Today, the availability and fluidity of online communication has dramatically impacted the war against poaching on private game reserves in South Africa. Anti-poaching units (APUs) must remain one step ahead of poaching syndicates in order to be better prepared and respond immediately to emergency situations. In order to remain advantageous, APUs must have a faster connectivity and higher quality resources to ensure competent protection.
Improving the connection on Karongwe
After meeting in February with the head of the APU on Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Dean, he mentioned the difficulties he was facing in terms of communication struggles both for him and his current ranger team on the reserve at their APU base. Dean was struggling with cell phone signal, which he was using for all his anti-poaching activities, from admin tasks to responding to emergencies in the field with his team. With the help of the GVI Trust’s “Saving South Africa’s Rhinos” Fund, we were able to assist with the installation and subscription of a reliable Wi-Fi connection for an entire year at the APU base on Karongwe.
Wheels keep on turning
In September 2016 The GVI Trust assisted with the purchase of Karongwe’s APU patrol vehicle – a second-hand Toyota Land Cruiser. The availability of this vehicle has made a significant impact towards our APU’s presence and mobility on the reserve. In February, the patrol vehicle’s oil coolant system had become rusted and its water pump started leaking, requiring urgent repairs. With cash available on base thanks to participant purchases of our Rhino & Cheetah T-shirts, we were able to quickly purchase the necessary parts needed for the repairs so that the vehicle could be up and running again quickly. The use of this vehicle is vital in the protection of our wildlife and human habitants on the reserve.
This fund is dedicated to the protection of the wildlife on the Karongwe reserve where GVI Limpopo operates. Dean, his anti-poaching unit, and reserve management personnel risk their lives every day to protect the people and wildlife here, and without a fully functioning and operational base and patrol vehicle the chances of something detrimental happening to our vulnerable wildlife or the people that reside here increases dramatically.
The ongoing role of GVI Limpopo and The GVI Trust to Karongwe’s APU & reserve management teams is essential to ensure the sustainability of our operations, and without our donors’ generous donations and support, we would surely see the negative impacts. From the bottom of our hearts once again, we thank you!
The Karongwe Team