Pack For Conservation | Ultimate Safaris

Pack For Conservation

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The Conservation Travel Foundation (CTF) was established in 2006, and it is the philanthropic branch of Ultimate Safaris. Since its inception, the CTF has been involved in helping with the conservation of Namibia’s unique population of free-roaming desert adapted black rhino, the only population of its kind in the world. Partnering with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), which was founded in 1982 to curb the rampant poaching of the black rhino population found in North Western Namibia, the Conservation Travel Foundation has funded a variety of rhino-orientated projects, ranging from anti-poaching camps, to Rhino Ranger salaries and subsidence, to assisting with the much needed running costs of the organisation.

The first rhino census was conducted in 1986 and it revealed that there were only 40 individuals left in North Western Namibia. A much needed standardized computer database was developed in 2001 and this is now the largest and longest-running black rhino database in the world – with records dating back over 20 years. Applied research led by SRT helped guide the successful re-introduction of nearly 40 rhino into 13 Communal Conservancies between 2005 – 2011, and this has led to a current total population numbering hundreds of rhino across the region.

Sadly, the greatest threat to rhino worldwide in recent times is once again poaching as demand for the perceived medical benefits from rhino horn has seen prices exceed US$ 65,000 per kilogram, making this the most expensive commodity on earth - worth more per kilogram than gold, diamonds or cocaine. By 2007, SRT found itself having to accept that the current level of patrol effort at that time was not enough to protect the rhino in the north west of Namibia. Rather than hiring new staff and placing additional burdens on an already stretched budget, SRT designed and implemented a new Rhino Ranger Incentive Program which would train and equip a new generation of Community Rhino Rangers. These would be employed by communal conservancies, community-owned entities with a vested interested in rhino conservation, effectively doubling SRT’s ground monitoring force. The Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Programme currently supports over 60 Rhino Rangers across 13 conservancies, which have increased field patrolling by 750%, rhino sightings by 450% and is estimated to have helped reduce poaching by 80% between 2013 and 2018. As a result, the rhino population has increased by a factor of 5 since SRT began their work in 1982.

These Rhino Rangers have dedicated their working lives to the protection of the rhino, spending the majority of their time in the field, covering large distances on foot and being exposed to the harsh elements of a desert environment. However, Rhino Rangers need to be equipped with field uniforms and gear, and those need replacement on an annual basis given the demands of the environment and the frequency of use. This has become a significant annual burden on the available budget, and covering these costs has never really been sustainable as it has relied largely on unpredictable ad hoc grants and donations. In recognition of this, and as part of our efforts to get Rhino Tourism to contribute towards costs of rhino conservation efforts and making the project more sustainable, Ultimate Safaris’ Conservation Travel Foundation launched the PACK FOR CONSERVATION programme in 2018.

Partnering with Cymot, a Namibia owned outdoor retailer with a significant online presence and a staunch supporter of Namibian conservation efforts, an online portal was created where you, the guest imminently travelling to Namibia, can purchase much needed field uniforms and gear on a cost recovery basis. Various options in terms of packages are available, and once an order has been placed and paid for online, the respective package is prepared and delivered to the Conservation Travel Foundation in Windhoek in time for your arrival and, where possible, taken on to your first hotel. The CTF will then facilitate the official handover of the uniforms and gear to SRT (ideally in your presence if this can be made to fit with your safari plans). Our hope is that this active and regular guest participation in the acquisition of these uniforms and gear will make this replacement and the continuing growth of the programme sustainable. There is also an additional benefit to this programme in that all uniforms and gear are purchased locally, contributing further towards the local economy.

Thank you in advance for your support. Even if only a relatively small proportion of the guests travelling to Namibia take part in this programme, actively contributing towards conservation in Namibia, this will help make the whole Rhino Ranger project far more sustainable.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Register on the website as a user here.
  • Step 2: Select Product here.
  • Step 3: Proceed to check out (cart is on the top right of this page).
  • Step 4: Pay by credit card (remember to include your cellular phone number).
  • Step 5: Please note DELIVERY INFORMATION is defaulted, so you will only need to complete BILLING INFORMATION and PAYMENT METHOD.
  • Step 6: Items are delivered directly to the Conservation Travel Foundation head offices in time for your arrival, and delivered to your first hotel where possible.
  • Step 7: The Conservation Travel Foundation facilitates the handover of the purchased uniforms and gear to Save the Rhino Trust, ideally in your presence (safari itinerary dependant).

Contact Details

Email:
info@conservationtravelfoundation.org
Tel:
+264 (0) 61 248137
Fax: 
+264 (0) 61 238707
24-hour emergency:
+264 (0) 81 141 2275
Physical Address:
5 Brandberg Street, Eros Park, Windhoek, Namibia
Postal Address:
PO Box 9970, Windhoek, Namibia



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Ultimate Safaris is privileged to be able to operate in pristine wilderness areas. We believe that the future of the environment and the natural inhabitants of these regions lies in the hands of the communities living there, and that this means they must be involved in the custodianship of their surroundings. The Conservation Travel Foundation is Ultimate Safaris’ registered non-profit organisation and it fully supports these ideals.

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