From Nairobi, we fly to Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s quite a contrast. It feels like a European country here — with paved roads and European style architecture — until you reach the wilderness.

Yao Ming and a Film Crew Arrive at Kariega Game Reserve

Photo by Kristian Schmidt for WildAid

As we drive out to Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, we pass farms and dozens of private game reserves where South African and international tourists can see animals up close.

Wildlife in Kariega Game Reserve

Photo by Kristian Schmidt for WildAid

Wildlife tourism is a major industry here and one that has enabled the steady increase in the number of rhinos not only in national parks, but also in private reserves.

South Africa is home to three quarters of the world’s rhinos. The recovery of the white rhino here has been one of the world’s greatest conservation success stories. From a low of only 50, the white rhino population has recovered to 18,800 and has thus been removed from the “critically endangered” list.  This is a sharp contrast to the Northern Whites I saw in Kenya that skirt on the edge of extinction with only seven individuals remaining.

Wildlife in Kariega Game Reserve

Photo by Kristian Schmidt for WildAid

As part of a global awareness campaign, WildAid and the African Wildlife Foundation have just released this animated video about rhinos.  Be sure to check it out and share with others.

In Kariega, I meet veterinarian Will Fowlds and he takes us to see a very special rhino, a rare survivor of the rhino wars.

In my next post, I will introduce you to Thandi.


2 responses

  1. Rynette Coetzee

    Hi, I was wondering when Yao would be heading back to Johannesburg. We would love to talk with him about our rhino orphan rescue programme and introduce him to our sniffer dogs.



    Project Executant:

    Strengthening Environmental Compliance & Enforcement

    Law and Policy Programme


    (011) 372-3600 x 47


    August 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm

  2. Wow what a beautiful pictures, south africa is really a beautiful place… i want to see it in real !

    October 18, 2013 at 5:09 am

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