Prince Harry and Meghan to visit world’s largest rhino sanctuary in SA

The royals will travel to South Africa next week, and if their schedule permits, they will visit Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. 

Prince Harry, who is an ambassador for the organisation, is passionate about saving the rhino. 

Known as the largest rhino orphanage and sanctuary in the world, Care for Wild forms part of the 28 000 hectare Barberton Nature Reserve, the newest Unesco World Heritage Site in South Africa. 

The organisation, founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt in 2001 in the Limpopo province, aims to provide care and rehabilitation to white and black rhinos. The centre was moved to Barberton in Mpumalanga in 2011 where she and Mark Cherry established the Care For Wild programme. 

P29A3281 - Prince Harry and Meghan to visit world's largest rhino sanctuary in SA
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary believes in the rescue, rehabilitate and release premise. Picture: Gary Schneider.

Dean Cherry of Nhongo Safaris, a company that hosts rhino experiences at the sanctuary, said Harry is set to visit the sanctuary with Meghan and their baby Archie during their visit. 

“Prince Harry and his family will be visiting the sanctuary. He is very passionate about the cause, and we cannot wait to share the gripping rhino stories with the royal family,” he said. 

Cherry did not reveal the exact date the royal family will visit and there was no mention of the visit on their official schedule released earlier this month. 

Harry last visit to the sanctuary was in 2017. 

Travellers have the opportunity to learn more about the sanctuary through a day experience hosted by Nhongo Safaris. 

But, do not expect to touch these rhinos. Cherry said that there is no petting or physical interaction with the animal. 

Zac and Jemu 5 - Prince Harry and Meghan to visit world's largest rhino sanctuary in SA
The gorgeous Zac and Jemu have formed a bond at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. Picture: Supplied.

“The organisation believes in the rescue, rehabilitate and release premise. Many of these rhinos have been through significant trauma. Some youngsters, seen as threats by poachers, are beaten by pangas and other harmful objects that leave them injured.

“Due to the trauma, we try to ensure little human interaction. We feed them through the boma wall. We want these rhinos to heal from their trauma and to start a new life after their release without any fear.

“The rhinos are monitored, and the anti-poaching unit does regular patrols on horseback and specialised vehicles. Some rhinos decide to stay together in small groups while others form a herd,” he said. 

Cherry said the experience was purely educational. Nhongo Safaris has built an 8 sleeper lodge where guests spend the night. Included in the itinerary is rhino safaris, where a guide will explain the different types of rhino and their current plight, and an early morning patrol with the anti-poaching unit. 

clinton.moodley@inl.co.za 

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