As some of you may know, I work with the Travelers Building Change, and each year we raise money for a different, and important eco-tourism cause. Last year we raised $7500 for the Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand to help them purchase more land so they could rescue more elephants, but this year’s cause was one I really pushed for, because of my trip to Kenya, which made me realize how important this year’s cause is.
And what is this year’s cause?
Saving the African Rhino.
This year we are raising money for Rhinos Without Borders, a project started by the founders of Great Plains, who owned a few of the safari camps I had the honour of staying in during my trip to Kenya. I saw the passion Great Plains has in protecting animals, local people, and educating on the need for conservation. But it was more than just knowing the people behind this project that really got to me. What really makes me understand the importance of saving rhinos, is the fact that they are so rare, during my stay in Kenya, in territories that should be full of rhinos, I didn’t see a single wild rhino. Not one.
Rhinos have been poached to near extinction for their horns (which are made out of the same stuff as our fingernails), and which are falsely believed, in modern Asian medicine, to be magical cures for everything from hangovers to cancer. And rhinos are being slaughtered at an alarming rate.
In South Africa alone, a rhino is killed every 7.5 hours, and at the rate this is going, the rhino WILL be extinct by 2020.
Yes, WITHIN the next 5 years rhinos will no longer exist, unless we all ban together to help.
Rhinos Without Borders is a groundbreaking idea to help save the rhinos. By moving rhinos out of South Africa, where large game hunting is still legal, and poaching is virtually impossible to control, to Botswana, a landlocked country who has modern military monitoring and weapons, no easily accessible waterways to get rhino horn out, a low population density (which makes it harder for poachers to blend in), and amazing education system that promotes the need for conservation from a very young age. This movement spreads out rhinos population density, but also moves them to a place that has the means to protect them.
It’s such a novel, and brilliant idea, that will work to help save rhinos.
So how are we, at Travelers Building Change, helping the Rhinos Without Borders project?
We started the #JustOneRhino campaign, (you can follow the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to see all the articles and learn more about rhino poaching and conservation), and we are raising money for Rhinos Without Borders by raffling off amazing prizes, which have been generously donated by awesome companies, to those who donate to #JustOneRhino.
And like every year, 100% of the money raised goes directly to helping move a rhino!
Our goal this year is to raise $45,000 – which is the full cost of moving a single rhino. It isn’t cheap. And this is why we all need to work together. Because when you go to Africa, you should be able to see a rhino in the wild!
So what about these prizes?
We have had a bunch of awesome prizes (over $30,000 worth!) that you can win with a donation of as little as $20. I may not be eligible for them, because I’m on the management team, but you certainly are. I’m just going to list some of the big ones for you now:
– Adventure Life- www.adventure-life.com South Africa Big Five Safari: Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal + Swag Bag for 2 people. Value $5000 Full Trip Details found here.– Cobblers Cove Hotel, Barbados- http://www.
cobblerscove.com/ Seven nights bed and breakfast in a Garden View suite. Value $5,187
– Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, Nicaragua- www.
10 nights’ stay & wellness package for two people at Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. Value $5,241– Secret Retreats- www.secret-retreats.com• Vouchers for 2 people at Bali Jiwa Villain in Bali, Indonesia. Value $1,000
• (2) Vouchers for 2 people at The Scent Hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand. Total Value $3000 ($1,500 for each 2-person package)
• Vouchers for 2 people at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Koh Kong, Cambodia. Value $900• Vouchers for 2 people at Flower Island, Palawan, Philippines Value $900
There’s a bunch of other prizes too like: luggage, watches, dinner and brunch cruises, hotel stays, cameras, blogger mentorships (for those interested in blogging or want to learn more), and an African Elephant Photo Pack, which I actually donated. I couldn’t donate rhino photos, because, like I said, I never saw any in the wild, but I did photograph elephants, and I’m giving away my photo series to one lucky donor. (You can see some of the photos at DaniBlanchette.com)
Also, everyone who donates gets a zip file with 12 rhino photographs for your computer background and a cute DYI origami rhino (because who doesn’t love adorable origami rhinos?!) Donations end the last day of February and prizes will be announced March 3rd, 2015 on World Wildlife Day.
So please don’t let another creature disappear from this Earth for stupid reasons.
We’ve lost enough animals.
Let’s save this one!
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.