World Rhino Day was first planned by World Wildlife Fund-South Africa in 2010. In 2011, Lisa Jane Campbell of Zimbabwe and Rhishja Larson joined forces to promote World Rhino Day. Since then, September 22nd has been celebrated annually by governments, animal rights organizations and animal enthusiasts as World Rhino Day in an effort to generate awareness of all the world’s rhinoceroses and the threat to their survival because of poaching.
Visitors to Singita Pamushana can see white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) and black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) on the Malilangwe Reserve, where they are ardently protected and conserved. As per the IUCN Red List rating white rhinos are Near Threatened, and black rhinos are Critically Endangered.
For World Rhino Day on the reserve we organised an educational day for all the children. The aim was to raise awareness about rhinos as well as engaging these young minds about conservation, sustainable living, and the environment in general.
Many of them had not been on a game drive in the Singita Pamushana safari vehicles so we wanted to give them this opportunity, especially as we are still closed to guests due to the coronavirus pandemic. We organised an afternoon dedicated to the young ones.
It began with a talk by a member of our conservation team, and he spoke about our planet and how fragile our environment is, and how important it is to conserve it. He told them about wildlife and habitats and then honed in on rhinos and all the interesting information about them.
Then it was time for the game drive where all the children got the opportunity to see all this wildlife in their habitats and ask as many questions as they could. We had great sightings of white rhinos, elephants and many plains game species. Some of the rhino encounters were very close!
The kids were thrilled and very grateful for the experience. One child was heard to say, “I feel like I am in a dream and I am going to wake up!” We are hoping to continue this educational event on a yearly basis to keep the fire of conservation burning in their hearts.