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D’Nyala Provincial Nature Reserve

Saving The Last Rhino of D’Nyala

In the heart of Limpopo Province lies the D’Nyala Provincial Nature Reserve, a beautiful oasis of biodiversity, yet fragile and under pressure. This pressure was starkly realized when WeWild Africa was called to help with a poignant and urgent task: relocating the very last rhino from this reserve.

The D’Nyala Reserve, once a thriving habitat for rhinos, has seen its population completely obliterated. What used to be a robust community of rhinos has been reduced to a solitary individual – a grim consequence of relentless poaching. This last rhino’s relocation is emblematic of broader, more distressing trends: the loss of habitat due to reserves’ inability to sustain their rhino populations. This crisis is not about the loss of habitat in general, but specifically about reserves that once successfully hosted rhinos but later found it economically impossible to maintain them. The cost of rhino upkeep has become prohibitively high, driven by the need for extensive anti-poaching measures, fencing, and constant monitoring. In many cases, reserves assign one armed guard full-time for each rhino, illustrating the immense resources required for their protection.

Over the past five years, we have witnessed the loss of over half a million hectares of land previously designated as rhino reserves due to its huge economic overhead. Rhinos are simply becoming too costly for both private landowners and government reserves to protect. The financial and logistical burdens of ensuring their safety from poachers are overwhelming. As a result, we have seen a growing trend: private landowners, unable to shoulder these burdens, are relinquishing their rhinos.

Compounding this issue is the imbalance in tourist visitation. While the number of nature reserves is high, most eco-tourists flock to larger national parks like Kruger National Park or famous private wildlife reserves like Phinda or Amakala. Smaller, yet equally beautiful and biodiverse reserves, like Nyala, are often overlooked. This lack of attention translates into a significant shortfall in income generation, making it even more challenging for these reserves to sustain their wildlife populations, including rhinos.

Private wildlife reserves make up an estimated 20 million hectares of marginal agricultural land, which is 16.8 % of the country’s total landmass. WeWild Africa supports the smaller and lesser funded reserves, noting their significance in protecting biodiversity. 


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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