May 2015 – Wilderness Safaris is delighted to announce that it has won the Conserve Africa award for its pioneering Rhino Reintroduction Project at the We Are Africa Innovation Awards 2015.
“As we prepare to begin the next phase of operations to translocate a number of Endangered black and white rhino from South Africa and Zimbabwe to Botswana, we are extremely proud to receive this remarkable endorsement from our travel trade partners”, says Wilderness Safaris Group Conservation Manager, Kai Collins. “We hope that together we can continue to take decisive action to ensure the ongoing survival of this charismatic and dramatically threatened species.”
The Conserve Africa award is defined by We Are Africa as the category that “demonstrates outstanding leadership in the complex area of conservation, embarking on bold initiatives to protect Africa’s natural resources”. Wilderness Safaris’ ongoing rhino project, which began as far back as 1999, is run in partnership with the Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe governments, 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.
We Are Africa is a travel trade exhibition organised by Beyond Luxury Media, that took place from 4 – 7 May in Cape Town, during which the annual Innovation Awards were held. The six categories revealed “the most inventive, inspiring and unexpected achievements defining the next chapter of African travel”. The finalists were selected by a panel of six African tourism experts, after which the show’s attendees, known as the “We Are Africa tribe,” were invited to vote for the winners.
“This recognition from our trade partners shows our longstanding commitment to rhino conservation and we are extremely thankful for their continuous support. We could not have achieved what we have so far without the assistance of our valued sponsors and this is a great source of encouragement as we head into the next stage of the project”, says Dave Bennett, Chief Sales Officer of Wilderness Safaris.
Following the next phase of translocations, set to take place in the coming months and valued at well over R7 million, Wilderness Safaris will have moved nearly 1% of the continent’s remaining Critically-Endangered black rhino population to Botswana. (Please note that specific figures and locations are not mentioned in order to avoid drawing unwelcome illicit attention and to ensure the ongoing safety and security of the rhino.)
Click here to watch a short, inspirational video on the Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project.