On the Ground: Anti-Poaching Units in South Africa Need Your Help


Anti-poaching units in South Africa are requesting your help.

On the front lines of the battle to protect rhinos, South African game rangers put their own lives at risk on a daily basis. The enemy? Well-funded and heavily armed rhino horn syndicates with a generous payroll and an unlimited budget.

Unfortunately, the good guys on the ground are operating with very limited resources, often without the basic necessities.

It turns out that while South Africa has all the expertise needed to train and run anti-poaching units, game rangers and scouts are battling to get the necessary equipment for extended stays in the bush.

APUs in need of equipment

Although anti-poaching units have attempted to use civilian camping kits, backpacks, and boots, these items have not stood up to the rigors of daily operations and are generally worn out in just a few months.

In order to improve ground coverage in South Africa, anti-poaching units need military-grade basics. The public is encouraged to help by donating the following equipment or by providing anti-poaching units with military surplus contacts.

Suggested items (military grade):

  • Military backpacks
  • Day packs
  • Water bottles and carriers- Firebuckets
  • Web belts
  • Combat Trouser, shirts, socks CAMO DPM- or olive drab ( military green or khaki)
  • Bushhats Camo DPM  or olive drab (military green or khaki)
  • Boots – flat sole or desert type
  • Groundsheets –  olive drab or camo
  • Bivy bags or small two-man tents
  • Water bladders

We have been informed by Major Jack Greeff and Kevin Bewick of Anti-Poaching Intelligence Group of Southern Africa that the Game Rangers Association of Africa will verify the legitimacy of any APUs receiving equipment or donations.

For additional information, please contact Kevin Bewick directly at kdbewick (at) gmail (dot) com

Source: K. Bewick, J. Greeff

Image: istockphoto.com

Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, an educational nonprofit organization which provides news and information about wildlife crime and endangered species. I am the Editor of Rhino Horn is Not Medicine and Project Pangolin, author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine, a writer for the environmental news blog Planetsave, the host of Behind the Schemes, and Producer for the upcoming documentary The Price. When I'm not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, I enjoy gardening, reading, designing, and rocking out to live music.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook



  1. Hi

    I want to know how I can help, I dont have money but I am a hunter and can offer time

  2. Johan Van den Berg

    Great initiative!!!Anything to help the “troops” on the front line!!!!I’m sure there must be plenty of old army kit lying around in many households in South Africa.
    Kevin, have you tried a request to the Sout African National Defence Force? There must be loads of old army excess kit and equipment lying around in some or other warehouse. Even old navy and airforce equipment would do.
    How about the traders in outdoor clothing and equipment to do their bit….we all buy their products, so they can contribute to this initiative. Even the agricultuaral co-ops can chip in with some equipment or clothing….whats good for the farm is good for the bush!!!
    Dried food rations or canned food should also be considered….maybe its time for one of the big food manufactureres or food retailers to step up to the party and show us their commitment to rhino conservation?
    GREAT initiative!!! This is a way in which EVERYONE can make some sort of contribution to assist the good work being done in the field!!! Please keep us posted on the response….and keep up the good work!!!!

  3. Johan thanks for comments, that kit that we used to use, is no more, we purchased most in surplus stores at high prices, the Balsak lying in the garage has long gone, we have made appeals through M.O.T.H.S. , EX 32 Batt, and Recce Units, Parabats supplied us well 2 years back, but that kit is now US , We have contacted Army units and SAP Stores, Hence the international Appeal, regards Kevin

  4. We also tried civilian camping kit none of it holds up to the daily anti poaching use, we bought best civilian hiking backpacks, after 3 months of daily use they disintegrated, hence the international appeal for military spec Equipment.

  5. Hi Kevin,
    Am wondering if we can get surplus supplies from other countries??
    Am currently in the United Kingdom and have many friends in Germany too..
    Going to think about this and get in contact with a few people.. am sure we can “make a plan”..

  6. Hi Tish, thats what we wanted, but did not have the contacts, if you can help out, we would really appreciate, best regards Kevin

  7. Hi there, I am wondering if you can help, my daughter has a project for school on rhinos, the paoching aspect etc. they have to provide stats for the rhino population in South africa by each province. We have tried numerous websites but cannot seem to find the info. do you possibly know which website we can go to for the latest stats on rhino population?

  8. Hi Lynette –

    For security reasons, figures revealing the number of rhinos per province are not disclosed to the public.


    Rhishja Larson

  9. jonathan collins

    Good evening ladies and gents

    I have just finnished watching the most shocking Carte Blanche report on the poaching of RHino Horn in South Africa. I want to put it simply. I want to help.

    I am a commercial pilot, a basic life support ambulance assistant and have an absolute passion for nature conservation. Is there any way I can volunteer my services?


  10. Rhishja Larson

    Hi Jonathan –


    To help obtain kits for Anti-Poaching Units in South Africa, please contact Kevin directly via email, as per the above article.

    Also, as a pilot, you may interested in contacting the pilots’ group ‘PARP’ (Pilots Against Rhino Poaching). Details are here: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2010/11/30/south-africans-get-airborne-in-grassroots-efforts-to-protect-rhinos/

    Thanks again,

    Rhishja Larson


    Hi there , I am a professional hunter and executive protector . Good firearms and bush skills . Do you know if there are people/organizations that will be willing to employ people with my qualifications ?

    I am a nature lover , and think that more people need to get off their butts and do something !


  12. Andrew Wilkinson

    Have left my previous job was really not enjoying it. Have been sitting and thinking what I would like to do and it hit me. I am 27 my little sister is 13. I have seen a lot off game. Lions, leopards mating
    If we let these rubbished keep killing our rhinos no of the kids are going to have any animals to see eventually because trust me after our rhinos are gone and I say our rhinos because they belong to every true loving south african. I would like to find out were I can get a job with any anti poaching unit because trust me. I would rather put my life on the line fore any animal because I can fight back for them were they can’t. Can you let me know please… Thanks