Four months into 2010 and the Honorary Rangers (HR) have ticked off some milestone events on their ‘to do' list for the year.
Notably, the renovated Sand River Bush Camp boasts new tents (now for tall visitors as well), a new kitchen and braai area, improved ablutions and French drain system. "We are very happy with the results of the R150 000 face-lift," says Piet Andjelkovic, spokesperson for the HR. The camp is based near Skukuza and run by the HR with its Lowveld Region being responsible for the administration and maintenance.
The HR has formalised a stake in cyberspace by adding the Virtual Honorary Ranger (VHR) region to their ranks. The members are all moderators of the SANParks forum, which has also been adopted as the criteria for membership. Their impact has already been felt with a successful cricket day that was held in Skukuza recently, drawing forum members from all over the world.
"We look forward to seeing their forum members in Kruger, with the yellow ribbons on their car mirrors." The HR is a volunteer organisation dedicated to the success of South Africa's national parks. According to Andjelkovic, pre-audited figures indicate that the HRs donated in excess of R18 million in services, funds and equipment to SANParks last year, with poaching and alien invasive plant management receiving particular attention.
John Turner and his counter poaching team received significant donations from the Mazda Wildlife Fund and 4x4 Megaworld. The team hosted two 'Sunset Serenades', from which the proceeds went into ranger equipment worth almost R700 000. On the cards for this year is a donation of thermal imagers worth more than R700 000. Plans afoot include a golf day in Skukuza, with prizes exceeding R165 000 already on offer.
"We hope to do away with our member's annual fees. This means we have to generate more funds through special events like the golf day." The HR national executive committee (NEC) has also booked three bushcamps at Sand River for fundraising events. More information can be obtained from Andre van der Merwe on 082 650 5764.
Read more about the Honorary Rangers