Rhino Rangers, Namibia
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.

Overview of the 2020 Conservancy Rhino Ranger Program
Rhino Rangers rose to the occasion and doubled-down on their commitment in 2020 - despite massive cuts to vehicle support, patrol food and equipment. Overall Ranger Field Days rose 12% from 2019 (with Conservancy Rhino Rangers holding a strong 48% of total Field Days while NGO and government staff make up 52%). The crisis has shown that the team is truly committed to the cause and not just following orders and instructions. Rhino sightings have increased by an astounding 19% from 2019 and surpassed 4,000 confirmed sightings in a calendar year for the first time in history! Sadly, despite these herculean efforts, 4 rhinos lost their lives to poaching in 2020 - the first time this has happened in over two years.

Overview of the 2020 Rhino Pride Campaign
. 2020 was also a tough year for the Rhino Pride Campaign given the COVID measures and restrictions on any large gatherings and group activities. Nevertheless, a handful of important events could be held to continue to motivate the local people and keep them engaged: In addition to the first "Annual Ranger Award Ceremony" and a large virtual event for World Rhino Day, the new "Drive out Poaching" campaign was launched in collaboration with cab drivers to raise awareness and interest within the small urban setting in the region. The "Read with Rangers" program also took place for the first time, aiming to teach young people about nature in general and rhino conservation in particular by taking them on patrol with rangers.

In 2021, SwissAfrican Foundation would like to continue to support the indispensable work of the Save the Rhino Trust and contribute to ensuring that wild rhinos can live safely in northwestern Namibia.
More success stories related to this project
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.
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!
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