Wildlife and Environment

Teaching young people to treasure their wilderness

Africa Foundation sponsors conservation lessons for students and teachers from disadvantaged schools. Surprisingly, most local school children have never been inside their neighboring conservation area and have never seen an elephant or a lion. Many students report that their lives were changed when they realized what was on the other side of the game fence. Over the years, Africa Foundation has learned that this exposure is essential to building relationships between rural communities and their natural, wild neighborhood so that the communities understand the tangible and intangible benefits of conserving this precious resource.

 

Oceans Without Borders

Oceans Without Borders strives to catalyze positive change across our ocean footprint, through the care of the ocean, marine wildlife and people… Leaving our oceans a better place.

1. BASELINES – Establish infrastructure and knowledge management systems to inform decision making and track progress.

2. CARE OF THE OCEAN – Support the improved effectiveness of marine habitat conservation and the establishment or enlargement of marine protected areas (MPAs), seeking higher conservation status.

3. CARE OF THE WILDLIFE – Support the protection of iconic species.

4. CARE OF THE PEOPLE – Work with communities to build authentic, trusted relationships, to facilitate community-led development initiatives, so that communities feel the benefit of marine conservation.

5. GLOBAL POSITIVE IMPACT – Multiply positive impact on oceans globally through the engagement and education of &Beyond guests and collaboration with international initiatives.

 

Rhinos Without Borders – Protecting an endangered member of Africa’s “Big Five”

A collaborative project dedicated to the survival of Southern Africa’s wild rhinos

Rhino horn remains one of the most sought after animal products in the illegal wildlife trade. Its value is greater than gold, making these iconic animals high-value targets for poachers. Since 2008, more than 7 800 rhinos have been poached in South Africa, severely depleting the remaining numbers. With a rhino killed at an average rate of one every eight hours, there are more rhinos being poached than born every year.

A foundation is laid – Years of negotiation and planning preceded the pioneering translocation of six white rhino from &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, to Botswana’s Okavango Delta in 2013. Facilitated in partnership with Rhino Force, and with the full support of the Botswana Rhino Management Committee, this conservation coup was generously funded by lead sponsor, Motorite Administrators.

Botswana is chosen – Botswana was selected for its extremely low poaching rates, thanks to its ‘no tolerance’ policy when encountering potential poaching threats. Each rhino is fitted with specially designed telemetry devices for research and active monitoring purposes.

Preparations are made – In preparation for the arrival of these first six rhino, the Botswana game scouts were provided with intensive tracking and monitoring training at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. They were familiarised with the use of the satellite collars and tracking equipment designed to monitor the movement and behaviour of the rhino following their release. A portion of this equipment, as well as anti-poaching uniforms and binoculars, was supplied by the Chipembere Rhino Foundation.

Rhinos Without Borders: 2014 – 2020

Following on the success of this successful translocation, Rhinos Without Borders was born in 2014 – a collaborative project between &Beyond and Great Plains Conservation. The aim of this joint initiative is to ensure the survival of Southern Africa’s rhinos by translocating a breeding population of 100 animals to a Botswana safe haven.

As of early 2020, 87 rhinos have been safely translocated, with 39 calves born to date. The move of the remaining 13 rhino has been temporarily postponed due to the current drought conditions in Botswana. In the interim, the current rhino population with their offspring remains under close protection, and fundraising continues to cover their security and monitoring.

 

Phinda Conservation Course

A six month intensive training programme at and Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, for individuals in the five neighbouring communities in which Africa Foundation is active.

The goal of this course is to empower local people with the tools and experience required to pursue careers in wildlife, conservation management and tourism, while also developing and cultivating the future custodians of the wildlife and wild areas.

Phinda has a long standing, comprehensive conservation, research, and monitoring program. In partnership with Africa Foundation, the conservation and research skills development programme Phinda aims to use their experiences and resources to make a substantial training course accessible to enthusiastic naturalists and conservationists from the surrounding communities. These communities are critical for effective conservation in the long-term, and are areas burdened with high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities.

The course is divided into four modules:

  1. Land Management
  2. Research and Monitoring
  3. Wildlife Management
  4. Field Guiding / tourism

Certificates will be issued for all courses, and learners will also have the opportunity to obtain an accredited FGASA Level 1 qualification (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa).

Focusing on people who have experience, training or an obvious passion in the areas of wildlife / environment / conservation, this is an opportunity for 5 promising individuals per year.

In line with our ethos, we are selecting candidates from the Mduku, Mnqobokasi, Nibela, KwaNgwenya or KwaJobe communities in which we work. To support the need for youth employment opportunities, the course targets those who are unemployed and between 20-30 years of age.