Who We Are
The Rhino Revolution was started by concerned citizens in the town of Hoedspruit who called respected Rhino and property owners in the immediate area to a meeting to discuss the inaction surrounding the Rhino Poaching in the country.
With approximately 20 invitations going out and well over 40-50 people attending it was clear from the first meeting that the community and the town was committed to ending this scourge. That initial meetings major conclusion was that there are too many Rhino fundraising organisations in South African and the world that talk the talk but lack the ability to walk the walk, The Rhino Revolution would be different.
We have since then grown to become a community driven initiative with a focus on action and results but our initial objectives haven’t changed.
To implement a Seven Point Strategic Plan
The 7 Point Plan does not need to be followed sequentially but rather each topic or section is headed by an action group that is tasked weekly to progress on the issues at hand. With this more business like approach to Rhino Protection we have had much success in the few short months we’ve been active with arrests and saved Rhino to our name already.
We are consulting with the South African and International Media and embrace internationally high profile conservation individuals and NGO’s. Our hope is to combine the multitude of small initiatives that are currently underway worldwide into a single global initiative that is results driven and focused on the well being of Rhino.
Why Hoedspruit as a model?:
Hoedspruit is a small town in the South of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Only four and half hours drive from Johannesburg and 30 minutes from the Kruger National park in the heart of the Lowveld bushveld. The focus area is approximately 300 000 hectares, +/- 50km radius from Hoedspruit. (This focus area could and will be enlarged as the initiative grows)
Hoedspruit is the ideally positioned to set up a model for the protection of Rhino for a multitude of reasons:
- The town has only three major tar road entrances, namely the Tunnel road from Lydenburg (R527) and the Phalaborwa/Nelspruit road (R40) at the Oliphants River and the Kruger Park Orpen Gate turn off. This allows us to have a completely controlled and monitored environment by simply closing off these three access points.
- It enjoys the privilege of having an airforce base in the centre which limits the functionality of airborne incursion and at the same time allows the use of their facilities which is readily available to the local community.
- The community in Hoedspruit has a historical spirit of working together for conservation as shown by the large conservancies that have been formed by the removal of fences over the last 20-30 years, these conservancies include Thornybush Game Reserve, Kapama, Blue Canyon Game Conservancy, Selati Game Reserve, Timbavati, Klaserie and others. This attitude is what we will be building on and continuing to enhance the environment for our natural heritage.
- Hoedspruit is privileged to embrace Protrack the first leading and first private anti-poaching unit in the country, established for over 20 years with an excellent track record, employing over 270 guards in various security operations in the region. They have an excellent working relationship with the local police and the community.
- Farm Watch, an already established community watch in the area, operates with the SAPS in monitoring crime activity in the area and is one of the major reasons that the Hoedpsruit Police Department is known as the best and most effective in our region.
- In addition to the co-operation between the Milatry, Police, Protrack, Management from the Private Reservesk and Farm Watch the local action group has had major buy-in from the local station commander and nominated a dedicated SAPS officer who attends all the Rhino Revolution meetings.
The Kruger National Park is having major success working with the Military and this has resulted in a deflection of poaching to our area. Their anti-poaching unit’s willingness to help with any anti-poaching efforts is encouraging.
The combined efforts of the The Rhino Revolution Action Group, Police, Military, Farm Watch, Protrack and Kruger National Park Anti-poaching Unit together form a powerful and experienced team.
The commitment and enthusiasm that has been shown by each and every individual and organization approached is very encouraging and motivates us further to fight this scourge. The Hoedspruit community is standing up and saying NO.