Provision of ranger equipment
Ranger equipment includes tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, binoculars and the like.
Project Skywards is a funding initiative for the SANParks Airwing with emphasis on the aircraft capability and logistical and fuel requirements for wildlife management and conservation activities. The aircraft and crew provide preventative surveillance, patrols, reconnaissance, and logistical support for ground operations. The aircraft is also on standby to respond to areas of suspected poaching activity. CS provides fixed wing support in place of helicopters, where appropriate as the cost of operations for fixed wing is lower than rotary wing.
The KNP has more than 17 000 elephants, according to 2014 figures. The first poaching incident of an elephant for its tusks was reported in 2014, after a 10-year lull in such activity. The picture has changed – by the end of 2017, the number of elephants poached in the KNP rose to 67. As with the rhino, the responsibility for protecting our heritage of elephants in the KNP is now a massive challenge. The capability to fight elephant poaching needs specialised off-road mobility with support from the air. It needs a special infrastructure of connectivity – and all these elements do not come cheaply. Project Ivory is designed to raise support in counter-poaching activities for elephants.
Rhino Tears Wines
Rhino Tears wines are a joint venture of Mount Vernon Wine Estate, Gravel Junction Wines, Unite Against Poaching and the SANParks Honorary Rangers led by the Conservation Services National Project. Rhino Tears red and white wines were released during 2014, and Mount Vernon Wines makes a donation to the SHR for every bottle of wine sold.
Mokhohlolo and Sunset Serenade
The SANParks Honorary Rangers offer two popular products in the KNP that raise funds in support of the Environmental Crime Investigation unit and to obtain equipment for the rangers in the parks.
These are the Sunset Serenade in Mopani Camp, where classical music enthusiasts enjoy light classical music performed in the bush settings, and the Mokhohlolo Bush Camp weekends aimed at influential people who care about biodiversity and nature conservation and are happy to contribute financially to this cause.
In 2019, the Sunset Serenade will have a twenty-year anniversary and there will be two back to back concerts to celebrate.
Mokhohlolo means ‘to cough’ in Tsonga and the bush camp is aptly named after the presence of the local leopard population. It has water throughout the year, even in the middle of winter, and so in addition to the resident hippos, it attracts a stream of game from elephant to flocks
of birds. During their stay, guests enjoy early morning and afternoon bush walks under the guidance of highly qualified trail rangers and the opportunity to observe a game capture exercise.