Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit partners with Nkombe Rhino to support rhino conservation

Published Feb 17, 2024


The Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, Radisson Hotel Group’s first safari hotel in Africa, has announced its partnership with Nkombe Rhino to support a conservation project aimed at preserving rhinos in the region.

South Africa is home to most of the world’s rhinos and, unfortunately, it is also the country most affected by poaching.

In 2022 alone, 448 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa, which translates to an average of more than one rhino per day.

Given the importance to protect this Big Five species and protect biodiversity, it is only fitting that Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, located in the Greater Kruger, has partnered with Nkombe Rhino, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the preservation of the endangered species, and My Africa Adventures, one of the leading tour operators in Hoedspruit, to support the Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative.

This partnership, which commenced with the conservation of four rhinos in the area, is a crucial step towards safeguarding the future of these magnificent creatures and preserving the delicate balance of the planet’s ecosystem.

The Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative is a preventive measure aimed at reducing the likelihood of rhinos being poached.

The initiative involves the preventive removal of rhino horns, which is an expensive process requiring significant financial resources, according to Nkombe Rhino’s founder, Joe Pietersen.

“Sustainable and reliable partners are essential to the success of projects like these. The involvement of Radisson Hotel Group is a significant positive, as it enables Radisson to become part of a bigger solution. Through this partnership, the work being done and the wider importance of wildlife preservation gain exposure to the Radisson community of guests, team members and stakeholders, which further strengthens the initiative’s impact,” said Pietersen.

“Over the past 10 to 12 years, we lost close to 9 000 rhinos due to poaching. Even though this number has dramatically decreased, it’s not necessarily good news, as it could simply be because there are fewer rhinos to poach,” Pietersen added.

Removing rhino horns has been a huge deterrent to poachers, reducing the reward for poaching. Other initiatives of Nkombe Rhino include anti-poaching units, aerial surveillance, detection, tracking dogs, and intelligence gathering.

According to Sandra Kneubuhler, country director of sales and district director South Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, this conservation partnership perfectly aligns with Radisson Hotel Group’s focus on sustainable tourism .

“As a group, we have deep-rooted and long-standing commitments to our communities, the planet and the people around us. The actions of Nkombe Rhino make a positive impact on the community, as conservation of wildlife creates employment; the planet, through protection of these magnificent animals, and people, by supporting some of South Africa’s wildlife heroes.”

Kneubuhler elaborated on how this initiative will positively affect the surrounding community, saying that successful conservation of wildlife is essential to the community, as tourism remains South Africa’s single biggest employer and the biggest employer in the Greater Kruger area.

“In protecting wildlife, we protect jobs and generate awareness for the plight of South Africa’s endangered species, helping to preserve them for future generations,” she said.

Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit is committed to ongoing action towards rhino conservation and building on the momentum of its first initiative. To support this cause, the hotel will contribute R10 from every room night booked between February 1 and April 30 to Nkombe Rhino. This contribution will enable the organisation to continue its excellent work in protecting endangered species, including rhinos.