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Travel with Purpose - Rhino Conservation

The Luxury of Purpose
Safari Guru in association with Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust, is offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a difference to Africa's precious, yet persecuted rhino population. Join Safari Guru, Ashley Steedman on this unique hands-on event, putting you at the forefront of conservation together with a professional rhino immobilisation project team in the Pilanesburg National Park.

By sponsoring a Rhino immobilisation not only do you get to experience an amazing 'once-in-a-lifetime' event, but you also contribute to the conservation, and furthered protection, of these iconic sentient animals.

Two Rhino species are present in South Africa, the black (hook-lipped) and the white (square-lipped) rhino; both heavily poached for their horn since the 1960's. Most recently populations of these species have started to make a comeback in South Africa thanks to the efforts of Dr Ian Player, Magqubu Ntombela and others.

Elsewhere in Africa and Asia, rhino populations are plummeting and in many cases are locally extinct. The success in South Africa has been mainly due to intensive management and protection of the animals and the expansion of the physical ranges within South Africa to areas where rhinos had previously disappeared.

The effective management of wild rhino populations requires certain key elements. An individual-based identification system is core to the gathering of vital biological data from ground monitoring, such as movements, home range, birth rate, inter-calving periods, associations and aggression, to name but a few. The recent breakthrough in DNA extraction from rhino horn has led to another tool to combat poaching – this is the databasing of genetic material collected from live rhinos. All of which requires the safe capturing, sedation and checking of live rhinos in the field.

By sponsoring a hands on rhino capture experience, you get to actively take part and assist the Vet and Park crew during the operation. Where possible, guests are requested to assist the Vet and Park Management with the Rhino, with notching activities, DNA sample collection, health monitoring under sedation and horn DNA samples, under the guidance of the experienced Wildlife Vet and Park staff.

We'll combine your exciting day/s out with the veterinary team, together with superb accommodations either within the Pilanesberg National Park, or surrounding wildlife reserves offering five-star luxury and service.

Wrap your conservation initiative with a fully inclusive four or five-day wonderful safari experience in one of South Africa big five wildlife reserves. You can expect to see elephants, lions, leopard, giraffe and a whole host of other keynote species this wonderful area has to offer.

- Early morning meet up for breakfast and road transfer to Pilanesberg, prearranged point.
- Park Ecologist – Steve Dell – will give guests a briefing on the general aspects of the rhino, poaching and procedure, as well as “do’s & don’ts” while at the Notching.
- The Vet will also give info on the veterinary procedures that will be performed.
- Thereafter the Vet and Pilot will get airborne to find a suitable Rhino and call it in on the radio to the parties on the ground.
- Once the Vet finds a suitable Rhino we all move to the area the Rhino is in.
- After the Vet darts and immobilises the Rhino, the guests will be advised as to when they may safely approach the immobilised Rhino.
- Immediately after the Rhino is immobilised the Vet and Park Ecological Services will do the necessary notching and DNA, etc., collection, with the assistance of the guests.
- Once all veterinary and ecological work is done, and in consideration of the Rhinos’ absolute welfare, individual and group photos can be taken.
- When all the required aspects are completed the Vet will reverse the anaesthesia, which wakes the Rhino up within 3 minutes.
- At this time all guests will be at a safe distance, and quietly watching the rhino wake and move off to continue its day!

Itinerary Dates Upon Application

First rhino donation of (ZAR) R50,500.00 is required to guarentee the experience. Each rhino thereafter is (ZAR) R20,500.00

Rhino donations are exclusive of journey costs

  • Additional Costs
  • - Luxury Accommodation
  • - All Transfers to and from Johannesburg
  • - Expert Guiding in Big 5 Wilderness
  • - Additional Activities (Optional)
  • - Transfers to and from the rhino activity
Rhino Experience:
  • Always early mornings except winter
  • Maximum 16 guests
  • 90 Minute to 3 hour experience
  • Summer months are limited to 2 or 3 Rhino
  • The Rhino’s safety, welfare, and dignity, is our priority at all times.
  • The activity will be halted immediately if the Vet attending to the Rhino decides it is at risk


    The Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust (PWT) was established in 1999 to provide a medium through which contributions can be made to further conservation and social upliftment. The PWT is a non-profit organisation and is registered with the South African Institute of Fundraising.

    All donors will be acknowledged on the Pilanesburg Wildlife Trusts website. The progress of the projects will also be published to the website, so that you will know how well your money has been spent!

    Accommodation Options

    Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
    • 5 Luxury Suites
    • Private Concession
    • Exclusive Use

    Embrace all that is luxury in one of the three private houses of Morukuru Family. As part of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection, the property is situated on the Madikwe Game Reserve and offers a premier safari and wildlife experience. This reserve is malaria-free and its rich diversity of vegetation ensures a wide range of wildlife, including the “Big Five”. Choose your South African adventure by day, and then retreat to a perfectly decadent home away from home.

    Morukuru Farm House is part of a bespoke bush experience, and operates on a sole use and fully inclusive basis. This means that there are never any other guests besides yourself and those who you invite along for the adventure. Imagine having the entire property and personal staff to attend to your every whim.

    Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
    • 10 Luxury Suites
    • Fully Equipped Gym
    • Child Friendly

    Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge sits gracefully atop a hill in the heart of malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. This 5-Star estate is comprised of Madikwe Hills Main Camp and Little Madikwe Hills, and offers the utmost in luxury, hospitality and beauty.

    And it’s not only these qualities that are prided upon, but also the fact that the estate supports the local village of Moletedi. From financial support, building education centres, developing skills and creating jobs, the community is assured a secure and successful future. Guests of the lodge are able to participate in this sustainability model by contributing to children’s school fees.

    Retreat to an enchanting setting, where you can relax under age-old Tamboti trees and reconnect to nature in superlative South African style!

    Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
    • 5 Luxury Suites
    • Ultra Luxury
    • Award-winning

    Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge offers 5-Star ultra luxury on the southeastern side of Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. From the award-winning food to the five villas, your senses will be captivated by each and every experience.

    Notably, this lodge is managed by its owners, who take great pride in adding personal touches. Along with their professional staff, they will ensure your time in the bush is unforgettable. Enjoy top-rated South African elegance, while getting closer to the “Big Five” in a malaria-free environment.

    As winners of the ‘Best Safari Cuisine Africa 2014 & 2015’, you can look forward to gourmet dining in the bush boma or on the Star Deck.