Help protect rhinos and win a luxury safari, courtesy of Safari Footprints

RCB's friends at Safari Footprints are raising money to translocate a family of rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to safer and more secure environments here in Botswana, where they will be well protected by RCB and the Botswana government.

The cost of moving one rhino is USD $45,000. To help raise the funds, Safari Footprints is raffling two breathtaking luxury safaris valued at USD 50,000 and USD 75,000 respectively.

Find out more...

Black rhino wanderers are safely returned: Part 1

The black rhino mother cautiously leads her calf out of the boma after their adventure. Photo courtesy of Michael Fitt.

The black rhino mother cautiously leads her calf out of the boma after their adventure. Photo courtesy of Michael Fitt.

Earlier this month, two black rhinos had to be rescued by RCB when they went ‘walk about’ in a potentially dangerous area...

When the quick-thinking security team at a remote outpost in northeast Botswana call the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) to say they have spotted a female black rhino and her large calf, Map Ives, RCB's director, sets about mobilising a team to bring these important animals back to safety – and fast!

The rhinos were in an incredibly remote area. We’d like to thank the security team – Molatedi Serengeti, Robert Time, Tendekani Serengeti and Moathodi – for their honesty, integrity and commitment to Botswana’s wildlife. They are true Rhino Guardians.”
— Map Ives, RCB Director
It takes seriously big trucks – and big crates – to move black rhinos around!

It takes seriously big trucks – and big crates – to move black rhinos around!

In ultra-quick time, a truck with crane (and driver), two black rhino crates, and all the gear required to feed and shelter two rhinos and a group of men is assembled. While the team load up bales of lucerne – the rhinos' favourite treat, oxygen, ropes and straps, Map urges vet Dr Rob Jackson to hurry! 

Maun-based helicopter company, Helicopter Horizons, comes to the rhinos' aid in magnificent style, offering a helicopter to speed the RCB team 250km to the remote area where the rhinos were seen. They also secure the assistance of legendary game capture helicopter pilot, Mike Drager.

Our friends Helicopter Horizons help us with the rhino capture operation.

Our friends Helicopter Horizons help us with the rhino capture operation.

When we arrive, late in the afternoon, we set out straight away in the helicopter to find the two miscreant rhinos. They look t be in good condition and are relaxed and mooching around, so Map makes the decision to attempt to capture them the next morning.

The next day

Early morning, the helicopter takes to the air to locate the rhinos. We move the truck and vehicles closer to the pair's location, then dart the mother. We make sure she has gone down safely, before sending the team in to stabilise her. Meanwhile we dart the calf, who goes to sleep in a clearing. Success! Both animals down and stabilised by the vet and it isn't even 8am yet!

While the rhino is tranquilised, RCB's Kyle Burger checks her breathing and pulse and administers oxygen. Scratches acquired during capture are sprayed with antiseptic.

While the rhino is tranquilised, RCB's Kyle Burger checks her breathing and pulse and administers oxygen. Scratches acquired during capture are sprayed with antiseptic.

Then the rhinos are loaded in crates, though herding a black rhino, even a sleepy one, is not an easy job! The helicopter pilot lends Kyle a hand to steer.

Then the rhinos are loaded in crates, though herding a black rhino, even a sleepy one, is not an easy job! The helicopter pilot lends Kyle a hand to steer.

Now begins the slow and careful process of loading the rhinos into crates. This is difficult in rough country, but with all hands on deck – including the DWNP team, security personnel, RCB guys and even the helicopter pilot – the task is completed in three hours. The rhinos will be held in  a temporary boma until we can secure an aircraft to fly them back to the core area of the Okavango Delta – and safety.

With a high-level armed escort, we drive in convoy to the bomas – it's a long journey and takes about six hours. As the light fades, we unload our precious cargo and settle them into their temporary home. The rhinos are brought tasty browse and are soon munching happily, unphased by their busy day.

