Loyalty Manager for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

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As I embark on my retirement on 29 May 2015, I send my warmest wishes to all our loyal Rhino club and Kids Club members. Thank you for the years of support, empathy and understanding, throughout the evolving of our Loyalty Programme! Your participation, constructive feedback and suggestions have helped make the Loyalty Club a resounding success and I hope that you will continue to support  Kay, Nomfundo and Lungile, who remain in the Loyalty Office.

Gwynne Howells

Loyalty Manager for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife


International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2015


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Extracted from EWT Newsflash 21st May 2015

“Can the planet still bear the growing human population and sustain plant and animal species to the benefit of all? With only one planet and limited natural resources available for the survival of all living creatures, including seven billion people worldwide, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) calls on all South Africans to join us in marking this International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2015. The over exploitation and uneven use of our natural resources is a major threat to our biodiversity.

Despite the declining rate of our biodiversity, South Africa remains one of the countries with high levels of biodiversity. South Africa occupies only 2% of the world’s land surface area and yet is home to 10% of the world’s plant species and 7% of its reptile, bird and mammal species. Our oceans are home to about 10 000 life forms representing 16% of the world’s marine wildlife. Our country ranks as one of the top birding destinations in the world and is a sanctuary to more than 9000 plants species and home to the magnificent Big Five, a big draw card for our tourism.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), globally about one third of all known species are threatened with extinction. That includes 29% of all amphibians, 21% of all mammals and 12% of all birds. If we do not address the threats to biodiversity, we could be facing another mass extinction with dire consequences to the environment, economy, human health and our livelihoods.

In line with the International Day for Biological Diversity 2015 theme “Sustainable Development”, there is a growing need for business, civil society and governments around the world to manage and protect the natural capital on which we all depend.

As one of South Africa’s leading biodiversity conservation organisations, the EWT is aware of the importance of integrating the conservation of species, habitats and ecosystem processes and we therefore focus much of our work on protecting both threatened species and habitats. The species we work with often act as indicators of the health of the ecosystems in which they occur. Successful conservation thus means protecting the habitats that support species – including human beings – and in this way entire ecosystems reap the benefits of our work.

To highlight International Day for Biological Diversity and raise awareness of the declining state of our biodiversity and the need to reverse this trend, the EWT will be facilitating awareness sessions and events.” For more information:

Contact:  Lillian Mlambo –  Communications Manager, Endangered Wildlife Trust

  Tel: +27 11 372 3600  

Verraux’s Eagle rescued by Eskom and EWT



14th May 2015

A Verraux’s Eagle has been given a second chance at life, all thanks to two Eskom Employees and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).

When two Eskom employees, Thabang Mosase and Phumzile Nikelo were inspecting a power line close to Petrusville , they came across a bird which was unable to fly. This prompted a call to Jeanine Burger, Senior Environmental Advisor, Eskom Transmission Free State Grid, who in turn reported the incident to the Eskom/Endangered Wildlife Trust partnership.Ronelle Visagie of the EWT’s Birds of Prey Programme was immediately dispatched to the scene to assist the Eskom employees. She identified the bird as a juvenile Verraux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii.

From observation, it appeared that the eagle had been grounded for a while as its left wing was broken. The bird was taken to the Kimberley Veterinary clinic where it was stabilised and radiographed by Dr. Joe van Heerden to determine the extent of its injuries. After analysing the radiographs it was determined that the wing must have been broken at a young age and had attached at the wrong angle which would require surgery to repair.

The bird has since been sent to Dr Hank Chalmers at Spier Eagle Encounters in the Western Cape for surgery. “The ultimate objective is for the bird to be released back into the wild where it belongs. We are holding thumbs that the surgery will be a success and that the bird will once again be able to soar in the skies of the Karoo. It is an amazing experience to work with all these people who have such compassion for wildlife” said Ronelle Visagie.

