Protecting South Africa’s Rhinos


By Lucille Sive

Lion World Travel has partnered with the Shamwari Game Reserve to provide a key tool in Shamwari’s fight against rhino poaching.

The plight of South Africa’s rhinos is something near to my heart. In the last four years alone poaching has destroyed an estimated 12 per cent of the rhino population. This startling statistic is why we all need to work together to protect this essential member of Africa’s Big 5. At Lion World Travel, we partner with conservation organizations in South Africa to ensure that the wild rhino population remains healthy and vibrant for generations to come. One of the partners that we are excited to be working with is the Shamwari Game Reserve.

Situated on 25,000 hectares of natural vegetation and located on South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Shamwari is home to stunning scenery and a diverse array of wildlife that includes big game such as lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and more. The reserve was founded in 1992 based on the principle that tourism and conservation can and should work together to support South Africa’s wildlife and local communities. To realize this vision for Shamwari, the reserve worked closely with renowned conservationists Dr. Ian Player and John Aspinall to build a reserve that focused on sustainable and responsible travel.

This vision continues to this day, where Shamwari has partnered with The Wilderness Foundation on a program to monitor and protect Shamwari’s animals, including endangered rhinos in the region. A crucial tool in the fight against rhino poaching has been aerial patrol with a small vehicle called the “Bat Hawk”. The Bat Hawk is a high wing monoplane that seats a crew of two. The rounded glass windshield allows both crew members to have uninterrupted views outside the aircraft, making it ideal for patrolling Shamwari’s vast area to track and protect the local rhino population.

Earlier this year, the TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative between the Travel Corporation’s family of brands which includes Lion World, purchased the Bat Hawk to support Shamwari’s and the Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Conservation program. And although the Bat Hawk’s movements are kept secret to ensure it is effective as possible at patrolling for poachers, we are very happy to know that it has significantly aided the Shamwari rangers in their anti-poaching efforts in the region.

Travellers visiting Shamwari for safari are encouraged to get involved with Shamwari’s mission to use travel to build a sustainable and responsible game reserve that actively protects wildlife. Our Tented Safari In Style itinerary, for example, includes a 3-night stay at the Shamwari Bayethe Lodge for a unique tented safari experience. We encourage all travellers on this itinerary to visit the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to get involved and learn more about the plight of Africa’s rhinos and the fantastic work that Shamwari continues to do to protect South Africa’s rhinos.

Article by –

New Bat Hawk for Pilansberg Wildlife Trust

Today our new Bat Hawk ZU-IUS, named Ikaneng, arrived in Pilanesberg. Thank you Terry Pappas for getting her ready in record time. Your work is amazing. Thanks also for the discount you give to conservation.

The Bat Hawk is sponsored by the Copehagen Zoo, Schopper Carts and the Pilanesberg National Park & Wildlife Trust.We sold our old one, Mofalodi a week or so ago as she had almost all the hours she could take on the engine. Thank you to Cop Zoo and Alexander for their continued support and passion. Both have been instrumental in making this project a success. That and our amazing dedicated Pilots working with us. Thank you Cameron Dobbie and Keaton Howes for fetching Ikaneng. I know you loved flying her here. The lads left yesterday for Nelspruit and flew Ikaneng here today. Landed her beautifully in 20 knot wind.

As you all are probably aware our Bat Hawk is critical in the protection and surveillance of the Pilanesberg Rhinos. She is our ‘eye in the sky’. And forms part of the Rhino Protection Unit. Ikaneng will go up every day. As did Mofalodi before her and Serate before that. It costs us a lot less to fly Ikaneng than hiring in a chopper, and she is always available. The Bat Hawk has the ability to fly low and slow which is precisely what is needed in Pilanesberg.

Article by –




Elephant poaching in the greater Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique is at an all-time high, with an elephant poaching in the greater Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique is at an all-time high, with an average of two elephants lost each day to poachers. There are over 35,000 people living within the reserve – a unique situation particular to this area. The SATIB Conservation Trust, in collaboration with Wilderness Foundation has provided a 6 cylinder Jaribu Bat Hawk Light Sports Aircraft, to the Lugenda Wildlife Reserve, which forms part of the greater Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique.


The Bat Hawk allows for general aerial patrols to give Section Rangers an incredibly accurate indication of what is happening in each section – large areas of land, parts of which are inaccessible by foot or vehicle. The Bat Hawk has also enabled the aerial surveillance of suspected poaching areas and the speedy location of the carcasses of animals which is essential in the apprehension of poachers. . Aerial boundary patrols help identify cross-border activity, such as new roads leading to boundaries, allowing for more accurate identification of potential poaching problem areas and camps or hiding places used by poachers.

In addition, the Bat Hawk assists research activities such as the monitoring of collared animals and rare species.


The SATIB Conservation Trust working in collaboration with Wilderness Foundation, has financed a new Bat Hawk microlight aircraft to monitor movement of herds of elephants in Niassa and monitor anti-poaching movements on resident herds of elephants. The Trust has also provided insurance services and is looking to support ongoing research in the region.

Article by