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We traveled to Africa solely to shoot for sport, and we weren’t leaving until we had shot each of the “big 5” – that included the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. We were fully loaded, though unlike your typical African game hunter we were not carrying rifles – our weapon of choice was instead loaded with film, and our hardest decision was choosing which lens to shoot with.

The opportunities for wildlife photography in Africa were absolutely unbelievable, and we were surrounded by free roaming wildlife throughout the whole trip. We fell asleep each evening to the sound of hyenas scavenging our campsite, monkey’s and baboons raiding our tents, and stray elephants drinking from our campsite water tanks.

We rose early to capture shots of leopards lazing in the tallest trees, witnessed lions rip apart a gazelle during a feed, and watched in awe as the great migration caused a cyclonic dust storm with their stampede.

African Elephants.

Though despite our best efforts to spot each of the Big 5, one animal managed to allude us. Hunted almost to the point of extinction, the Rhino is the hardest African animal to spot in the wild.

Normally we would simply vow to return, though with Rhino deaths steadily on the rise, even if we do make it back to Africa, the sad fact is we may never see one in our lifetime. And you may never see one in yours.

Over 1,020 rhinos were killed in South Africa during 2014, and at this rate the rhino will be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years. We have reached a tipping point where we lose more rhinos to poaching than at which the present population can breed.

Rhino-down-Beverly-Joubert

Rhino down. Photo by Beverly Joubert

As such we have joined #JustOneRhino – a fundraiser run by Travelers Building Change. This is a movement which was seen over 120 travel bloggers and more than 20 eco-conscious travel brands join together to promote awareness for the rhino poaching crisis, and raise money to airlift rhinos from the poacher ridden plains of South Africa into highly protected areas in Botswana.

The #JustOneRhino campaign aims to raise $45,000 – the cost of translocating #JustOneRhino. Every donation earns a raffle ticket to win one of more than 20 incredible travel prizes valued at $30,000!

A small donation will not only help to save these beautiful animals from extinction, but also put you in the running for a safari in South Africa, a voyage through the Galapagos Islands, a spa retreat in Nicaragua, luxury getaways in Barbados and South East Asia, and so much more!

DONATE NOW!

Photo courtesy Susan Portnoy_The Insatiable Traveler- 3

Photo courtesy Susan Portnoy

Donations as small as $20 will enter you into the draw for a chance to win the following epic prizes!

Prizes:

  • A South Africa Big Five Safari Tour for Two from Adventure Life worth over $6000!
  • One of 5 Getaways for Two in Asia from Secret Retreats worth almost $6000!

And many more!

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DONATE NOW!

Learn more about the Rhino poaching crisis:

– Current Rhino Poaching Statistics: http://wessa.org.za/get-involved/rhino-initiative/current-rhino-poaching-stats.htm

– National Geographic Story on RWB: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140801-rhinos-south-africa-kruger-botswana-poaching-parks/

– Interview With Rhinos Without Borders Founder Dereck Joubert: http://greenglobaltravel.com/2014/11/04/rhinos-without-borders-dereck-joubert/

– Telegraph UK Story: Time Is Running Out To Save the Rhinos- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/conservation/10634404/Time-is-running-out-to-save-the-rhino.html

– Conservation Magazine Story: What Will Happen When the Rhinos Are Gone?- http://conservationmagazine.org/2014/02/will-happen-rhinos-gone/

– Endangered Species Spotlight: Black Rhino (why they’re endangered, what’s being done to save them, where you can see them)- http://greenglobaltravel.com/2012/07/07/endangered-species-spotlight-black-rhinoceros/

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    20 Comments

    • Totally agree – it’s so sad that we’re poaching them to the point of extinction, they’re such magnificent creatures.

    • Thanks Mary – Anything to help such an important campaign :)

  1. I totally had to read your first sentence twice when I got to ‘shot’…then I figured it out! haha. I’m LOVING this initiative. It’s a fantastic cause. I haven’t visited yet but I want to see the rhinos! So you bet I will be sharing!
    Hannah recently posted…Be a Girl Who TravelsMy Profile

    • Haha I thought I would try and be clever there with a bit of a play on words 😀 Fingers crossed we can raise enough money to really push the relocation, and then I’ll meet you there and we can see them together!

  2. It’s like how I didn’t see one single sea turtle when I went to Hawaii :( Kudos for spreading awareness about this great cause!
    Bryna recently posted…Wet Markets in Hong KongMy Profile

    • That’s horrible – one of the main draws for Hawaii!! So sorry you guys didn’t see any sea turtles, there are so many different species which are dying out because we’re completely ruining their environments, it’s heartbreaking.

    • Thanks Jenna – really loved your post on this also – so glad we could all come together to promote such an amazing cause. Here’s to reaching our goal!

    • Wow Heather that sounds like such a phenomenal experience – so glad you had the opportunity to spend time tracking them in Namibia. Let me know if you would like to do a guest post on your trip – would love to highlight such an amazing travel experience!

    • Indeed! Thanks for supporting this cause :)

  3. Such an important cause and I’m so happy to read another article for #JustOneRhino. It’s so wonderful that bloggers are uniting to bring awareness like this to such an important cause. It is really up to us to save the rhino population.
    Lauren recently posted…Video of Dundas, Ontario – My HometownMy Profile

    • It really is such an important cause – agreed re blogger uniting to promote awareness; it’s been such a fantastic show of goodwill.

    • Definitely lucky, that’s so awesome that you saw them! And wow that’s an epic safari – 43 days!! Ours was 7 lol. Heading over right now to stalk your site for stories from your amazing trip!

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