Sunset serenade continues to woo audiences



By Kirsty Redman

The Sunset Serenade, hosted by the ranger support services branch of the Honorary Rangers (HR), was once again a popular meeting place for music and wildlife lovers from across the country. Guests relished the classical concerts performed at selected sites in the Kruger National Park (KNP) bushveld, near Letaba Rest Camp.

As the sun set on each of the three nights, the six members of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra delivered their magic under the themes, Flight and Airs on some G-strings; Moonlight Serenade and Winter Solstice. The Sunset Serenade, marked by good music, refreshments, friends and the African bushveld at nightfall, is a fundraising event that generates sponsorship for much needed equipment such as the CyberTracker and Bantam lightweight aircraft for the SANParks ranger corps.

Hal Feder from the Mazda Wildlife Fund presented John Turner, chairperson of the ranger support services, and Dr Bandile Mkhize, managing executive of Kruger, with a cheque of R100 000 in support of the HR's activities in SANParks. 4x4 Megaworld sponsored the traditional outside broadcast of Classic FM from the Letaba restcamp, where Mike Mills and Kelly Thorrington ensured a broader audience appreciated the stirring sounds of the sunset serenade.

In addition, 4x4 Megaworld also donated R50 000 which can be spent on equipment in their stores for the rangers over the next year. As part of the annual event guests were treated to a display of the Kruger section rangers' skills on June 22, 2008 in the form of a ‘mini-rangers day', organised by Louis Olivier, regional ranger for Nxanatseni South.

The aim was to show guests where the funds raised by their generous contributions are being used, as well as demonstrating the skills of the section rangers and field rangers in protecting natural resources and how the donated equipment benefits these functions. People interested in attending the next function, which will be held in September 2009, can contact Margaret Stafford of the Honorary Rangers at counterpoaching@mweb.co.za.



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