CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Extraordinary and our Partners are proud to be associated and involved with the following conservation projects.

CHEETAH RELEASE PROJECT

Mabula Private Game Reserve is the proud home of three cheetahs that were released under strict supervision to determine how they would adapt to their new home and to what extent they would impact on their prey species, kudu and impala.

Two male cheetahs were released in January 2012 and once it was established that the breeding rate of Kudu and Impala was greater that the numbers hunted by cheetah it was decided to introduce a female.

A female was introduced to Mabula in November 2013 and was placed in a “boma” in order to habituate her to the new surroundings. Two months later, she was released onto the greater Mabula Private Game Reserve, an area of about 10 000 hectares.

Mabula’s long-term plan is to allow this female to have young and rear them in the wild. These cubs will be put up for adoption for other reserves, forming part of the South African Cheetah Meta-population Management Program. In doing this, Mabula is helping to secure the growth of the cheetah population on privately owned land.

THE MABULA GROUND HORNBILL PROJECT

 

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Booooom… that’s the sound the groundbreaking Mabula Ground Hornbill Project is fighting to protect. Launched in 1999, this conservation initiative strives to combat the declining numbers of the endangered and aptly named Thunder Bird, the Southern Ground Hornbill, of which there are only about 1 500 left in South Africa.

Mabula Game Reserve has been selected as one of the few release and reintroduction sites in South Africa, hosting on-site researchers whose mandate it is to enhance and develop expertise in caring for this endangered species.

As part of the initiative, eggs are harvested in and around the Kruger National Park, where at least half of South Africa’s Southern Ground Hornbill population is located, and are then taken to hand-rearing facilities after which they are either selected for captive breeding or are placed in Bush Schools. Special release sites are then selected once these birds are mature enough to be released in to the wild and form a breeding group, comprising two to nine birds.

The Southern Ground Hornbill is an extraordinarily unique bird species that lives in social, cooperative breeding groups with only one alpha male and one breeding female per group, with the rest of the group helping to rear the fledgling. There are currently only an estimated 417 breeding groups throughout the whole of South Africa and on average only one fledgling per group is raised to adulthood every nine years.

As carnivores, these birds are particularly susceptible to poison traps laid down by farmers against jackals and other predators on farms. The loss of habitat caused by eradication of big trees, which Southern Ground Hornbills require to breed, is a further cause of their rapid demise.

Despite the passionate intervention by Mabula Ground Hornbill Project, recognised internationally as a Species Guardian, and other conservationists, it is estimated that it could take as long as 100 years for this bird species to be at a stable state.

There is hope, however, as with the loss of every bird, the Ground Hornbill Project is tweaking its rearing and reintroduction recipe, with a special focus on education in schools and among farmers and communities in areas in which these birds are endemic.

Visitors to Mabula Game Lodge can enjoy a once-weekly special Southern Ground Hornbill Drive on Wednesdays during which they will learn about this fascinating bird species and the project that is fighting to keep it alive. The proceeds go to the conservation project.

What’s up with Jac?

Who is Jac and why is he so important to the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project? Jac, named after the location of his nest – Jacaranda – is the first Southern Ground Hornbill in this initiative to have been bred from a captive hand-reared female released in to the wild. He is a success story. Not only is he heading up his very own Southern Ground Hornbill breeding community in the wild, he is also doing something great for his species by teaching other Southern Ground Hornbills released in to his care.

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THE THUNDERBIRD IS IN PERIL. HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL POPULATIONS ARE  DECLINING TO CRITICALLY ENDANGERED BUT THERE IS HOPE

 

Help INDIEGOGO save the Ground Hornbill

MJEJANE GAME RESERVE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Between 1926 and 1953, the Lugedlane community was forcibly removed from their, namely the Ludwigslust farm. Recently, the farm has been returned to its rightful owners and has been Mpumalanga’s largest settled land claim to date.

