Rhino Rangers, Namibia
2019 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation of US$ 15,000

The collective efforts to protect Africa’s last truly wild population of black rhino in Namibia paid off. Overall, 2018 can be seen as yet another milestone year with the most important achievement - for the first time since the poaching began in 2012 – a full 12 months with ZERO poaching!

We are proud to support the Rhino Rangers and the Rhino Pride Campaing again in 2019 by donating US$ 15,000.

Below are a few specific milestones which were achieved by the 64 rangers
  1. Rhino Ranger patrol days have increased an astounding 98% since 2017 and helped increase overall patrol effort by 1,200% since 2011 (before program inception)
  2. Rhino Sightings have increased by 26% from 2017 and helped increase overall rhino sightings by 523% since 2011 (before program inception)
  3. Rhino monitoring efforts now produce verified sightings of at least 65% of the region’s rhino each month, up from only 25% in 2012
  4. Awarded the prestigious William Conway International Conservation Award Top Honors by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (230 member institutions around the world)
  5. Selected as First Round Case Study profile for IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group’s new online sharing and learning platform ‘People Not Poaching’ https://www.peoplenotpoaching.org/conservancy-rhino-ranger-incentive-program
  6. More than 200 rural farmers living within or adjacent to the rhino range were directly engaged by Conservancy Rhino Ranger patrol teams during monthly farm visits (see below)
  7. Gone 15 months (26 August 2017 – 25 November 2018) with ZERO poaching
  8. Over the past 18 months of at least 16 independent potential poaching gangs were stopped and removed from the area by law enforcement BEFORE they could poach - 11 of these cases were made possible through pre-emptive intelligence collected by local informer networks.
The Rhino Pride Campaign continued its march to improve the value local people attach to saving rhino.
  1. Over 500 Conservancy leaders, members and rural youth participated in Rhino Friend Pledge ceremonies led by local Chiefs and respected community leaders
  2. Over 1000 area youth participated in rhino-themed sporting leagues and tournaments throughout the year and about 750 Rhino Friend Sweatbands were distributed to athletes who participated in the Second Annual World Rhino Day Sports tournaments held in Okanguati and Khorixas
  3. A new rhino song and music video ‘Save the Rhino’ was created together with Mondessa Youth Opportunity school in Swakopmund
  4. Over 60 Conservancy leaders from 22 Conservancies located in the remote far northwest participated in ‘Rhino Movie Night’ which shared a number of rhino music videos and rhino protection documentaries from the area to remote, ‘off-the-grid’ areas.
  5. The Rhino Hero campaign awarded 32 rangers with custom Rhino Hero jackets who had committed at least 5 years of service to rhino protection and achieved more than 100 verified rhino sightings. Collectively, the first group of ‘Rhino Heroes’ have accumulated over 440 ranger years of rhino protection!
  6. The 14 Rhino Friend Youth Clubs engaging over 200 local youth conducted a number of rhino-oriented activities including two rural area clean-up campaigns, school debates, camping with Rhino Ranger teams, and local marches to demonstrate their support for rhino conservation.
More success stories related to this project
2021 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - donation of USD 15,000

2020 was like no other. While the drought in Namibia continued unabated, COVID-19 also struck, as we all know, causing a global collapse in tourism and at the same time a significant loss of funding for conservation. Nevertheless, 2020 was also the year when Namibia’s Rhino Rangers really rose to the challenge, excelled and set another record patrol year.
2020 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation of US$ 20,000

The collective efforts to protect Africa’s last truly wild population of black rhino in Namibia paid off. There was no rhino lost to poaching in 2019.
2018 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation US$ 15,000

This amount is equivalent to the annual salary of Boas Hambo, the Ranger Field Coordinator of the Save the Rhino Trust.
2017 - Save the Rhino Trust with new vehicle - Donation of US$ 10,000

The SwissAfrican Foundation joined forces with the Wilderness Trust to cover the cost of a new vehicle for the Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia.
Our partner
Jeff Muntifering - Save the Rhino Trust
Our local partner is the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT). This organisation has been working to protect rhinos in north-western Namibia for over thirty years, and it is largely thanks to their dedication that stocks have stabilised and recovered. The Save the Rhino Trust works closely with local communities, the Ministry of Environment (MET) and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Approximately 75% of SRT’s efforts are allocated to field patrolling and monitoring. Everything depends on this work: without accurate information about the rhino population’s performance trends, SRT cannot make decisions about regional tourism, Ecological Carrying Capacity, make recommendations to MET about the target animals to be translocated etc. Monitoring the rhinos continues to be the prime activity. Its long existence reflects an exceptional relationship of mutual trust between its partners, a highly successful commitment to the rhino, and a deep-rooted understanding of sustainable tourism in the region for the benefit of the animal world.

The organisation’s most important task is to monitor and observe the rhino. This scientific work offers essential insight into the rhino's way of life and forms the basis for the sustainable development of tourism and inclusion of the local community.

Born and raised in Minnesota (USA), Dr. Jeff Muntifering has spent the last 15 years of his professional career designing and delivering applied research, training and community-based programs to advance conservation practice while living and working out of remote field stations around the world. Currently, his time is primarily spent between Namibia and China where his work with local communities, government and private sector tourism takes a multi-disciplinary approach to improve conservation efforts for two critically endangered species, the Black Rhino and Przewalski’s Horse.

In Namibia, Jeff has worked with Save the Rhino Trust, a highly respected local Namibian organization, since 2003. His applied research on rhino biology, ecology, eco-tourism and incentive-based, community-led approaches to rhino conservation over the past 15 years has helped inform a variety of innovative management policies including community-based monitoring programs, eco-tourism protocols and re-introduction strategies. He also co-founded and currently coordinates the Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Program, a highly successful community-based rhino conservation program that has been showcased in multiple global case studies. Jeff has also spent significant time in China since 2001 where he works closely with the State Forestry Administration and Beijing Forestry University on high profile projects including South China tiger and Przewalski’s horse recovery efforts. Here he hopes to utilize his Namibia experience to advance science-based management, community-based monitoring and eco-tourism approaches in a Chinese context.

He has also conducted field research in Alaska, Canada, Minnesota, Ecuador, Honduras and South Africa primarily targeting large carnivore conservation and restoration. He has published more than a dozen scientific articles, book chapters, and has provided numerous presentations to both academic and general audiences.

He lives and works primarily out of a remote field camp in north-west Namibia known as World’s End with his wife Basilia and their 2 children.
CV Dr. Jeff Muntifering