HillsNek Safaris is committed to the conservation of the Southern White Rhino Ceratotherium simum.
The historical range of the southern white rhino is from southern Angola through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland into the northern, northwestern and subtropical eastern areas of South Africa.
By 1900, the only remaining population comprised 10-20 animals in the Umfolozi region in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is from this relic population that the more than 20,000 southern white rhinos present in Africa today were derived. South Africa has therefore clearly played an absolutely critical role in the survival and recovery of the southern white rhino.
This has been achieved through a number of innovations, ranging from the darting and translocation of white rhino to create new populations (which started in 1961), sale to the private sector, the introduction of trophy hunting in 1968 and the auctioning of rhino which began in 1989.
The white rhino story represents one of the most successful conservation efforts of all time and HillsNek Safaris, through intense daily monitoring and Amakhala Game Reserve providing the optimum habitat, strives to protect and promote the population growth of the southern white rhino in Africa.
Sadly in late 2010, Amakhala Game Reserve fell victim to the vicious war of rhino poaching and lost 2 prominent white rhino bulls. Determined to protect and conserve this species more than ever, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation was established as a separate, privately-run non-profit organization, aimed at conserving rhino and supporting the stringent anti-poaching efforts needed.
Visit www.chipembere.org for further information on this foundation.
A percentage of every bed night sold at HillsNek is donated to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation ensuring that every guest that visits is contributing to saving rhinos.
A unique secret is that HillsNek Safaris is home to the 1st dinosaur fossil discovery In Southern Africa and possibly, the whole continent of Africa!
“Then over the Komga (River)…… Now we pass Dassiesklip, where the rocks change entirely. There, to the left, lies “Iguanodon-hoek”, where Bain and I years ago exhumed huge bones of some extinct Saurians – one, from the jaw and serrated teeth, I fancy some huge Iguanodon.”
A reference by Dr William Guybon Atherstone in the Cape Monthly Magazine (1871) to dinosaur fossils Paranthodon africanus found in 1845 on the farm Bushman’s River (182) by himself and Mr. Andrew Geddes Bain.
HillsNek Safaris is set on Bushman’s River (182) a topographically diverse section of land that holds sanctuary to “Iguanodon-hoek” and the fossil site of Paranthodon africanus the first Southern African Dinosaur discovery.
This land is now incorporated into the established Amakhala Game Reserve allowing current conservation efforts by HillsNek Safaris, primarily that of the White Rhino Ceratotherium simum , to blend with the conservation of palaeontology. Restricted access helps in the preservation of this sensitive and historical site.
It seems fitting that the responsibility of protecting a species such as rhino who have been in existence for almost 150 million years, shares common ground with the extinct giants our past.
Amakhala Game Reserve also funds and supports the well-established Amakhala Conservation Centre, funded in part by the member Lodges on the Reserve and other donations. The Conservation Centre plays an extremely important part on the Reserve, delivering to its 3 primary objectives: Research and Monitoring; Environmental Education; and Conservation.