It’s Baby Season!

Summer season in Swaziland is full of exciting game viewing with animals of all shapes and sizes.  Many of our mammals subscribe to breeding seasons, producing their young from October through to March each year.  Wildebeest, impala and blesbuck are among the summer births.  In fact, according to Ted Reilly, you will not see a blesbuck lamb before 5th October.  Amazingly, since I heard this, I kept an eye out every year to prove him wrong, and almost every year, the first sightings of a lamb was on the 5th or 6th of October!

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Probably the most endearing of the babies are the warthogs… the ‘hoglets’.  Mothers quietly graze around the camp, while these cheeky minions bounce, race, do excited 360 degree turns as if someone pulls an invisible handbrake and off they go again….or suddenly drop onto their tummies in an angelic, non-plussed manner.  One hog brings her babies to the camp fire on a chilly day, and generation after generation are learning to do this.  They are quite happy to share half the fire with our guests, as long as they get to roast themselves.

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It has been an extremely hard year in the lowveld though, with a drought spanning 3 long years.  This past winter saw nature reducing stock at an alarming and gut-wrenching rate. In days of old, animals could simply migrate, but there is nowhere to go to now.  The parks have hard perimeters – or the animals face becoming a welcome meal  beyond the fence.  It has not been a good year for rhino calves, but the giraffe have managed to keep their populations expanding.

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Big Game Parks 2015/16 Festive Season Procedures

family of logosHlane Royal National Park and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary welcome day visitors over the Christmas season.  We encourage enjoyment of our parks in a responsible manner with respect to wildlife and fellow guests.  EcoTourism is about a quality nature experience.  Big Game Parks is about making memorable experiences in nature available to local, regional and international guests.  We do not condone noisy and disrespectful behavior.  Our parks are here to be enjoyed by all who visit, which means safety, respect, courtesy and sobriety are important.

Due to the high levels of disturbance and numerous refunds paid to unhappy overnight guests over Christmas 2014, our parks will be following a very strict procedure this festive season.

  • For the safety and enjoyment of all, the “No Alcohol Permitted” rule will be enforced vigorously throughout the holiday season
  • Every vehicle will be searched on entry to both Hlane and Mlilwane. Vehicles with alcohol will be turned away and denied access into the park.
  • No alcohol may be left at our gates.
  • Anyone arriving intoxicated or suspected of being under the influence of intoxicating substances will be turned away. Our Rangers have full discretion.
  • Day Visitors will be required to leave the Rest Camp by 17h00 between 20 December and 5 January
  • Security will be deployed in the camps and have the authority to search picnics and any alcohol found being off-loaded will result in the vehicle and its passengers being evicted without refund
  • The number of Day Visitor vehicles allowed into the parks will be restricted on 25th December, 26th December and 1st Notices will be erected at the turn off when capacity is reached.  Big Game Parks reserves the right to restrict entry during Peak Season.
  • Conservation (entry) fees will be as follows:
    • E40,00 per adult & E20 per child during High Season (18-24 Dec & 28-30 Dec)
    • E60,00 per adult & E30 per child during Peak Season (25-27 Dec & 31 Dec-3 Jan) – Restricted access applies
    • Normal Rates apply through the rest of the months of December and January, with exception of the above dates
    • Wild Cards will be accepted as normal, without premium fare
    • Pre-bookings for overnight guests as per our forecast will be charged normal Conservation Fees, including pay on arrival
    • Pre-paid Christmas Lunch bookings in the Hippo Haunt and Hlane Restaurants will be charged normal Conservation Fees. Pre-bookings without payment will be charged peak season rates. 

Wishing all our guests a fabulous Festive Season!

To book contact our Central Reservations Office on +268 2528 3943 or email reservations@biggameparks.org

#Nailit4RHINOS Campaign: 1st – 22nd September 2015

#Nailit4RHINOS
#Nailit4RHINOS

World Rhino Day is on the 22nd September every year. This day is celebrated worldwide. 2015 marks the fifth year that the world will commemorate this day.

Nail it for Rhinos

The Rhino Horn is made from a substance called Keratin; the same material found in human nails. The Rhino is an endangered species which is continentally in crisis of extinction. The Swazi Community can help take a stand to save the rhino by getting involved with the Nail it for Rhinos Campaign.  All they have to do is get creative with their nails from the 1st of September 2015. World Rhino Day is on Tuesday the 22nd September and the eventual winner will be announced on Social Media on the 22nd.They can colour them, Shape them or Fake them; then take selfies (with the highlight of the picture being their nail craft) and share them on our official Big Game Parks instagram, facebook and twitter handles with the caption #NailItForRhinos.

 

The most creative participant will walk away with:

  • One night for 2 people at Hlane Royal National Park plus a Rhino Game Drive.
  • We invite salons to participate by offering a manicure/pedicure prize along side this to stimulate more interest – We hope that if the client wins, the salon owner can join the winner on the game drive and offer the prize at her salon. The prize will be redeemed at the winner’s salon, so only if your client wins, will your prize be taken up.

