• Staff writer


Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Tintswalo Lapalala has launched two conservation participation experiences that offer guests the opportunity to join a conservation team in rhino and elephant research, and monitoring activities in the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province.

The reserve is committed to ensuring the survival of Africa’s rhinos and in doing so, applies best practice research, management and monitoring of these animals. As part of the management programmes, the conservation and veterinary teams are in the process of implementing various monitoring methods which include ear notching, the inserting of micro chips and DNA sampling on each animal.

Guests are invited to participate in one of these rhino experiences that will take place from May to August. The veterinary team will dart and immobilise the rhinos and participation may involve monitoring the animal during the capture. DNA collection forms part of the rhino DNA indexing system, a forensic tool that stores a unique genetic fingerprint for every rhino that has been sampled using blood, tissue and horn. It also plays an important part in Lapalala’s rhino security initiative and its fight against poaching as DNA data may be used as evidence in court.

The Lapalala reserve is located within the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, and over the years has become a beacon for wildlife research and conservation in South Africa. Its abundance of flora supports much wildlife within its 48 500 hectares. The resort is also eco-friendly and operated off the electricity grid.

Guests may also have the rare opportunity to get very close to elephants during collaring operations which carefully monitor these animals as part of the sustainable management of the population. When an elephant collar needs to be replaced, a small group of guests can join an experienced ranger and assist the veterinary team in monitoring the elephant’s vital signs while the collar is being replaced.


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