Your stay at Brockholes Farm or visit to the zoo funds the Bonamanzi Ranger and K9 Unit 

Bonamanzi Ranger and K9 Unit

"Putting Boots and Paws on the ground"

In December 2022, the Bonamanzi Ranger and K9 Unit was born, Cumbria Zoo, Dogs 4 Wildlife, Project Rhino, The IFPCP and Bonamanzi Game Reserve announced the launch of the brand new collaborative project, which brings four passionate, dedicated and committed organisations together to help fight frontline wildlife crime in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

The four organisations have united for a common cause; the ongoing conservation and protection of one of South Africa’s most bio diverse natural heritage sites. 

This project supports a new ranger unit, consisting of 2 rangers and 2 dogs supported for an initial 2 year period. Added to the reserves already well-established Anti-Poaching unit and Project Rhinos K9 unit.

This addition and level of support offers “more boots and paws” on the ground to help drastically reduce the areas poaching epidemic.

If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together

-African Proverb

Bonamanzi Game Reserve

In the heart of KwaZulu Natal Bonamanzi is a privately owned Game Reserve, 4000 hectares in size with the every changing Hluhluwe River and its abundant birdlife forming the Eastern border.​

Proclaimed a Natural Heritage Site in 1995 in recognition of the biodiversity of the Reserve - dense Sand Forests, Savanna grasslands & Wetland Areas, Fever tree forest and vast swamp lands.

Bonamanzi is home to “The Big Four“. Its a a beautiful reserve where you wake up with Nyala, or "safari" in search of many diverse species of buck, Giraffe, Elephant, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Zebra, Rhino.   With over 349 bird speces - more than 29 of which are found on the red list the diversity is why Bonamanzi is recognised as one of the best birding destinations in Southern Africa.

The Poaching Problem - Spotlight on Kwa-Zulu Natal

Poaching gangs have now shifted their focus away from the large national parks (poaching in Kruger has declined significantly in recent years), into smaller private reserves and KwaZulu-Natal where the majority of rhinos have been killed this year ”Ms Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment.

1 Rhino killed every 30 hours in KZN 

Out of the 231 rhino killed in the first 6 months of 2023 143 were in Kwa-Zulu Natal

  • In the late 19th century, following decades of intense hunting, Southern white rhinos were thought to be extinct, until fewer than 100 were discovered in HiP. (20 minutes from Bonamanzi)

  • More than a century later, the regions rhinos are once again facing an immense threat.
  • This year, rangers in KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN) in South Africa have faced distressing scenes. All too often, they have had to deal with the devastation of the brutal killing of another precious rhino.

  • During the first 6 moths of 2023 one rhino was killed every 19 hours one every 30 hours in KZN

Protecting the reserve 

Anti Poaching Teams – what do they actually do

Meet the Team -pictured to grips with what they do. Bonamanzi APU – Or Anti Poaching unit is are made up of a team of rangers that regularly patrol to stop or prevent hunting. 

On patrol these brave guys not only routinely patrol the reserve but “react” to alerts where it is not unlikely to come face to face with poachers, capture illegal hunters, seize bushmeat, destroy hunting capability, regularly remove snares. Whatever it takes to keep the reserve safe.

Each patrol documents their findings and the very latest in surveillance strategies are utilised.  

These rangers regular facing life-threatening, distressing, and demoralising situations, putting them at great risk of burnout, fatigue, and low morale. Put simply, the team needs all the help they can get.

Snare Patrols




Photographed are the snares collected by the Rangers for the first 10 months in 2023 off Bonamanzi -- that's hundreds of lives saved. 

 The skull - the last rhino poached on Bonamanzi in December 2022 - before the team were in place.

You can see the bullet hole in the left side of the skull and the machete marks where they had removed the horn. 

 When the rangers found her she was crying tears.

Their passion for protecting the reserve doesn’t stop with Rhinos – but with trees, insects, bugs, reptiles and everything that lives side by side to make up the whole ecosystem.

Cumbria Zoo



Project Rhino