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Share & Save Rhinos with Acacia Africa

19th September 2014 Print
Inongwe and her first calf

#SaveInongwe might be an unknown in the social networking sphere, but Acacia Africa hope concern over rhino poaching will see the hashtag trending. A real rhino residing in Zambia's Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Inongwe will be the face or “horn” of the tour operator's new three month initiative, the campaign which will run across Facebook and Twitter due to launch on World Rhino Day, 22 September. Building awareness for the plight of rhinos online is nothing new, but the safari specialist is also looking to talk about the positives and let travellers know great things are happening on the ground. A major factor behind the decision to work with the Zambian park, the rangers have made huge strides on the anti-poaching front: no rhinos have been poached since 2007 and they are under 24-hour armed guard.

Offering safaris across east and southern Africa the adventure specialist is well aware of the issues and they are proud corporate partners of Save the Rhino International. The non-profit organisation shared some alarming figures earlier this year: rhinos in South Africa being killed by poachers at a rate of three per day, the entire population facing extinction in the wild by 2026. Still very much in demand, in some countries rhino horn is thought to have medicinal properties, but in truth it has no health benefits and is composed of keratin the same material found in hair and nails.

Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at Acacia Africa comments "To date most campaigns have focused on the negatives, and while we want to build awareness of the facts we feel there is a need to include locations where rangers are effectively helping to combat rhino poaching. A force for good, we would like to encourage parks and reserves, NGOs and cause related organisations across Africa to share their positive news using the #SaveInongwe hashtag. Our tours attract travellers from several continents including Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia, and many safari goers choose to talk about their experience online. By coming together on Twitter and Facebook we can make a real difference, and hopefully our campaign will inspire more people to visit Africa and donate to worthy initiatives."

Also part of the plan, Acacia Africa are to rename one of their 20 strong fleet after Inongwe. The 41-day Cape Town To Kenya and 19-day Desert Tracker expeditions depart on 27 September, and the tour leaders will christen the truck before it leaves South Africa’s Mother City. Various rhino related activities will follow, a "Bad Hair" party in Livingstone giving overlanders the opportunity to win a rhino walking safari in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.

On the back of the itineraries, Acacia Africa will be giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the "Bad Hair Day Challenge. " Launching on 17 October, rhino supporters should upload their Bad Hair Day selfie to Facebook or Twitter using the #SaveInongwe hashtag, and either nominate or donate to Save the Rhino International.

All travellers passing through Livingstone on Acacia Africa’s tours will have the opportunity to meet Inongwe on an optional rhino walk. And, there is even more excitement in store as the female rhino is due to deliver a second calf in 2015.

Arno Delport, comments "We know our adventurers will want to share their own rhino photos during the campaign so Inongwe will undoubtedly be one of many favourites. Rhinos may not have a voice, but we’re sure our personal approach to the war on poaching, through positive updates, shared experiences and Inongwe herself, will help more people to connect with the cause."

The #SaveInongwe campaign will run from 22 September through to 22 December. Regular updates will be available on Acacia Africa's Facebook page, Twitter page and the tour operators blog.

Acacia Africa's 41-day Cape Town to Kenya from £1,865pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £796pp including transport, accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Departing 27 September. Starting Cape Town – ending Nairobi. Excludes return flight from starting from £699pp.

Acacia Africa's 19-day Desert Tracker from £850pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £463pp including transport, accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Departing 27 September. Starting Cape Town – ending Livingstone. Excludes return flight from starting from £849pp.

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More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Inongwe and her first calf