The inaugural safari venture of Radisson Hotel Group in Africa, the Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, has just announced that it will be collaborating with Nkombe Rhino. This is mainly to assist in the crucial conservation endeavor focused on preserving rhinoceroses in the region.
South Africa is home to the majority of the world’s rhino population. Unfortunately, the country also suffers the highest incidence of poaching. Did you know that in 2022, 448 rhinos fell victim to poachers in South Africa alone? That is an average of over one loss per day. It’s therefore an urgent matter to safeguard these Big 5 creatures and to conserve biodiversity.
The recently launched Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, located in the Greater Kruger area, has now joined forces with a non-profit organisation dedicated to rhino preservation. In addition to this collaboration with Nkombe Rhino – a non-profit dedicated to rhino preservation – the hotel is also joining forces with My Africa Adventures – a premier tour operator in Hoedspruit. Together, they aim to support the Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative. The collaboration will initially focus on protecting four rhinos in the vicinity. It marks a pivotal stride toward securing the future of these majestic animals and upholding the fragile equilibrium of the earth’s ecosystems.
The Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative has a preventative approach to decreasing the risk of rhino poaching. According to Nkombe Rhino’s founder, Joe Pietersen, their strategy involves the proactive removal of rhino horns, which is a rather expensive process that demands substantial financial backing. “Sustainable and reliable partners are essential to the success of projects like these. The involvement of Radisson Hotel Group is a significant positive, as it enables Radisson to become part of a bigger solution. Through this partnership, the work being done and the wider importance of wildlife preservation gain exposure to the Radisson community of guests, team members and stakeholders, which further strengthens the initiative’s impact,” Pietersen says.
He adds that “over the past 10 – 12 years, we lost close to 9000 rhinos due to poaching.” The sad reality is that, even though this number has dramatically decreased, it’s not necessarily good news. Why? Because this could simply be because there are fewer rhinos to poach.
Whether we like it or not, the proactive removal of rhino horns has been a huge deterrent, reducing the reward for poaching. Additional initiatives by Nkombe Rhino include anti-poaching patrols, aerial surveillance, tracking dogs and intelligence gathering.
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Sandra Kneubuhler, Country Director of Sales and District Director South Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, says this conservation collaboration resonates with the group’s emphasis on sustainable tourism. “As a Group, we have deep-rooted and long-standing commitments to our communities, the planet and the people around us. The actions of Nkombe Rhino make a positive impact on the community, as conservation of wildlife creates employment; the planet, through protection of these magnificent animals, and people, by supporting some of South Africa’s wildlife heroes.”
She also highlights the positive impact this initiative will have on the local community, underscoring that wildlife conservation is vital as tourism remains the largest employer in South Africa and the Greater Kruger region.
“In safeguarding wildlife, we safeguard jobs and cultivate awareness about the plight of South Africa’s endangered species, ensuring their preservation for future generations,” she says.
The Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit has committed itself to ongoing rhino conservation efforts, building upon the momentum of its inaugural initiative. To bolster this cause, the hotel has pledged to donate R10 from every room night booked between February 1st and April 30th to Nkombe Rhino. This contribution will empower the organisation to sustain its commendable endeavors in protecting endangered species, including rhinos.