BiodiversityAnti-poaching Canine Unit Sabi SandSabi Sand - South Africa
All our conservation work, including this project, is born of our love for Africa and our need to protect it. Become a part of preserving Africa’s legacy for future generations.

Since showing up on the radar in 2008, the current rhino poaching crisis has continued to escalate, becoming one of the most pressing conservation issues of the 21st century. At Singita, we believe that resolving this enigmatic challenge requires a tiered approach. In the long-term, reduced demand for rhino horn is essential to the ultimate survival of the species. In the medium-term, ensuring that local communities derive real benefits from wildlife will turn them into protective custodians of these living resources. Lastly, effective anti-poaching and law enforcement operations are critical in the short-term to buy time for the medium and long-term objectives to be achieved.

In terms of the latter, Singita’s original property, located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, is one of the most secure protected areas on the continent. Primary layers of security are implemented collectively by all the land owners of the Reserve. However, given the level of threat and our commitment to protecting our rhino, we decided in 2012 to deploy a highly-skilled team of tracking dogs and handlers to further enhance anti-poaching efforts on our reserve in the Sabi Sand.

Key Successes:

The K9 units patrol the reserve to ensure 24/7  coverage.

How it works:
  • Highly trained and able to perform multiple functions, from pursuing intruders to sniffing out rhino horn and ammunition from vehicles and bags, the dogs are deeply valued, professional assets supporting important conservation initiatives.
  • In addition, the mere presence of dog teams acts as a deterrent to potential poachers. Once tracking dogs have been deployed into an area, the news quickly spreads amongst poachers and criminal syndicates, and the level and frequency of poaching incidents have been shown to drop dramatically.
How to help:
  • Annual operational running cost: $240,000
  • Annual cost of a dog and handler: $12,000
  • 1 trained tracking dog: $7,000
  • Canine unit guest visit: $1,000 donation per couple
  • Vet & ancillary cost per dog: $2,500 per year
  • FLIR night vision equipment: $6,000
Other Areas of Conservation