The extinction of black rhino in the area and the depletion of white rhino numbers to only nine was cause for great concern in 1998. A programme to reintroduce these species was initiated by The Malilangwe Trust when 28 black and 15 white rhinos were purchased and relocated from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Since their release, these animals have been under the constant watchful eye of Malilangwe’s anti-poaching team. This protection, in conjunction with a favourable habitat, has ensured that populations of both species have grown significantly over the last 18 years. The thriving population has seen an improvement of the ecology of the reserve through black rhino filling the ecological niche they held before local extinction.
The programme has been so successful that Malilangwe is now in a position to send some of its black rhino to other reserves in Africa, in order to re-establish populations in areas where the species was previously poached to extinction.
Only two single rhino has been lost to poaching since 2007. This despite the fact that we have an excess of black and white rhino.8
8 rhino relocated from Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve to Botswana in 2015