Acacia Africa is asking agents to get behind its latest anti poaching drive, which will launch on World Rhino Day, September 22.
A rhino residing in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Inongwe will be the face or “horn” of the tour operator's campaign.
Spanning a three month period the #SaveInongwe hashtag will be highlighted across the tour operator’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the initiative aiming to build awareness for the plight of rhinos and spread the word about great things happening on the ground.
A major factor behind the decision to work with the Zambian park, the rangers have made huge strides on the anti-poaching front: no rhinos have been poached since 2007 and they are now under 24-hour armed guard.
Save the Rhino International - a non-profit organisation - shared some alarming figures earlier this year: rhinos in South Africa being killed by poachers at a rate of three per day, the entire population facing extinction in the wild by 2026.
Arno Delport sales & marketing manager, Acacia Africa said: "A member of the Big Five, most clients have rhinos on their checklist and it's sad to see their numbers declining year on year. Our campaign aims to get the right balance between the negative statistics and positive news so clients can see where effective change is being made. Obviously many agents will have been to Africa and have first hand knowledge of successful anti-poaching efforts that deserve to be highlighted. We see this campaign as a collaborative effort between ourselves and agents, with the trade sharing their own stories and experiences online. A force for good, we hope other parks and reserves, NGOs and cause related organisations will do the same using the #SaveInongwe hashtag.”
Acacia Africa is also going to name one of their 20 strong fleet of trucks after Inongwe for one year as part of the campaign. The 41-day Cape Town To Kenya and 19-day Desert Tracker expeditions depart on 27 September, and the the tour leaders will christen the truck before it leaves South Africa’s mother city.
Various rhino related activities will follow, a "Bad Hair" party in Livingstone giving clients the opportunity to win a rhino walking safari in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. In some countries rhino horn is thought to have medicinal properties, but in truth it has no health benefits and is composed of keratin the same material found in hair and nails.
On the back of their rhino focused departures, Acacia Africa will be giving all agents the chance to join in their "Bad Hair Day Challenge" launching on October17.
Agents will need to upload their Bad Hair Day selfie to Facebook or Twitter using the #SaveInongwe hashtag, after which they can choose to either nominate or donate to Save the Rhino International.
Delport continues: "Together, by building awareness and sharing information on positive initiatives in Africa's parks and reserves, we're aiming to encourage not only donations but also inspire more people to book a safari on the continent."
41-day Cape Town to Kenya from £1,865pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £796pp including transport, accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Departing September 27. Starting Cape Town – ending Nairobi. Excludes flight.
19-day Desert Tracker from £850pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £463pp including transport, accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Departing September 27. Starting Cape Town – ending Livingstone. Excludes flight.