In 1985, Hwange National Park had 100 white rhino; by the 1990s, poaching was rampant. In 2007, the last white rhino was seen and killed by foreign poachers near Ngamo in the southern part of the Park. The Community Rhino Conservation Initiative aims to re-introduce rhino to this part of Zimbabwe in a highly secure and sustainable way to eventually accommodate a viable population of free roaming black and white rhino.
Communities that do not benefit from conservation often harbour negative attitudes towards wildlife. The Community Rhino Conservation Initiative places local communities at the heart of conservation efforts and engages them as rhino custodians for them to reap directly from the Initiative's benefits. These communities have allocated and entrusted some of their communal grazing land specifically for rhino conservation. Rhino viewing fees from tourists visiting our partner Imvelo Safari Lodges will generate social and economic returns to go back into these communities, with 70% of total funds generated from the rhino going back to the communities.
Find out more about other community and conservation projects in the area here
INNOVATIVE SELF-SUSTAINING MODEL
The reintroduction of rhino will catalyse and grow socio-economic benefits exponentially in the local communities. This model of community-based conservation will simultaneously generate funds for community development and sustain, finance and expand conservation efforts.