Provide a Sanctuary for Wildlife
Illegal hunting, the bushmeat trade, expansion of agriculture and urban settlements are the main causes of this trend.
Our aim is to provide a safe haven where wildlife is protected from being utilised as a resource for the meat trade, hunting or breeding.
Instead of using wild animals to pay for their own protection, we’re offering sponsor links in the right menu. We don’t subscribe to the widely adopted “Sustainable Use Policy” – if you feel the same way about this, please sponsor the Khola Campaign (you can read more about this policy).
Desnaring and Poaching Prevention
Suni-Ridge is situated in one of the most beautiful, and also one of the most diverse environmentally significant, areas of South Africa. Development has been limited in this vast and wide region and there are still large areas of natural vegetation and wildlife habitat.
The lack of development however has meant that there is sadly a great incidence of poverty in the rural community. Many people still live in their traditional ways in natural areas that are not formally protected and also in areas that surround protected wildlife reserves.
With poverty, hunger often prevails. This places a great strain on the wildlife as the wild animals are seen as a source of meat or even money, if the meat can be sold.
We have been lobbying the South African Government to establish an anti-poaching unit in the area surrounding the World Natural Heritage Site.
Many wild animals still exist in these buffer zone areas, such as the area where Suni-Ridge is situated, but the government’s response is, “It remains largely the responsibility of land owners to protect their wildlife.” (see Sustainable Use Policy)
Reserves like Suni-Ridge face daily challenges to ensure that wildlife is protected and not cruelly snared/poached.
What local government can and can’t do
The law in South Africa empowers the Police to investigate poaching and animal abuse but unfortunately this is not always successful as they are often understaffed and unable to deal effectively with this crime.
The provincial conservation bodies are empowered to act against poaching in the province, but it if occurs outside their own reserves, only where protected species are involved.
The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is also able to assist with investigation and conviction of the perpetrators, but this organisation does not operate in our remote area.
According to the Sustainable Use Policy it remains largely the responsibility of land owners to protect the wildlife in their area, and this is very costly.
- One of the large wildlife reserves in the area spends over R1,000,000.00 per year … just on poaching control!
- We’re using advertising on our Home page to cover these costs, thereby providing a bona fide reserve for wild animals.
- If you share our beliefs, please support us by sponsoring an ad on the Khola Campaign?
Wildlife Protection Unit
3 pairs of guards patrol the area in and surrounding Suni-Ridge, with each pair working 8 to 12-hour shifts on a rotational basis. Two-way radios, uniforms, boots and rain coats need to be supplied on an annual basis.
Ideally, the scouts/guards should have accommodation on the property. Their duties include keeping watch for the wildlife in and surrounding Suni-Ridge, removing snares and alerting us as quickly as possible to threats and dangers.
This unit should also provide assistance with education in much the same way that the public is educated about preventing and avoiding crime.
Ethical Tourism Practices
Unlike other South African wildlife reserves, Suni-Ridge does not utilise wildlife as a resource. So far, the cost of providing protection for the wildlife in / around Suni-Ridge has been met through our personal resources and income from Leopard Walk Lodge.
On average, other reserves earn 80% of their revenue by utilising their wildlife as a resource (see the Sustainable Use Policy). This is a cruel exercise as wildlife families are displaced, mothers are often separated from young and beautiful animals in their prime are targeted to be hung as trophies on some hunter’s wall!
We don’t believe that selling/breeding wild animals for hunting purposes or the meat market is ethical, and this goes against the principle of a wildlife reserve. In order to meet the costs for increasing the effectiveness of our Wildlife Protection Unit, we’re offering an advertising sponshorship called the Khola Campaign.
People, businesses and organisations who share our philosophy are able to advertise their websites on our Home page, by sponsoring an ad for the Khola Campaign.
Suni-Ridge Sand Forest Park Environmental Rehabilitation Centre has been certified by CACH to be non-hunting and ethical in its treatment of its animals. Read what this certification means.
We are very grateful to our Khola sponsors who also believe in providing a true bona fide preserve for wildlife.