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Conservation in Action: Building a Rhino Boma at Shamwari

Feeding time is the best time at Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

In 2017, our partners at Shamwari Game Reserve will be celebrating their 25th year “conserving a vanishing way of life”. Shamwari’s story is a remarkable one that shows the impact that travel can have on supporting wildlife sustainability in Africa.  Since Shamwari opened, they have grown from a small reserve, to one encompassing 25,000 hectares of protected land. Conservation remains at the heart of everything we do at African Travel, Inc., which is why we are excited to announce that we will be building a new rhino boma at Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The rhino boma will be a safe haven to rehabilitate injured or orphaned rhino, until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild.

At the Centre, Shamwari’s expert team of wildlife veterinarians, led by the renowned Dr. Johan Joubert, care for injured, sick and orphaned animals to nurse them back to health so that they can be released back into the wild. The variety of species that the centre has taken care of is diverse: zebras, giraffes, leopards, caracals, sables, and rhinos have all called the centre home. Rhinos in particular have benefitted from the rehabilitation centre and its staff: Shamwari has not had a single rhino poaching on their reserve in over three years, a remarkable achievement in South Africa that is helping to ensure the species remains vibrant for generations to come.

Meet Shamwari’s Rhino Crash

Noelle, Winston and Chip, the current tenants of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Three white rhinos call the rehabilitation centre home: Noelle, Winston and Chip. Noelle and Winston came to Shamwari as orphans, after poachers killed their mothers. Since arriving at Shamwari, Noelle and Winston have become inseparable—they do everything together including eating, playing and sleeping. Chip is the most recent addition to Shamwari’s rhino “crash”—he arrived at Shamwari in September 2016 and has quickly become close with Noelle and Winston. Both Noelle and Winston recently celebrated their first birthdays at Shamwari, and Chip’s is coming up soon!

Since November, Noelle, Winston and Chip have been living in a larger enclosure, giving them more room to roam and play! The vets have reported that since the move, the “three amigos” have begun to challenge themselves and each other in play. This healthy development shows the rhinos are thriving in their surroundings at Shamwari. The wildlife team has also reduced the number of times the rhinos are fed from three times a day to twice a day, an important step that lessens the rhinos’ human contact to prepare them for release back into the wild. We are very proud to say that these three rhinos have successfully returned to the wild of the game reserve.

Building a New Rhino Boma

Noelle, Winston, and Chip are just the beginning of Shamwari’s growing rhino rehabilitation project. Many rhinos will call the rehab centre home over the decades to come and we couldn’t be more excited to support this important initiative with Shamwari! In 2017, when guests book Majestic South Africa for travel in 2018, we will be donating $50 per couple, in their name, to go towards building a new rhino boma at Shamwari. We could not support this important rhino conservation initiative without the support from our guests; so, from everyone here at African Travel, Inc. thank you for choosing to travel to Africa responsibly and sustainably!

Learn more about all the ways that African Travel supports sustainable and responsible travel initiatives by visiting the African Travel Cares page.

CST #2071444-20