It’s no small feat being home to the largest black rhino in the world. This species, the smaller of two African rhino types, is critically endangered and continuously under threat of poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn. Having been reintroduced into the Great Karoo around a century ago, the black rhino thrives in this landscape, which is why Magic Hills Private Game Reserve will continue to maximise efforts to not only protect these incredible creatures, but to up the numbers of this species in the area, all the while ensuring their safety.
According to the WWF, “Populations of black rhino declined dramatically in the 20th century at the hands of European hunters and settlers. Between 1960 and 1995, black rhino numbers dropped by a sobering 98%, to less than 2 500. Since then, the species has made a tremendous comeback from the brink of extinction. Thanks to persistent conservation efforts across Africa, black rhino numbers have doubled from their historic low 20 years ago to between 5 042 and 5 455 today.”
However, the black rhino is still considered critically endangered, and a lot of work remains to bring the numbers up to even a fraction of what it once was—and to ensure that it stays there. Wildlife crime—in this case, poaching and black-market trafficking of rhino horn—continues to plague the species and threaten its recovery.
Conservation and rewilding are of the utmost importance in what we do every day on the reserve. The fact that we have managed to raise the largest black rhino in the world is testimant to how happy the species is in this area – it is thriving.
Magic Hills is also home to the larger, square-lipped white rhino, which is also a threatened species. Our qualified and experienced guides offer guests walking safaris to track these endangered creatures – a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which helps to instil the sheer magnificence of these wild animals. Generally starting from a water point where wildlife has been the previous night, a limited number of guests along with their guide will begin looking for fresh rhino spoor, and once located, will set off on its trail. During tracking, guests will learn more about the species, their ecology and biology as well the threats they face as a result of poaching, misunderstanding and greed. For safety’s sake we only track white rhino on foot with guests.
To keep the numbers of African rhino growing and ensure that these rare wild animals are still around for generations to come, we welcome investors to support us on our rewilding and conservation journey, or to become a part of our crowd-funding efforts here.