Constant Hoogstad, EWT’s Wildlife and Energy Programme Manager said, ” Our appreciation has to go to the two ‘good Samaritan’ Eskom employees, Thabang Mosase and Phumzile Nikelo. Without their swift action and knowledge on what to do, the bird would have had no chance of survival. The Eskom/Endangered Wildlife Trust partnership has developed a course dedicated to wildlife and power line interactions which teaches employees amongst other things, what to do when birds are found under power lines. Over the last 5 years more than 9000 Eskom employees completed this course and we are really seeing the results in the form of increased reporting of incidents “.

Please visit www.ewt.org.za or contact WEP Manager Constant Hoogstad (constanth@ewt.org.za) for more information about the EWT-Eskom Partnership and the Wildlife and Energy Programme.

Photos available on request.

Contacts:      Constant Hoogstad
Wildlife and Energy Programme Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600 / 082 334 4176


Lillian Mlambo
Communications Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600

Leatherback Specials – MAY and JUNE 2015

SOME GREAT SAVINGS – May and June 2015

(Terms and Conditions Apply) 


  • RHINO CLUB benefits to note:
    If your main destination is iSimangaliso, please remember that the expiry date for the current Rhino Card iSimangaliso benefits is 31 May 2016.
  • You can purchase or renew your Rhino Gold card for a period of one year at a cost of R250 per person / R 230 per person over 60 yrs of age (valid from the date of payment)
  • To renew your Rhino Club membership CONTACT OUR HELPDESK ON 033 8451008/1009 or rhinoclub@kznwildlife.com or via http://www.rhinoclub.wordpress.com

IMPORTANT: All Terms and Conditions apply to LEATHERBACKS AND SPECIAL OFFERS, so make sure you ask the booking consultant about these when you make a reservation. NEW BOOKINGS ONLY. Dependent on AVAILABILITY. All offers EXCLUDE LONG WEEKENDS, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS and SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, EVENTS and COMPETITIONS, unless otherwise stated:-


NEW BOOKINGS ONLY – 40% DISCOUNT. The Leatherback Discounts will apply only to the ACCOMMODATION ie Breakfast will not be discounted. Leatherback Offers EXCLUDE Events AND Competitions. CONTACT OUR RESERVATIONS on 033 8451000 or bookings@kznwildlife.com:-

MAY and JUNE: 2015Valid from the 04 May until the 30 June 2015

Midmar Dam (Chalets, cabins, camping), Wagendrift, Weenen, Ithala Bushcamps (Thalu, Mbizo, Mhlangeni), Kamberg, Injesuthi, Lotheni, Monks Cowl, Highmoor, Sodwana Bay, Kosi bay, Amatikulu, Maphelane (very rustic), St Lucia Campsites, Umlalazi cabins and camping, Oribi Gorge, Vernon Crookes, Mkhuze (Mantuma, Safari Camp, Nhlonhlela Bushcamp), and Ndumo.


Please note: Dependent on AVAILABILITY. Gate times: strictly 06hoo to 18h00
Packages which include meals are discounted on accommodation only.

1.Ntshondwe Resort at Ithala Game Reserve

All chalets – 30% discount including BED and BREAKFAST – VALID from 13th of April till the 23rd of April 2015, then Valid from the 04 May until the 30 June 2015. Plus ALL Rhino Club members can enjoy a Game Drive for R100 per adult and R50 per child under 13 years – regret no children 3 years and under.

  • WOW!!! FANTASTIC NEW DBB/Game Drive Package: (dinner, bed, breakfast, one game drive per day) for only R725.00 per person sharing accommodation, or R 895.00 for single accommodation …what a bargain. this package is available from now until 31 October 2015

PLEASE NOTE: Minimum two night stay: This package is only offered in the Twin bedded Non-self-catering (Hotel rooms) chalets.

    Sunday Lunch Buffet continues to be a bargain at R125.00 per person, after special discount is applied.
  • 10% discount to all Gold Rhino Club Members on standard priced meals, including all bar beverages – (Discounts not applicable on any other Special packages which may be advertised from time to time).

