Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation Park, Zimbabwe, creates awareness internationally of the poaching crisis which threatens Southern Africa. It highlights obstacles facecommunities and conservation organisations. The biggest threats to these animals regionally are poaching, and human overpopulation. Poaching is driven by demand for ivory and rhino horn in foreign countries. It is fueled by poverty and lack of education on the ground. To protect the rhino and all our wildlife, Imire believes we need to empower the local communities.
Imire Lodge offers family style hospitality, fine home cooking and spectacular game viewing. Four of the big five guaranteed! Experience unique close encounters with some of the world’s most intriguing and endangered animals. Imire Lodge offers both day trips and overnight stays. A day trip visit includes a full game drive and lunch served in the conservancy with a visit from the elephants or rhino as a highlight of the day. Overnight trips include feeding the rhino and elephant, followed by sundowners at the lookout and a gourmet three course dinner.
African Wild Dogs
They are one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa, especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique.
Wild dogs are social and gather in packs of around ten individuals, but some packs number more than 40. They are opportunistic predators that hunt medium-sized ruminants, such as gazelles. In a sprint, African wild dogs can reach speeds of more than 44 miles per hour.
Major threats to the survival of these animals include accidental and targeted killings by humans, viral diseases like rabies and distemper, habitat loss and competition with larger predators like lions. Conflicts occur when wild dogs come in contact with people whose livelihoods rest largely on livestock and agriculture. Problems arise when expanding human activities decrease the habitat for available prey for wild dogs.
Painted wolf is the meaning behind the African wild dog’s scientific name. But even with such a regal sounding name, these animals don’t get as much respectas they should.Once found throughout sub-Saharan Africa in the hundreds of thousands, the wild dog’s range and population have vastly diminished. Between 3,000 and 5,500 individuals remain. Sadly, farmers often dislike wild dogs, mistakenly blaming them for eating livestock. WWF is working to change the wild dogs’ reputation among local communities.
The African Wild dogs has been classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Nambiti Private Game Reserve, is set in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa near the town of Ladysmith, conveniently close to Johannesburg (4 hours) and Durban (2.5 hours). Nambiti is also close to the renowned KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, a major attraction of this region. One of its major drawcards is that Nambiti is situated in a malaria free area, meaning that guests don’t have to take medication before visiting.
It is also the only reserve in the area that can boast of having the Big 5, along with 40 other game species. Nambiti’s 22,000 acres offers incredible biodiversity, with grasslands, riverine bush, savannah and thornveld. Game viewing, birding, and fishing for yellowtail in the river are the main activities at Nambiti. There are nine luxurious game lodges, including six 5-star game lodges and two magnificent elevated tented camps, with facilities ranging from self-catering to the pampered.
KWA CHEETAH REHABILITATION CENTRE
Next door to Nambiti Game Reserve you will find Kwa Cheetah Rehabilitation Centre.
If you want to get up close to cheetahs in South Africa - this is the place. You enter the gates of Nambiti and are met by the guard who will check if you have made a telephonic booking for the cheetah interaction. Booking is essential so it remains an experience with limited numbers.
As you drive into the parking area your eyes pop as a cheetah hops out of an open Land Rover accompanied by a couple of domestic dogs. A tiny meerkat called Zulu comes to greet you with a cuddle. The baby warthog called Basil is busy being enticed back to his sleeping area before the cheetah who hopped out of the Land Rover may find him an attractive snack.
The best part is the cheetah interaction where one goes into big enclosures first with the young cheetahs, then the Serval cats, then the mature cheetahs.The cubs that have been hand-raised are very tame and will purr when you stroke them.
The rangers are with the group at all times to ensure safety - yours and the big cat's as people can sometimes do silly things which can upset the animals.
There is plenty of time to interact with the animals instead of observing them only from a car window in a game park or being rushed through on a tourist trap experience where one has a minute or two with the animals. It is also an opportunity to get some magnificent close up shots in relaxed and natural surroundings.