Key Areas of Focus
The Trust recognised that the community plays a key role in the conservation of the area. One of the most important components within the Rhino Protection Plan, and one of its greatest triumphs, has been the drive for the community to play a vital part as the only way to ensuring a long-term sustainable conservation initiative while, at the same time, offering much-needed benefits, through tourist visits, to the communities within the area.
The Rhino Community Interpretation Centres, the brainchild of the late Chief Masuku, have been primarily built for this purpose, one at Whovi Entrance and one at the Main gate.
They provide visitors with vital information about the symbiotic relationship between the Park, the rhino and the local community while, at the same time, offering visitors an opportunity to contribute financially towards the project. The money collected goes back into the communities which conduct external rhino fence patrols and maintenance, a responsibility of the utmost importance in the overall Rhino Protection Plan.
These centres are operational and working well. The community is now receiving financial benefits from tourism activities in the Park and as a result they have formed the Khumalo Community Trust, made up of Councillors and headmen, to administer the donation money for community projects.
The success of the Rhino depends on the success of this community scheme.