2. DIDIMA RESORT at Cathedral peak

All chalets – 30% discount including BED and BREAKFAST – VALID 13th of April till the 23rd of April 2015, then Valid from the 04 May until the 30 June 2015

3. GIANTS CASTLE – All chalets – 30% discount including BED and BREAKFAST – VALID from 13th of April till the 23rd of April 2015, then Valid from the 04 May until the 30 June 2015

4. HILLTOP RESORT (Hluhluwe Game Reserve) All chalets 30% discount including BED and BREAKFAST- VALID from the 04 May until the 30 June 2015

5. WILDERNESS TRAILS –Ask Lwazi and Mlu about their discounts. Note: Giants Cup Trail hut Mzimkulu has no mattresses.

  1. Explorer Trail on the 18/05/15 for 4 nights with 7 spaces left at R3300.00 p.p.p.t WITH 30% Leatherback Discount
  2. Primitive Trail of the 12/06/15 for 4 nights with 6 spaces left at R2900.00 p.p.p.t WITH 30% Leatherback Discount
    Bookings: Trails Desk – tel 033 8451067 or fax 086 505 8884 or email trails@kznwildlife.com.

B) Trails offer to Gold Members: WOW!!! Wonderful new discounts for,
30% discount – Base Camp, Explorer Trail, Extended Short Trail and Weekend Short Trail (Sunday).
2. 20% discount – The Primitive Trail and the Weekend Short Trail (Friday).
3. 30% discount – The Giant’s Cup Trail.

1. FIVE LODGE GOLD SPECIAL: 15% discount all year round (except Easter, Christmas and New Year) at Thendele Lodge, Rock Lodge (Giants), Ithala Lodge, Mtwazi and Masinda Lodges 

2. Santa Lucia launch tour 25% Gold discount– enquire at St Lucia Estuary Office tel 035 590 1340

3. Karkloof Canopy Tour – Rhino Club Gold Members 

The Karkloof Canopy Tour Team have offered a generous discount of R100 per person, if you wish to participate on the Karkloof Canopy Tour. It is widely regarded as one of the best eco-adventure activities in the world and is something for people of all ages with the youngest being 3 and the oldest 90 so far to do the tour. Bookings can be made directly with them on:
Office: (+27) 33 3303415
Mobile: (+27) 836474595

4. Pentravel Gold Special– Call into Pentravel PMB office and produce your valid Rhino Gold Card and claim R250 per booking discount on all International travel packages.(T’s and C’s apply)

5. Contact Pentravel PMB on tel +27 033 3927910, fax +27 033 342 7835 or check out www.pentravel.co.za for their special packages on offer!!!

6. GROUNDCOVER FOOTWEAR is giving our Rhino Club Gold members, including Kids Club, a 10% discount on footwear! View the footwear on their website at www.groundcover.co.za .NB email them directly on info@groundcover.co.za (DO NOT ORDER ONLINE). Simply give your Rhino Card Number or a scan a copy of your card to info@groundcover.co.za. OR YOU CAN VISIT THEM on the Midlands Meander (Curries Post Road) and make your purchase in person!

Kids Club Members:

1. African Bird of Prey Sanctuary. Show your member card and get 20% Discount on your Entry ticket – Cell 0829253023. See the Aerial display and enjoy lunch at their Coffee Shop.

2. Free entry to Midmar for you, if you produce your valid Kids Club card!

3. ASK about the KIDDIES Menus at Hilltop, Giant’s, Didima and Ntshondwe Resorts We give them what they like!!!

FOR Information speak to your Rhino Club Consultants, Kay or Nomfundo on 033 8451008/1009/1011/1013

Plan your arrival at the Reserve – try to avoid travelling after 4pm (16h00) and give yourself time for unexpected delays en route. Check Gate closing times.
To renew your Rhino Club membership CONTACT OUR HELPDESK ON 033 8451008/1009 or rhinoclub@kznwildlife.com

Visitors to All Parks are also reminded that while wildlife is often seen amongst the chalets and campsites in the protected areas, these animals are not tame and members of the public should not try to touch them or feed them.

