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Rhino conservation and walking trails at the Wilderness Leadership School
Intriguing Africa, in conjunction with the Wilderness Leadership School, is offering a unique wilderness experience in a game reserve that is home to the largest population of wild rhino remaining in Africa, to raise awareness of Africa's severe rhino poaching epidemic.
This personal experience of nature is a back-to-basics, leave-no-trace walking trail, within the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal .
The experience begins in Durban at the Wilderness Leadership School's headquarters within Stainbank Nature Reserve. As the Wilderness Foundation is intimately involved with the anti-poaching rhino initiatives in KZN, it is able to call on a bevy of experts in the field of conservation to discuss tactics that are currently being employed to stop poaching. Discussions are led by various professionals, from the team leaders who handle the network of informants within the rural communities, to the fearless helicopter pilots who "sweep" for poachers across the wilderness landscape, to the conservationists at the forefront of the war against poaching who train the foot patrols.
The adventure truly begins
The next four nights are spent on foot within Big Five wilderness - and this is when the adventure truly begins. The trail is conducted in a wilderness area that appears untouched by man. Firelight evenings in the bush, time for reflection and thoughts turn inwards. The night is alive with animal activity, hyena and lion pierce the black night with their noisy antics and the stars literally seem to grow from the Earth. Day meanderings are not intended to cover distance, but to discover a natural world of wonder - golden orb spiders, ground hornbills, white-backed vultures, buffalo, rhino, lion, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, and crocodile. Varied terrains and environs, and wilderness stretching out.
The Trails are run by the Wilderness Leadership School, an arm of the not-for-profit organisation of the Wilderness Foundation. The Leadership School was the vision of conservationist Dr Ian Player.