African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of a portfolio of 19 parks across 11 African countries, spanning 14.8 M hectares, in partnership with governments and local communities.
In addition to a set of monitoring and research programmes, their integrated conservation strategies combine habitat management with wildlife reintroductions and cross-border translocations.
In 2015 and 2021, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve supported African Parks in two historic translocations from South Africa to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park: the first of these reversed a decades-long local extinction of lion, while the second established a new stronghold for white rhino.
2015 | The return of the lion
&Beyond Phinda has a long history of successful lion conservation and is currently home to the South Africa’s second most genetically diverse lion population.
In a 2015 collaboration with African Parks and the Rwanda Development Board, they donated five lionesses, which together with two males from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, shaped the new founder population for Rwanda’s Akagera National Park.
Phinda’s very first international translocation of lions from the reserve was to Akagera in 2015, marking the start of our collaboration with African Parks.
2021| New habitat for white rhino
Rwanda welcomes 30 white rhino in the largest-ever single translocation
In a further collaboration with African Parks and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve had the privilege of supporting the largest single translocation of rhino to date when 30 rhino from the reserve were transported 3 400 km in a journey of 40 hours to their new stronghold in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park.
The forward planning of this unprecedented translocation was years in the making. Over and above the complexities of cross-border permits and documentation, there were vehicles, trucks, vets and a cargo plane to coordinate, not to mention the dedicated teams and collective expertise that shepherded the rhino from start to finish.
It is collaborations like these, which play to the strengths of like-minded organisations, that will compound positive change and shape the future of conservation.