Discover Botswana and its Khama Rhino Sanctuary through a breathtaking African wildlife safari. We explore this beautiful wildlife sanctuary and take an African safari where we learn about animal conservation, get up close and personal with the wildlife and hope to spot a wild rhino or two.
Good morning to you. My name is Sydney Modo. I’m the guide for today. I’ll be taking you for today’s 6o’clock morning game drive. Welcome to Khama Rhino Sanctuary, which is a community-based project owned by three villages: Serowe, Mabeleapodi and Paje.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary was formed in 1989 and it opened its doors to the public in 1993. The main objective was to reintroduce rhinos in Botswana.
In Botswana we used to have plenty of rhinos in the northern side of Okavango and Chobe, but due to poaching activities in those areas, all the rhinos were wiped out. At some point, the country was left with only four rhinos. In the whole country. That’s when the idea of coming up with this project came about. When this project started there were no funds. We had to rely on donors, such as the European Union, several non-government organisations, as well as big companies in the country. The government of Botswana also played a role in trying to support us.
Eventually, the money was available. The project kick-started, and we started doing the fences. We had to go into the wilderness to capture the four rhinos which were left. One of them, out of those four, had some bullet wounds. When he came here, he died. Eight rhinos were donated by South Africa and black rhinos came from Zimbabwe. The rest of the rhinos were captured in the bush. Every time we would spot some rhinos we would go and capture them, together with the Department of Wildlife.
Today, as we speak, we have 40 white rhinos and four black rhinos. We’ve taken out about 20 rhinos to other areas of the country. The rhino population in Khama Rhino Sanctuary is doing fine, and Khama Rhino Sanctuary is known for its best rhino-monitoring. In the whole country of Botswana we have about 150 to 160 rhinos. 40 white rhinos have been found here, and 4 black ones. One thing to note again is that ten black rhinos are in Botswana, and four are here in Khama Rhino Sanctuary, so we hold almost 50% of the rhino population in Botswana.
Our rhinos are doing fine, and we have some of the best-trained rangers. The army also helps us in terms of security – the army known as the BDF – they patrol this area 24/7. As we speak right now, they are in the bush doing some patrols. Our rangers are doing rhino monitoring, which is done on a daily basis. Apart from rhinos, we also have other animals. We have giraffes, kudus, elands, gemsbok, oryxes, blue wildebeests, impalas, steenboks, springboks, warthogs, springhares, some animals that are active at night, such as bushbabies, springhares, aardvarks, and we also have cats such as leopards and cheetahs. But it’s not easy to see them around at this time because currently it’s the peak season and there’s a lot of movement in the park. But you can spot some of these animals, especially during the night, if you are having a night game drive. Unless it’s quiet during the day, that’s when you can see some of these animals. We also have dogs such as jackals, brown hyenas, as well as wild dogs. We also have 250 species of birds.