce that Poster (Mpho) Malongwa, Rhino Monitoring Officer for the company’s successful Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project, has won the 2014 Rhino Conservation Award for Best Field Ranger. This was announced at the third annual Rhino Conservation Awards gala dinner held at the Montecasino Ballroom in Johannesburg last night, to coincide with the celebration of World Ranger Day (31 July 2014).
Rhino Conservation Award Winner: Best Field Ranger, Poster Malongwa, with South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms. Edna Molewa and other award winners
Mpho, fondly known by most as “Poster,” is an ardent campaigner for rhino conservation and was recognised for his tireless efforts in monitoring the wild rhino of northern Botswana over the past 15 years. Poster has played a vital role in ensuring the ongoing success of Wilderness Safaris’ Rhino Conservation Project, which has seen the re-establishment of viable breeding populations of both white and black rhino in the Okavango Delta’s Moremi Game Reserve. He has also been a pivotal player in the company’s latest reintroduction of a small founder population of Endangered black rhino that took place in the first quarter of this year, in a joint collaboration with the Botswana and South African Governments.
“Botswana’s increasingly important role and achievements in the conservation of both black and white rhino in Africa was strongly acknowledged at the awards ceremony, with three stalwarts of the country’s rhino conservation efforts nominated in three of the six different categories in the awards, winning two of them”, says Keith Vincent, Wilderness Safaris Chief Executive Officer. “We are incredibly proud of Poster and grateful for his long-standing and passionate commitment to Botswana’s wild rhino.”
His Excellency the President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama was also recognised for his pivotal and far-reaching role in Botswana’s rhino conservation successes, winning the category ‘Political and Judicial Support.’ Map Ives was nominated for ‘Best Conservation Practitioner’ in his joint role as Wilderness Safaris Botswana’s Environmental Manager and the National Rhino Coordinator for Botswana.
Summing up what the award meant to him, Poster said, “This award is not just for me, but for Wilderness Safaris and my country” – a sentiment no doubt shared by both the President himself and the National Rhino Coordinator as well.
The Rhino Conservation Awards are a collaborative initiative by The Game Rangers Association of Africa and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. It aims to give recognition to those who work tirelessly and selflessly in the fight against rhino poaching in Africa, and in doing so, raise awareness for what is being done to ensure the survival of Africa’s rhino.
For more images from the gala dinner, click here.