Sipping for Survival: How Wine is Protecting White Rhinos in Zambia

Natasha Parker | February 20, 2024

Sipping for Survival: How Wine is Protecting White Rhinos in Zambia

In an inspiring collaboration, Tongabezi Lodge by Green Safaris and Snow Mountain’s Renosterwacht Wines have joined forces, using wine sales to support the protection of the white rhinos residing in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park. 

Nestled on the Zambezi riverbanks just upstream of Victoria Falls, Tongabezi Lodge is not a wildlife destination. At least, it is not compared with Green Safaris’ other luxury eco properties, such as Sausage Tree Camp in the heart of the Lower Zambezi or Chisa Busanga Camp on the wild Busanga Plains. And yet, Tongabezi Lodge sits just ten minutes from the Mosi oa Tunya National Park, which may be one of the smallest National Parks in the world but is also home to the largest waterfall in the world… and rare white rhinos. 

Whilst protecting rhinos with wine may not be everybody’s first idea, there is something supremely elegant about using a human luxury to support a wildlife need. 

By donating a percentage of every wine sold, Renosterwacht has already raised almost R 2 million to be used in the war against rhino poaching in South Africa’s National Parks, and now they are sending their wines to Tongabezi at cost price to expand their positive impact into Zambia. Tongabezi then offers Renosterwacht wines – also known as ‘the Rhino Keeper’ wines – to their guests from around the world, and all of the proceeds are donated directly to the rhino caretakers and rangers in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park.

Love Your (Wild) Neighbours

The collaboration between Tongabezi and Renosterwacht began with a profound realisation for the Tongabezi Team: Tongabezi’s proximity to a national park where rhinos are still sighted and protected is a blessing that comes with a responsibility. Tongabezi has a long-standing commitment to community and conservation, but it was time to think beyond Tongabezi’s existing initiatives, such as the Tongabezi Trust School, Tujatane, regular rubbish clean-ups and the introduction of monkey-proof bins to the National Park. 

Tongabezi’s General Manager, Malemia, is especially passionate about this initiative:

Supporting Mosi-oa-Tunya Rhino Conservation through the proceeds of Renosterwacht wine is not just a donation; it’s an investment in safeguarding the majesty of nature, ensuring the survival of a magnificent species, and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Guests at Tongabezi can immerse themselves in the world of these majestic creatures through game drives and rhino walks, offering a close yet respectful encounter with the rhinos.

This experience is not just about witnessing wildlife; it’s about understanding and participating in their preservation. Tongabezi believes that tourism can be a real force for positive change, and encourages guests to learn about local initiatives, whether this is by visiting Simoonga Village, or raising a glass to rhino conservation on the banks of the Zambezi River. Even a luxury safari holiday can make a fast and positive impact: the Principal Ranger for the Mosi oa Tunya National Park, recently wrote a letter of thanks for Tongabezi’s first contribution.

I write to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the generous support provided by Green Safaris Lodge in our ongoing efforts towards Rhino Conservation in the Mosi Oa Tunya National Park. Your contribution, specifically in procuring anti-poaching rations, fuel, and service kits for the Rhino vehicle, has played a pivotal role in enhancing our capabilities to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat.

– Gidion Chikanya

It is no wonder, then, that the Renosterwacht wines have already found a special place in the hearts of Tongabezi’s guests. Not only do they relish the wine, but they are keen to learn its story – one of conservation and hope.

For more ways to give back with Green Safaris, whether it is to conservation or community empowerment initiatives, visit our Foundation website.

The Green Team at Ila
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