 

  • The winner will be “The most effective artwork seen in photo” selected from social media posts. This means the artwork must stimulate interest as a great rhino ambassador.

 

How to enter:

  • Design & paint your #Nailit4RHINO nails (Both Men and Women eligible)
  • Photograph your nails creatively
  • Share on your social media platforms and tag:
    • @biggamparks (twitter)
    • @BigGameParks (Insta)
    • Big Game Parks (FB)
    • #Nailit4RHINO
    • Your Salon’s name
    • Your own handle
  • Most effective artwork seen in photo wins – T&C’s apply

Last Chance to Book Swazi Safari Specials

renameBook  your accommodation now and save up to 30% off at Big Game Parks’ Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Mkhaya Game Reserve and Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge before the end of March 2015.  Do not forget there is also a wide variety of activities to do.

 

To book call (+268) 2528 3943/4 or email reservations@biggameparks.org

Free entry with a WILD Card

Day Two: A Chance to Explore Hlane Royal National Park

expedition africaBegin your second day of Expedition Africa with a guided Sunup cycle and return for breakfast at our open air restaurant, facing the waterhole frequently visited by Elephant and Rhino at Ndlovu Camp. After breakfast, this is a time for you to explore Hlane Royal National Park in a self drive and then conclude your day with a rest at Ndlovu Camp’s stunning accommodation.

 

Daily conservation fee is E40-00 per person. Free entry with a WILD card

Your 50 For Conservation

50Swaziland and BIG GAME PARKS celebrated 50 years of conservation this year! The beginning of this week marked  50 days to the end of the year.  We successfully  launched our “Your 50” campaign at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday 10th November, attended by media and conservation ambassadors from Hlabazonkhe Primary School and Malindza High School.

Big Game Parks has contributed 50- years to Swazi conservation.  What is Your50?

We invite you to contribute to Swaziland’s conservation through participation. Big Game Parks challenges everyone to get creative and choose 50 ways in which to make a difference to our environment before the end of 2014. Pledge Your 50 and Challenge your neighbour!

 

Visit our Facebook page Big Game Park  for ideas – and share yours!

Tweet us @BigGameParks

WWF Launches NOVEL CHI CAMPAIGN in Vietnam on World Rhino Day

ChiWWF-SA Rhino Programme Manager, Dr Jo Shaw announced the launch of their new behavior change campaign, strategically aimed at the new users of rhino horn.  She stated “It is imperative to work along the entire illicit supply chain, from rhino to consumer if we hope to win the war.”  A lot of work has been done along this chain, but the demand continues to spike.

13 South African rhino were poached in 2007.  In 2013, 1004 rhino were poached.  On 11th September 2014, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs announced 769 rhino had been poached this year. Novel Chi means “Power Comes From Our Will”.  Chi is Power or Strength.  The campaign is a collaborative effort conducted by WWF-SA, TRAFFIC and PSI, a social marketing group with experience in behavior change.  It is based on intense research into the behavior of rhino horn users and the various approaches taken to date. 

“Experience has now shown that positive messaging coming from within the target group is the most powerful way to change behavior,” says Shaw.

Images of rhino carcasses and mutilated rhino have little impact.  Appeals for the rhino as a species have little impact.  Targeting the emotional motivators driving the new age user – Vietnamese men aged 35–50 – is essential.  This group is highly susceptible to admiration within their peer groups and business circles.  Business success, social standing and lifestyle are most valued.  Rhino horn has become evidence of wealth, elevated social status and is a highly prized corporate gift, all leading to the recent spike in horn demand.

More concerning are the “Intenders” group.  These are young urban men eager to climb the social ladder quickly, are hugely money conscious and aspirational.  They mimic the behavior of their seniors in order to gain social recognition.  As they can afford horn, they enter the market.   A rapid growth in purchasing power in Asian economies has increased the pressure on rhino.  This “intenders” group indicates a potential 300 – 400% growth in horn market. The traditional medicinal use of horn has remained relatively constant and is now a small percentage. 

It is essential to target behavior change within the current social and corporate users, reduce aspiration and therefore demand.  The campaign appeals to this market through strong messages linked to strong aspirational images that depict the target audience – businessmen in suits.  This is a complete divergence from traditional conservation messaging.

This campaign is part of WWF-SA’s 5-point approach:

  1. Building resilient rhino populations
  2. Developing community buffers around rhino conservation areas
  3. Supporting Forensic and Judicial chain
  4. Support National Policies in rhino range states
  5. Curb trade and demand

 

 

Big Game Parks wishes WWF-SA, TRAFFIC and PSI every success in this campaign.

http://www.wwf.org.za/what_we_do/rhino_programme/?12061/Chi-campaign-launch

@biggameparks