News & Media

A busy year for the SAWC’s aircraft operations

2017 proved to be a very busy year for our air-wing with 863 hours being flown over this period.

2018 will no doubt require much the same input as 2017, with the College’s area of aerial operation encompassing the entire Greater Kruger Environmental Foundation (GKEPF) area, which includes both state ownded and private reserves as well as the Central Kingfisherspruit region of the Kruger National Park.

A breakdown of flying hours and statistics for 2017 is as follows:

Total amount of hours flown 2017863
Total Patrol hours and response to poacher incursions 2017657
Total training hours 2017206
Total carcasses located from the air 201740
Total wounded rhino recorded from the air 20175
Total number of rhino orphans rescued7

Aerial view of a carcass

Our aircraft continue to play a vital role in aerial support in both reaction as well as suppression duties and have been key to a number number of successful poacher arrests in the area.

We would like to thank all of our donors who continue believing in us and for for keeping us in the sky.

We will continue doing what we love and are passionate about to help ensure the protection of our wildlife, especially our rhino who continue to be targeted.

The exciting news is that we finally fetched our new Savannah ZU-WLC in January 2018 and welcomed her to the SAWC’s aircraft fleet.

She is already hard at work having already recorded over 50 hours of operational flying. She will be based at the SAWC hangar for quick repsonse and we hope to have many happy and safe flying hours with the new aircraft.