We’re happy to report that Harmen van Dijk from de Dutch newspaper Trouw published his Rhino Watch article this weekend. The editor chose to publish with drawings instead of images. An unusual choice, but now the attention really goes to the story, which is actually quite good.
The first 2 pages are about Samburu NP, Elephant Bedroom camp, romantic safaris and the big 5 in general (references to ‚Out of Africa’). The last page is about Rhino Watch, Solio Conservancy, the protection programme, Dr. Felix Patten.
Press the images below to read the pages of the article. Each article will open as pdf in a new browser session.
Translation of Page 3:
On safari with a good conscience
If you are unsure whether a safari is sound, then talk again with Frank Wirth. “Come to Africa, go on safari” he says. “Otherwise, the endangered species are doomed.”
Wirth is the owner of The Rhino Watch Safari Lodge, a small tourist residence with tents and cottages in the northern Kenya. It is near Solio Ranch, the largest rhino sanctuary in the world. Here another 200 white and 100 black rhinos live.
Even though there is a fence around the 17,000 hectare nature, poachers continue their battle. They climb over the fences at night, shooting rhinos to death and leave with the horn, which are valuable, especially in Southeast Asia. The poachers are paid by criminal organizations, which are powerful and dangerous. The rangers who protect the park can barely cope.
Wirth says guests are passionate about the fight against poachers. And repeatedly stresses the importance of tourism it. There’s a lot of money needed, for example to enable night vision and to hire more rangers. “The more people come to view the animals and pay the entrance fee for the park, the better the protection can be”, said Wirth.
Guests can choose voluntarily for a more expensive packages: They will get a lecture by Dr. Felix Patten, an expert in the field of rhinos. It also accompanies a game drive in the park.
Wirth also wants more locals involved in the protection of game. “Children who live around here often never seen a rhinoceros, because they never get into the expensive game parks” he says. So he organizes regularly safaris for school classes from the neighborhood. “If you have seen the rhinos’ eyes and if you learn how special these animals are, the chance a smaller you will later become a poacher” is his philosophy.