As the RCB and security teams settle down for the night, Map puts out an urgent call for an aircraft big enough to transport the rhinos home. Will the Hercules C130 be able to come to our rhinos' aid?

The rhinos' crates are carefully loaded onto the trucks for the first stage in their journey. They are kept separate so they do not accidentally crush or spear one another with their horns.

The rhinos' crates are carefully loaded onto the trucks for the first stage in their journey. They are kept separate so they do not accidentally crush or spear one another with their horns.

The team offload bales of lucerne to feed the rhinos and keep them in good condition during their time in the bomas.

The team offload bales of lucerne to feed the rhinos and keep them in good condition during their time in the bomas.

As the light fades, the rhino pair are introduced to their temporary new home.

As the light fades, the rhino pair are introduced to their temporary new home.

Reunited, mother and calf are soon munching happily on fresh browse the team have cut for them. No one will sleep tonight until the rhinos are fed, watered and settled.

Reunited, mother and calf are soon munching happily on fresh browse the team have cut for them. No one will sleep tonight until the rhinos are fed, watered and settled.

Find out how our rhinos get home in part 2, coming soon.

RCB gets some hot new wheels!

Here at RCB in Maun, we’re very excited to have taken delivery of our new rhino monitoring vehicles. 

These sturdy trucks are specially adapted to cope with the unique challenges posed by the watery environment of the Okavango Delta – and fulfil their important mission: to keep Botswana’s rhinos safe.

So what makes these vehicles so special? Find out more here...

Video: RCB’s Map Ives talks rhinos with leading business magazine

RCBs Director Map Ives chats to Swedish journalist Mats Ögren Wanger from Veckans Affärer – Swedens leading business magazine – about protecting rhinos, joined-up thinking, ecotourism and the need for worldwide support.

“Innovation to me is to take an existing problem and look at it differently, with new eyes,” says Map, the brain behind the Botswana Government’s innovative approach to rhino conservation.

Find out more about the thinking behind RCB, the need to give black and white rhinos a safe haven from the poaching crisis – and how you can help.

Watch the video now.

RCB thanks special young fundraisers

RCB thanks special young fundraisers

Recently, we’ve been incredibly impressed to hear about the fundraising efforts of some of RCB’s youngest supporters.

Last year, three young rhino-lovers decided to do something to help Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB) protect more wild rhinos in Botswana. After Halloween, nine-year-old Caylyn, Molly and Sadie had more sweets than they could possibly eat, so they decided to sell them to raise money for rhino conservation.

Prince Harry is our new Patron

Prince Harry is our new Patron

Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB) is proud to announce that, today,  His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales becomes a Patron of RCB. He will add his voice to that of Botswana’s Honourable Minister Tshekedi Khama to help raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s black and white rhinos and inspire positive action.

The announcement comes after Prince Harry visited Botswana last September, when he joined Map Ives and Kai Collins in the Okavango Delta on a sensitive operation to fit state-of-the-art electronic tracking devices to critically endangered black rhinos.

One lake, one rhino

We love it when rhino-lovers come together and do their bit to help rhinos! This summer, Ruth Nussbaum and Kyle de Nobrega launched an adventurous campaign called “One Lake, One Rhino” to raise the funds to buy one precious black rhino for Botswana.

The courageous and committed pair tackled a 60-day unassisted paddle on lake Tanganyika, one of the world’s most remote and wild lakes. They raised a magnificent $25,073, which was match funded by one generous donor, bringing the total to more than $50,000. It just shows what we can achieve, together.

In September, they handed over the cheque to Wilderness Wildlife Trust’s Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project to contribute towards the next translocation of rhinos – in association with RCB – next spring. 

Share their adventure on Facebook and Instagram

RCB’s work to save rhinos featured on Natural History Museum website

The popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year blog on Londons Natural History Museum website featured two gripping stories by RCB photographer Neil Aldridge in October 2015. Neils photo stories transported readers to northern Botswana, taking them into the skies over Moremi Game Reserve spotting rhinos and getting a drenching out tracking.