Rhino Matters Journey across South Africa
Passionate conservationists are driving First Car Rental's Rhino car around South Africa to raise awareness of conservation initiatives.
Trevor and Susan Barrett, who are from the UK, began their South African Rhino Matters journey in early December 2014.
Says Trevor Barrett, "The Rhino Matters drive is on; we're bringing people together to share their thoughts and concerns for the future of South Africa's precious rhino, great and small, while driving a near life-size rhino vehicle.
"The rhino car is a crowd stopper – it's a great way of getting noticed and people are responding in an incredibly positive way!"
'Drive to save SA's rhino'
Says Melissa Nortje, Executive Head of Strategy, Development and Marketing at First Car Rental, "The Rhino Orphanage vehicle, which is a Nissan Juke car wrapped to look like a mom rhino with her baby, was used in our 2014 campaign to raise national awareness of the world's first Rhino Orphanage, so it is entirely fitting that the vehicle is now being used by the Barrett's in their drive to save South Africa's endangered rhino."
Trevor and Susan began their Rhino Matters adventure in December, and have been meeting up with experts and enthusiasts to discuss how to protect the rhino species.
Trevor, who is a professional photographer and videographer, will be visually documenting their journey and publishing a photographic book telling the story of the rhino orphans living at the Rhino Orphanage.
Says Trevor, "The contribution of rhino to South Africa's landscape is huge, and it's up to all of us to accommodate and protect them.
"Experienced conservationists know that we cannot lose these keystone species without affecting the entire ecosystem, without tipping the balance against nature.
"The future of the rhino matters; it matters very much."
Here is a look at the Rhino Matters journey so far:
14 December 2014 - Trevor and Susan began their journey in Johannesburg and everywhere they went, the Rhino Orphanage car received attention.
15 December - The Rhino Matters team stopped at the Mariannhill Monastery in KwaZulu-Natal for the Baroque 2000 Concert and the wonderful musicians were more than happy to show their support.
16 December 2014 - The Rhino Matters team spent Reconciliation Day at the beautiful Litchi Orchard in KZN.
17 December 2014 - The Rhino Matters team made a pit stop at Sasol in Salt Rock and everyone wanted to get up close with the Rhino Orphanage car.
People stopped to ask questions, and offered help and encouragement in whatever way they could.
22 December 2014 - The team stopped at the Durban Botanical Gardens to discuss rhino matters with Jessica, sculptor of 'Leyline of Elephants', and Ian, who are organising an event to raise funds for rhino conservation initiatives.
23 December 2014 - Trevor and Susan met the members of the Divine Life Society who were keen to show their compassionate support for rhino orphans.
25 December 2014 - The Rhino Matters Team met Mambo who had a message for the world: "The rhino horn isn't a gift unless you make it yourself!"
29 December 2014 - Trevor and Susan caught up with award-winning game ranger, Paul Dutton, and Vance Martin, CEO of Wild in the USA, to discuss rhino matters.Listen to Trevor's chat with Paul Dutton on his love for the environment through his work as a game ranger ecologist here.
2 January 2015 - On their journey through KZN, Trevor and Susan met Rob Goodwin, who calls himself "Macgyver". Rob, who is engaged in construction and building work, was so impressed by Trevor and Susan's work, and the Rhino Orphanage car, that he offered to provide his expertise and time to build rhino infrastructure wherever needed. A true rhino volunteer!
3 January 2015 - Trevor met former KZN Premier, Ben Ngubane, to discuss his friendship with legendary wildlife conservationist, Dr Ian Player. Listen to their chat here.