This was one seriously cool experience. During our trip to South Africa, my mom and I had the incredible opportunity to join Flying4Rhino up in the air as they flew their evening patrol. Of all the amazing things we did in South Africa, this was the most eye-opening and the most unique. Not to mention that seeing The Greater Kruger National Park from above is breathtaking.
Flying4Rhino is a registered non-profit that provides air support to help track and protect wildlife (especially Rhinos!) from poachers. The poachers slither into the parks and reserves, with the plan to slaughter these magnificent animals for their own benefit. Being that my mom and I both love flying (mom can even co-pilot a plane!) this opportunity was something we couldn’t pass up. A literal no-brainer, we leapt at the chance to ride along on the an anti-poaching patrol.
When we arrived at the hanger, we were introduced to our pilots- Lester and Rob. Lester doubles as the Flying4Rhino mechanic, and Rob is the founder who makes the whole organization possible. It is so obvious how much effort is put into this organization (check out their website here to get involved!).
So, we met our pilots and they told us about the work that they do. After snapping a few pics, we got settled in our VERY teeny tiny planes. The planes that Flying4Rhino uses are Bat Hawks. Each plane has only two seats. One for the pilot and one for a passenger (me!). It’s easy to say it’s the smallest plane I’ve ever been in. So, Strapped in and headphones on, we were on our way!
Take off only took about 15 seconds and we were off the ground and soaring over the Greater Kruger National Park! Luckily we didn’t see any poachers. Also fortunate, we watched several groups of rhinos as they meandered around. We also saw tons (literally, tons) of elephants, and a giraffe! The whole experience was life changing!
Get Involved with Flying4Rhino
Please, please, for the love of rhinos, go check out their website, or make a donation here.
Read more about my South African travels here.