Black Rhino Immobilisation Safari
This safari assists a private reserve in northern South Africa with the responsible monitoring of their black rhino population, while giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime hands on experience! This safari affords clients the opportunity to be involved in a black rhino immobilisation procedure (hopefully at least two animals per safari!) in order to place a tracking device in the horn for monitoring, microchip the horns and body to help combat poaching, and ear notch for better identification of individuals and thus better management. The procedure will be carried out by a Wildlife Veterinarian and a registered tourist guide throughout the safari. The time preceding and after the immobilisation allows time for traditional game drives and learning more about black rhino in general, as well as preparing you for the immobilization.

Guests are given the opportunity to participate in the procedures being carried out, once the patient is immobilised, and it is thus safe to move closer. Guests have the option of a hands-on approach, or, if they prefer, simply observing from up close and getting those pictures of a lifetime! Guest participation covers all veterinary and implant costs .So come join us for the experience of a lifetime and contribute to the conservation of an endangered species!

Day 1
Thursday
This safari departs early morning from Johannesburg International Airport and the drive takes us approximately 5 hours north. We arrive at our lodge early afternoon and settle in. Enjoy some leisure time in the beautiful surroundings and high tea before a late afternoon/evening game drive to introduce guests to the reserve and its wildlife. Enjoy sundowners before returning to camp for an evening at leisure with dinner at our lodge. The Game Reserve is a vast tract of 190 square kilometers of privately owned African bush - bushveld savannah - forming part of the Limpopo Valley in the northern part of South Africa .The reserve is home to 45 mammal species, with various rare and endangered species, including black and white rhinoceros, cheetah, sable and roan antelope. Other mammals of particular interest include leopard, Cape buffalo, brown hyena, caracal, serval, jackal, aardwolf, ant bear and bat-eared fox. There are around 300 species of birds and numerous reptile species including the impressive African rock python.

The comfortable accommodation comprises:
An 8 bed house with large thatch outdoor living area and swimming pool, situated in an open plains area with a lot of activity at the nearby waterhole. A tented camp consisting of four individual en-suite safari tents on decks, situated on a hill with unforgettable views. The camp runs on a combination of solar, gas and generator power. Accommodation will be selected to best suit the group and can be described as 3 star. There is no public access to the reserve, so you will be assured of privacy and exclusivity, whichever camp you select for your stay.
Day 2
Friday
Early morning light breakfast/tea/coffee is followed by a game drive on the reserve, focusing on the black rhino. We will be accompanied by a local guide and thus gain a good insight into the species in this environment. Of course we are bound to come across several of the other wildlife species found in the reserve too. We return to the lodge late morning for brunch. After brunch there will be some informative talks on issues relating to black rhino immobilisation and conservation/management issues, and the actual procedure, equipment, drugs, etc. This will also cover safety aspects and guests involvement in the procedure. Time permitting guests will be allowed to load tranquiliser darts with water and fire them at a target! (This activity is time dependent today may be done on Saturday as it can take quite a while.) Mid to late afternoon we return to the reserve for another game drive, taking in the other wildlife species which we may not yet have encountered during our stay. Return to camp after sundowners for dinner and to overnight.

Day 3
Saturday
This is the day we have all been waiting for, and we set out early morning after tea/coffee and snacks. We head into the area of the reserve in which we anticipate finding the specific black rhino that need procedures doing. Once located, the black rhino will be darted from a helicopter by the Wildlife Veterinarian. This is a tense moment since the black rhino could go down in a bad area. Once the patient is secure and it is determined that the area is safe, guests will be allowed to alight from their game drive vehicles and assist with basic procedures, as well as just examining the patient from up close, hands-on. There will of course be time for photos since the whole procedure, until we wake the patient, takes approximately an hour. Once our patient is safely back up on his/her feet, we head back to camp, no doubt filled with adrenalin and smiles! We return to the lodge for brunch and leisure time for the rest of the day. If we have not covered any aspects yet due to time constraints, or guests want more talks/interaction, then we’ll happily oblige. After high tea we head out to try locate our patient and do a visual check up, while enjoying a game drive on route. We enjoy sundowners in the bush for the last time, and return to our lodge early evening. We enjoy dinner in camp and are sure to spend some time sitting around the fire discussing the day’s experiences!
Day 4
Sunday
We start early again today, with tea and coffee before heading out on our >last game drive, or simply lie in and wake to the sounds of the bus. Brunch is enjoyed at the lodge, before checking out .Late morning departure back to Johannesburg International Airport to arrive in time for connecting flights back home. Lunch en route for own expense. Your safari ends at Johannesburg International Airport, at around 5pm. If you are flying home today please do not book a flight departing before 8 pm. For guests not departing today, accommodation arrangements can be made on your behalf – not included in safari cost.

Costing
This safari is available at a cost of £1200.00 per person sharing. Single supplements apply – subject to availability. This is based on 8 persons participating in total. Larger groups may be accommodated on special request. This cost includes board and accommodation as laid out above, all land transfers in a comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus, guides ( and various local guides), all tours, presentations and activities as laid out above, entrance fees, VAT and Government Tourism levies. Not included are drinks, lunch on day 4, any optional additional activities, items of a personal nature, gratuities, travel insurance (medical insurance compulsory) and flights. Please note that due to the nature of this experience, times and plans may need to be adjusted slightly as we proceed, especially since black rhino do not read itineraries very well! We will however always endeavour to complete all activities as laid out, but please bear with us should changes become necessary.
Tailor-made departures and alternate dates are available on request. Please note the following regarding the darting/other procedure/s:

While every endeavour is made to locate and dart the animal in question, factors such as severe weather conditions or illness involving the animal, which are unpredictable, may prevent the darting from going ahead. Every effort will be made to ensure that the client participates in the darting procedure, or similar, as laid out in the itinerary, but the animal's welfare will not be compromised at any stage, and a procedure may have to be aborted and the animal revived in certain circumstances. This may shorten the procedure/down time and hence the close up experience for the client. Brothers Safaris, its staff, and appointed agents will not be held liable for any losses incurred by a client as a result of such situations, and accept no responsibility whatsoever. Every endeavour is made to ensure the health and safety of all our clients, but any procedure with a potentially dangerous wild animal is of such a nature that certain circumstances may be beyond our control. Should any such situation arise which leads to death or injury due to any reason whatsoever, Africa Experience, its staff, and appointed agents, will not be held liable for any losses incurred as a direct, or indirect, result of such a situation, or our actions in such a situation.


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