Why Hoedspruit as a model
Rhino Revolution is located in Hoedspruit, a small farming and wildlife community at the heart of South Africa’s greatest rhino population – the Greater Kruger Area. This includes Kruger National Park and the adjacent “corridor’’ of Private Nature Reserves where Hoedspruit is consequently the epicentre of the poaching crisis.
Rhino Revolution concentrates its support on the Private Reserves - whilst the National Parks also face enormous problems, they are relatively well funded.
Our focus area is approximately 300,000 hectares within a 50km radius. By raising more funds, we can protect more rhino by covering a greater area.
The town has only three major tar road entrances, namely the Tunnel road from Lydenburg (R527) and the Phalaborwa/Nelspruit road (R40) at the Oliphants River and the Kruger Park Orpen Gate turn off. This allows us to have a completely controlled and monitored environment by simply closing off these three access points.
The community has a spirit of working together for conservation as seen by the large conservancies formed through the removal of fences over the last 20-30 years. These include Thornybush Game Reserve, Kapama, Blue Canyon Game Conservancy, Selati Game Reserve, Timbavati, Klaserie and many others.
In addition to the co-operation between the Military, Police, Protrack, Private Reservesk Management and Farm Watch, the local Action Group has had major buy-in from the local station commander and nominated a dedicated SAPS officer who attends all meetings.
It enjoys the privilege of having an air-force base in the center which allows us the use of their facilities and which helps limit the functionality of airborne incursions by poachers.
Farm Watch is a well established community watch program which operates with the SAPS in monitoring crime activity and one of the major reasons that the Hoedpsruit Police Department are known as the best and most effective in our region.
The Kruger National Park is having major success working with the Military and this has resulted in a deflection of poaching to our area. Their anti-poaching unit’s willingness to help with any anti-poaching efforts is encouraging. The combined efforts of the The Rhino Revolution Action Group, Police, Military, Farm Watch, Protrack and Kruger National Park Anti-poaching Unit together form a powerful and experienced team.
The commitment and enthusiasm that has been shown by each and every individual and organization approached is very encouraging and motivates us further to fight this scourge.