March 2016 – Wilderness Safaris is proud to have won the Natural Award at the prestigious Connoisseur Circle Hospitality Awards, for its pioneering Botswana Rhino Conservation Programme. The news was announced at a special event during the ITB travel trade show in Berlin on 9 March 2016.
“We are honoured to receive such esteemed recognition for our 18-year long commitment to our Botswana Rhino Conversation Programme from one of Germany’s most prestigious luxury travel magazines, Connoisseur Circle”, said Roberto Viviani, Wilderness Safaris Sales Manager, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “This is the first year that the Connoisseur Circle Hospitality Awards have included two special “Natural Awards” for commitment to sustainability and we are thrilled to be acknowledged for our rhino conservation efforts which saw the largest ever cross-border relocation of Critically Endangered black rhino to a safe haven in the Okavango Delta last year”.
Wilderness Safaris’ ongoing rhino project, which began as far back as 1999, is run in partnership with the Botswana Government and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, and has seen the establishment of a very healthy white rhino population in the Okavango, as well as several complex and delicate black rhino translocations over the course of 2014 and 2015. Once released into the wild, the rhino are constantly monitored by Wilderness Safaris Rhino Monitoring Officers, the Botswana Defence Force and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ specialised Anti-Poaching Unit, in order to ensure that they are not exposed to any potential threats.
In addition to rhino conservation, Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to a number of other wildlife research and monitoring projects across Africa, including a unique partnership with Save the Rhino Trust at Desert Rhino Camp in Namibia, and the Endangered Seychelles white-eye reintroduction on North Island, Seychelles. In partnership with NGO Wilderness Wildlife Trust, Wilderness Safaris supports approximately 25 conservation projects annually in southern Africa, within the categories of wildlife management, research and monitoring, and community empowerment and education.
“Conservation is a critical element of our 4Cs sustainability ethic (Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture). We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious recognition which will further highlight our ongoing commitment to pioneer sustainable ecotourism in Africa in order to build further conservation economies”, concluded Viviani.
Click here to watch a short video on the Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project.
In 2015, Wilderness Safaris’ Botswana Rhino Conservation Project moved no less than 1% of the total global population of Critically Endangered black rhino to Botswana’s Okavango Delta