The Deepest Hole On Earth

It’s an astonishing 12km deep. That’s more than a kilometer deeper than the deepest point of the ocean.

What’s At The Bottom Of The Deepest Hole On Earth?

Remove this rusted metal cap and the world’s deepest hole tunnels miles into the Earth. However, we know more about certain distant galaxies than we do about what lies miles beneath our very own feet. For that reason, Soviet scientists in the… READ MORE…ON


Kids Club goes to uShaka Marine World

The Kids Club team took a group of 14 excited children to uShaka Marine World, Saturday 28 February 2015.


The Reptile Man, Craig, educating and entertaining our Kids

The program included a guided tour through the aquarium with Sea World Educators, Tiny and Zohra, who explained the value and importance of our marine world to man-kind and how vital it is to care for it and to preserve it.  The inter-active Dolphin Show is an exciting, educational experience!

Mr Reptile, Craig, gave our Kids a hands-on experience with a selection of reptiles, including snakes and lizards amongst others! Craig is wonderful with the Kids and his humour and fun-loving attitude soothes the nerves of those who are a little wary of reptilian creatures!

This was such a successful Outing and in the words of our littlest member, at the end of the Outing, saying “I had the best day ever!!!” Fun was had by all!

DSC_9619 DSC_9639 Read the rest of this entry »

World Pangolin Day


ONE MILLION – 1,000,000 – Pangolins are slaughtered EVERY YEAR.

Pangolin are a threatened species!

Pangolin are a threatened species! H.A.N.D.S. photograph

Jackal Rabies in KZN, a new threat

In 2012 there was a serious outbreak of canine rabies in the Okhahlamba area. This led to a spill over into the jackal population (See concentration of cases in the northern corner of map) with a number of other wildlife species becoming victims (Caracal; Baboon; Dassie). Following an intense vaccination campaign amongst the local dog population, the disease disappeared and has not been seen in the Canine population since!

It was however suspected that we had not seen the end of the jackal cycle, and so far in the January 2015 we have had 3 jackal cases (2 in Estcourt near Wagondrift dam and now 1 near Nottingham rd) This represents a movement of nearly 130Km from the original outbreak, and I believe we can consider the whole of this midlands area now a potentially endemic Jackal rabies area.

Rabies map


Spread(see map)

 Little is known (Scientifically) about the current jackal population. It is however agreed on by most people that there has been a significant increase in the population in recent years (Especially in the commercial farming areas) and that their territories are smaller than before. This will obviously contribute to the spread of the disease and its future. With large vaccinated dog populations in its path the disease has possibly both spread along the Drakensberg wildlife areas, and more likely amongst the commercial farms where the population seems denser. Rabies in jackal can be cyclical and is dependent on the jackal population, which fluctuates depending on disease, drought etc.  

WARNING(Be vigilant)  

  1. We can expect rabies to pitch up almost anywhere in the area and so all sectors of the public must be made aware. ( Health department will be energized for human exposures)
  2. We can expect rabies in other wildlife species and spill over’s into cattle other livestock and in unvaccinated dogs.
  3. Tourists are warned in wildlife areas, as the baboon (Very rare occurrence) that was positive attacked people without provocation from some distance. This could be true for other species, as well as animals suddenly appearing amongst tourists unafraid before biting.  

What to Do!

  1. Ensure all dogs and cats are vaccinated – Currently the national protocol of a three yearly vaccination, with initial vaccinations, happening at 3months and a booster before the end of the first year apply.
  2. High risk livestock can be vaccinated at the owner’s expense. (Please ensure adherence to vaccine manufacturer’s specification as vaccines differ for livestock use, and some are not recommended.)

Save our Frogs


World Wetlands day 2 February



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