Welcome to the Save African Rhino Foundation
A voluntary, non-profit organisation that is dedicated to saving the rhino.
Established in 1987, Save African Rhino Foundation is one of the world’s biggest NGO donors to Zimbabwe rhino conservation. We admit there have been highs (overcoming the 1980s/90s rhino wars and rebuilding rhino populations) and lows (the current rhino killing spree that started around 2006 and still continues unabated).
We remain hopeful and we stay tenacious, as we know that rhinos can be brought back from the brink. As one top-ranking official in the National Parks of Zimbabwe said in 2004: “If it were not for the Save African Rhino Foundation, the black rhinoceros would be extinct in Zimbabwe by now.” All this has been achieved with grassroots support, a loyal membership base and the assistance of SARF’s patrons.
We thank you all and confirm our ongoing commitment to play our part in stopping the current rhino poaching crisis and saving this amazing animal from extinction in the wild.
ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION.
It is estimated that 80% of the global rhino population has been removed over the last 150 years.
WE ARE COMMITTED.
“If it were not for the Save African Rhino Foundation, the black rhinos would be extinct in Zimbabwe by now.” – A top-ranking official in the National Parks of Zimbabwe. (June 2004)
JOIN US ON A UNIQUE SAFARI EXPERIENCE.
Your help will make all the difference.
YOU CAN HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Become a member and contribute as much as you like!
DONATE AND HELP SAVE THE RHINOS.
99% of donations raised go to actual projects on the ground, all our administrative and travel overheads are paid for by our committee members.
Despite our troubled times it’s been quite a good year for the rhinos.
Well, well, what a year and I doubt I need to write any more on the effects of Covid 19! I’ve now been in London for nine months – I came for three weeks, then got stranded and am now still here caring for my 97 year old mother.
It’s full credit to all our members and supporters that we have been able to sustain our pledged funding to all our key projects, so thank you all very, very much indeed! What a special and amazing impact you have all made. Our core programme remains Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) and has received more than 70% of the last year’s funding, and quite rightly so with all the results they achieve.
It is with much sadness that we honour the passing of two of our great stalwarts, Helen Fairnie and Stephen Ward. Helen, and husband Ian, met me at a Rotary luncheon about ten years ago and immediately wanted to become more involved and come on a safari. This resulted in a series of special fundraising safaris aimed at the veterinary profession, their chosen careers for the previous 40 years or so, resulting in vital links being established with some struggling Zimbabwean vets. Helen will be sorely missed, both here, around Australia and in Zimbabwe.
Stephen Ward was a founding member of SARF in Brisbane and the late eighties and then again in Sydney in 1991. Throughout all those years until quite recent times, Steve did whatever he could manage for the good of rhino conservation, always under challenging conditions as NSW liked to retain its own identity. He was always backed up by his wife, Belinda, and to her and their two children, we send our thoughts on their recent horrible loss. Both Helen and Stephen are remembered further on in this Newsletter.
You’ll be glad to know that Zimbabwe’s rhino population, both black and white, had an annual growth last year of 49 rhinos, despite 11 poaching deaths (around 75 last year) and 15 natural mortalities, meaning there were at least 75 known new births, most encouraging. Congratulations to all rhino protectors in both the private conservancies, about 90% of the total rhino numbers, and the National Parks.
We missed out on more than $230,000 of anticipated income from our annual dinner/auction at the Hyatt Regency Perth, together with our traditional four safaris and other trips we arrange for our members. Our overall donations for our field projects were down on last year’s total of $662,000 to $532,000 for this financial year. It’s been customary for our safari guests to make a significant donation on the return from their adventure and that’s the reason for the lower figure. Our main appeals were for Giving Tuesday, end of financial year, rhino naming and Wildlife Ranger Challenge.
As we all know, it’s not clear when we can again board a flight to Harare or Victoria Falls and enjoy the magic of Zimbabwe and surrounds, so fingers crossed. I’m sure that lots of you can’t wait for our next trip. I was lucky enough to twice be able to fly from London with Ethiopian Airways, once for the ear notching and once to honour Amos Gwema and also have some important meetings in Save Valley.
We held our AGM at the zoo in mid November, pretty well attended in person and by zoom. An overall report by power point informed all attendees of our progress. The same committee as the previous year was re-elected, namely; President – Nicholas Duncan; Vice President – Nia Carras; Secretary – Evan Litis; Treasurer – Heather Atwell; General committee – Evelyn Wong, Mike Palmer, Steve Harrison, Cameron Murray and Mark Beamish. And we have a sub committee comprising Lynn Johnson, Tim Scarrott, Oliver Basson, Luke Basson, Giles McCaw, Julie Bain and Greg Nicolson. Thanks everyone for all your support and dedication for yet another year!
In October, a terrific recycling programme was launched by Containers for Change, and so far, around WA, more than 200 million eligible drink containers have been returned to more than 200 recycling depots. And a 10c per item reward is given back, so please consider using this great platform to help both the environment and the rhinos. Please visit their website or email me and I’ll put you in touch with our organiser, Evan, who will help you enlist. Thanks very much, it’s pretty easy money, and you may well have a few friends who’d like to get involved too.
The way I look at is that for every few bags of containers you collect, that will pay for one week’s wages for another well trained ranger to patrol and protect the rhinos, so that could be just the motivation you need to get things started. And it could be a good project for a child to do a bit of scavenging and cleaning up around the area.
We have been supporting Amos Gwema, Chief Intelligence Officer, Hwange region, for more than 12 years now. Based on his excellent skills and results, last year we nominated him for one of the annual TUSK Trust conservation awards for all of Africa. Imagine our delight, and his, when we heard that he had won Ranger of the Year for Africa, to be presented, remotely, by HRH Prince William!! How fantastic was that and hearty congratulations, yet again, to Amos on his magnificent achievement. He certainly has a renewed spring in his step these days.
Our main project, Save Valley, welcomed a new chairman last November, Robin Bouckaert, a French businessman now living with his family in Harare. A few years ago he invested in the conservancy and bought a ranch bang in the middle of the northern boundary, Gunundwe, where we have stayed for the last two ranger trips. He is a bit of a mover and shaker, perhaps more so than conservation usually experiences, and there are already some positive signs that change and development is in the air. Thanks for taking on the challenge, Robin.
There are a few featured articles in this edition, notably Matobo National Park camera trap programme, Save Valley Conservancy, Matusadona intelligence gathering, Hwange intelligence with Amos and Paul’s anti poaching and wildlife rescue in Hwange. When you make your renewal shortly, please will you also consider topping up with a further donation to one or more of these projects, or perhaps just for general purposes, as marked on your renewal form? Thanks so much and we do have to scrounge as best we can.
There’s another way that you can also kindly support our rhino conservation projects, and that’s by leaving a legacy to SARF in your Will. A growing number of charities are now benefitting from these donations and we invite you to consider this, too, please? Cameron Murray has designed a small brochure for you, which is now being posted with your renewal form. Please remember the rhinos in your estate planning. Thank you very much.
For our Perth region members, our next social gathering is a lovely, tasty supper at Siena’s Italian Restaurant in Leederville, on Thursday 15 April, 6.30pm. Then it’s our AGM on 1 July and TUSK’s Wildlife Ranger Challenge on 11 September.
Again, thank you all for your terrific ongoing support, many for over 30 years, extraordinary, and masses of you for over 10, and long may it continue. We are so proud and lucky to have such a loyal following, and all of you, please, stay well and strong.
Nicholas Duncan | President
Please find the most recent edition of our newsletter here