Entries in Rhino Poaching (2)


Beyond and Great Plains Conservation Join Forces to Save the African Rhino

Beyond The Great Plains Rhino MicrochippingRhino poaching is at an all-time high, and rhinos in South Africa have been particularly hard hit:  an estimated 1004 rhinos lost to poaching in 2013 alone—that’s one every nine hours, and an increase of more than two-thirds since 2012.  Overall more than 90% of the world’s rhino population has been lost in the last 50 years and, considering that the remains of many lost rhinos are never discovered, the correct figure is likely much higher.  This is what filmmaker and Chairman of Great Plains Foundation Dereck Joubert calls the “Battle for Africa,” and two of Africa’s leading conservation companies have now joined forces to fight the war.

Great Plains Conservation, which uses tourism to support land preservation and ecological initiatives in Africa, is working with &Beyond, one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel brands, to translocate rhinos from South Africa to the safe haven of Botswana.  Botswana is considered a beacon for animal protection, and has an excellent national security system in place to track poachers and protect endangered species.  Six rhinos were already translocated from South Africa last year, and on the heels of that success conservation teams from both organizations will capture and safely transport 100 more this year for release into Botswana’s remote wilderness.  Each rhino will be tagged and microchipped, and a dedicated anti-poaching team will then work in partnership with government agencies to monitor the animals, and then track their horn should they ever fall prey to poachers.

Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO, acknowledges that, apart from the right partner, a project of this size also requires a large pool of resources—an estimated $US 8million for the translocation alone.  And Joubert is quick to point out that this is far from “branded conservation.”  In order to succeed, rhino protection needs to be a global effort, and something everyone can get behind at a number of different levels.   Both Great Plains and &Beyond will oversee specific fundraising and support initiatives in which all stakeholders—travel partners, tour operators and guests—can participate in the fight to help save this iconic species, and ensure that Africa’s Big Five survive for future generations to enjoy.  Epic Road is doing its part by arranging signature experiences around rhino conservation for our clients, that allow them the amazing opportunity to join a top-notch anti-poaching team as they tag and microchip rhinos in the wild.  

The battle to save the rhino from extinction won’t be won tomorrow.  However, with joint initiatives such as this, neither will it be lost tomorrow.   And when what’s at stake is an animal’s very survival? Then there is little choice but to pull out all the stops to win the war.



Rhino Poaching in South Africa

South Africa Rhino Poaching


This year in South Africa poachers have killed a record number of Rhinos—their horns can be sold in Asia for use in traditional medicine. The species is already considered endangered, and the increased demand from the Asian market threatening the survival of the species.