The community’s initial intention was to use the property for housing and farming, however, owing to the poor soil quality and limited water resources agricultural pursuits were challenging. The close proximity to the Kruger National Park and wild life diseases like Foot and Mouth, also made cattle farming unviable.

These factors led to the land being used in conjunction with the conservation objectives of the Kruger National Park. The result is the Mjejane Game Reserve, a wonderful new private game reserve and real estate investment opportunity, which borders the southern boundary of the Kruger National Park.

The Lugedlane community will reap direct benefits from this venture, including profiting from the sale of the stands and building of the lodges. The community are also closely involved with maintaining the bushveld, the day to day running of the lodges, as well as working as game rangers.

NGOMA SAFARI LODGE COMMUNITY PROJECTS

The Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust in Botswana is dedicated to making a maintainable difference to the environment, and to the local community.  Africa Albida Tourism has partnered with the Trust while developing Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe.

The Enclave is a triangular section of land, with Chobe National Park and the Linyanti marsh on either side. The five local communities that are involved, play an active role in terms of decision making.  They therefore derive benefit directly from tourism in the concession, as well as being involved in managing the natural resources.

We encourage our guests to interact with the community by visiting the local villages.

Guests can get involved by feeding the chickens and livestock, or simply talking and sharing stories with the families.

Education is a priority, and there are a number of Local School Development Programs that have been successfully implemented.  Africa Albida Tourism assists with donated equipment wherever possible, and they actively encourage their guests to become involved with the development of the school, as well as donating school supplies for the children.

VICTORIA FALLS ANTI-POACHING UNIT

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, established in 1999, is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the wildlife and natural habitat of the area.

Proudly a World Heritage Site, the Victoria Falls Rainforest is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The famous Victoria Falls is bordered by the Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park. Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit’s directive is to diminish poaching in the patrol region, as well as to rescue and rehabilitate wounded wildlife.

The patrol area is approximately 50 square kilometres around the Victoria Falls. Active patrols are carried out 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  It is important to note that education is important in the fight against poaching.

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit and its partners therefore have various community outreach programs, with the purpose of increasing awareness in the communities on the importance of conserving the fauna and flora for future generations.

The unit has seen huge success, with more than 19,000 snares being removed, over 360 poachers have been arrested, and 46 landmines have been found and safely disposed of.

RHINO REVOLUTION

The fate of the Black and White Rhino in Southern Africa grows ever increasingly serious. When the spate of rhino poaching started in South Africa in 2008 no one could have predicted that the onslaught that would follow would now leave the rhino teetering on the edge of extinction. Why is it when it seems like the whole world is aware of the crisis and there are thousands of charitable causes banging the drum toSave the Rhino, that we seem unable to make any meaningful dent in the problem and reverse the trend? There are many people involved in spreading the awareness of the problem internationally, which is in itself a huge task one for which I have a great deal of admiration. But how can you be sure that the difference you wish to make, be it by fundraising, or volunteering in the field or the office; will really make a difference and get through to the people on the ground trying to save rhino in the field? That was why Rhino Revolution was born.

Founded in 2011 by concerned community members alongside rhino owners at a time when the slaughter of rhino had taken a horrific rise in the Hoedspruit area, Rhino Revolution publicly sounded the call that rhino poaching will NOT be tolerated any further.

With a regional population of only 400 rhino remaining, the movement presented a 7 Point Plan which underscored a long term vision to protect and grow the population of rhino to a sustainable number and in doing so provide a natural environment where their safety could be secured. The plan sought to address both the short term need to save the rhino alongside a much broader and deeper educational need to demonstrate to the broader community the value of wildlife to the economic development of their home province. Hoedspruit lies at the heart of the region where the remaining highest concentration of surviving rhino exist.

Whilst we are a registered non-profit organisation, I like to look at it less as a charity and more as a movement of people who are now making a stand for a conservation, making a stand to save one of the world’s most iconic mammal species. They truly are thePatriots of the Revolution!

VISIT THE RHINO REVOLUTION