Community and Conservation Contribution from our Amazing Guests at Makakatana Bay Lodge
Since we reopened after Lockdown in September 2020, we decided to bring in a Conservation and Community Contribution (or in the old lingo - a "levy"). At only R80 per person per day, it is not much, but it has already helped make a difference, that we can assure you. We are extremely grateful to all our guests who have helped so far, and are happy to share this update with you.
We divided the funds raised up between our local initiatives:
African Wildlife Vets
Destiny House Children's Home
Vukukhanye Development Project
We have enjoyed a close relationship with Kate Church, the MD of the African Wildlife Vets program for a while now, and when Leigh-Ann Morrison contacted her recently to ask how we could best help them, they were in the process of securing funds for the transfer and relocation of an orphan white rhino who's mom had been killed by poachers.
"In a rapid response operation, the Ezemvelo Game Capture Unit was recently involved in the safe retrieval of an orphan white rhino calf. Like many of the orphans, this one too, has lost its mother to poaching and was found wandering in a remote section of a protected area. The operation required the rhino calf to be airlifted out of an inaccessible area to the ground team. With the support of Heligistix Helicopters and Dr Rowan Leeming of African Wildlife Vets, the calf was darted and safely airlifted out. The calf was then transported to a rhino orphanage where it is being cared for. The orphan has been paired with another, larger orphan who will substitute as a “foster mother”, teaching her to graze and adapt to the boma environment. African Wildlife Vets also covered the helicopter costs and has purchased feed for the new orphans. Thank you to Makakatana Bay Lodge and Cathy Ferreira (who recently raised funds for rhino orphans) for enabling us to assist with this operation."
Another portion of the funds raised went to our local Children's Home - Destiny House - we purchased some well needed groceries which was delivered to them in Person by our Lodge Managers, Nadia and Stephanie. This home is close to our heart, and the children have such amazing smiles whenever we go there. Destiny House is situated in Mtubatuba and they exist to empower and enable children to fulfil their God-given destiny. They provide a loving home for up to 24 orphaned and abandoned children and provide an Early Childhood Development Programme to the wider community.
And this is not all - we also helped out our Local Birding Guide - Themba Mthembu, who has started Vukukhanye Development Project, which is a nonprofit organization and is comprised of local youth and professional bird guides in the community as caretakers and is aimed at working with schools and communities around the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on environmental awareness programmes. The idea behind this is to assist in the bird and wildlife conservation in the Elephant Coast area. They are currently training local youths in becoming bird guides. With the help of your Conservation Contribution we bought two sets of high resolution binoculars for this endeavor. Below is Leigh-Ann Morrison handing the binoculars to Themba.
So, please go and take a look at all the wonderful work these local heroes are doing in our community. A big thank you to each and every guest that has stayed with us and helped contribute to these amazing projects. Your contributions have made a difference. You have made us smile and have given us a reason to get up in the mornings and continue on our journey #futhertogether!!!