A most exquisite area where rhino, elephant and lion roam free is about to be next to a mining operation, report by Ayesha Cantor.
Oh how these weeks fly on by! Every week Ayesha Cantor shares news and information pertinent to the rhino’s survival in her series RHINO FRIDAY. Some, like this one, we share in its entirety. The author is solely responsible for the data and information shared here in good faith as being accurate.
[Rhino poached in SA so far this year: 442 via DEA – 461+ via OSCAP]
KZN Wilderness Home of the Rhino Under Threat
A few years ago we ticked a bucket list item off, namely that of spending a few days within the Wilderness area of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.
Spending our days bravely/madly walking amongst one of Africa’s most wildly inhabited areas, tuning in to nothing but the sounds of birds and the possible threat of lion, buffalo and even black rhino ….
Late afternoons searching for suitable and safe overnight spots, cliff like ledges being first prize.
This particular afternoon, our guide suggested we catch our breath under a beautiful acacia tree, our eyes feasting on a family group of white rhino who came grazing ever nearer, peacefully and blissfully unaware nearby….
Remarkable is that folk like us have been participating in these Wilderness experiences here for more than 50 years and yet there is absolutely no trace that a single soul had gone before us.
Even your overnight fire ashes must be mixed up with mud and scattered here and there so as to leave no trace and keep the area 100% wild.
A life changing experience…..
(Booking details at the end of this piece – JUST DO IT !)
Knowing that this reserve was where Dr Ian Player brought rhino back, from a mere 50, yes FIFTY rhino left, makes the experience that much more special. One cannot help but reflect on these brave, forward thinking wildlife pioneers while traversing this pristine area……
Having had the privilege of being quiet, in a space such as this, makes one realise just what a small spec we are in the grand scheme of things, and also that we absolutely must do what we can to ensure that true wild areas such as this remain so for our rhino, for ourselves and for future generations of rhino and humans….
THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
‘’ To enable people to go into the Wilderness and Wild areas of Southern Africa under experienced guidiance so that they can undergo an experience of wildness, in order to deepen their understanding of their spiritual being, their relationship to other humans and their place within the Earth’s greater community of life.’’
TODAY, unbelievably, plans are underway to build an open-cast coal mine just 40 metres from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park.
Rangers fear it will destroy the wilderness and clear the way for poachers.
The proposed Fuleni mine is planned to operate within 30 to 70 metres of the park’s southern fence line.
Besides the obvious noise pollution and night time light pollution, there will for sure be other factors like coal dust pollution and acid mine leaching into the white & black Imfolozi rivers beng the main water source for the reserves wildlife.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please consider adding your voice to this petition addressed to South Africa’s new Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, appealing to him to put a stop to this proposed mine. (Maybe he should spend a few days in this Wilderness area before doing anything ?)
Contributed by Ayesha Cantor
More in the series RHINO FRIDAYs