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Anti-Poaching Contribution

Here at LEO Africa, we are very proud to help support our local community of anti-poachers as they live a tough life in the bush protecting our rhinos and other animals. Anti-poaching patrols are not just an integral part of any game reserve but are also often the unseen heroes of the bush as they go about their daily activities (such as sweeps for snares, patrol drives, patrol walks, setting up ambushes, night-long watches, etc.) in stealth mode carrying basic equipment and eating basic food.

The life of an anti-poacher usually means working in shifts of 16-18 days straight which involves walking many miles through the bush each day carrying only what they need. They sleep in the open air or inside empty reservoir tanks and cook over small fires. While basic supplies such as drinking water, sleeping bags and food are dropped off for them at various locations, they do not have regular access to showers, a mattress, or a roof.

Some personal anti-poaching gear needs to be continually replaced due to the heavy wear-and-tear of these items (e.g. sleeping bags, roll mats, tents and camouflage clothes). While many LEO Africa volunteers already contribute by leaving some items behind (such as sleeping bags, mosquito nets, roll mats, binoculars, food etc. - please see the list below), we would like to go one step further and raise money to help purchase and replace expensive equipment. In addition, LEO Africa would like to help build and expand campsites for the anti-poachers so they have somewhere better to sleep while at the same time improving anti-poaching efforts as these bush camps will enable the anti-poachers to expand their range with added mobility.

While anti-poaching patrollers choose this life and go through more rigorous training than the army to prepare themselves for the bush, we try to do what we can to improve their lives in the bush and there are many ways that you can help.

  • At the beginning of each month a useful piece of equipment is chosen and the goal is to raise enough money through Paypal/bank transfer donations to be able to purchase the item by the end of the month. It is simple and easy for you, your friends and family! Even a small donation, together with others, can make a big difference!
  • LEO has put together a list of "Needed Anti-poaching Equipment" (see below) items, listed in order of priority, that you can bring with you and donate at the end of your stay. If you have any of these items lying around your house and you have extra room in your luggage, LEO would be grateful to accept these items and pass them onto the anti-poachers on your behalf. Some of the most useful items you can use throughout your stay (such as a sleeping bag, a roll mat, medical kit, shampoo etc) and then lighten your luggage by leaving them behind, where you know they will be put to good use. Or bring along used shoes/boots that you won't mind leaving behind.
  • If you would like to go one step further to obtain some of the items on the equipment list before arriving here, some of our volunteers have gone around to their friends and local businesses, explained a bit about our project and the role of our anti-poachers and have asked for small donations. In recognition for their contribution, we will happily acknowledge their donation on our website.
  • Anti-poachers have rations of food so any loose change collected at LEO base in an dedicated jar goes towards buying additional food and treats. While you are at LEO, you are more than welcome to buy canned food on town trip to donate more directly to this cause. Also, you can donate any additional snack food you have left over when you leave.
  • If you need to stay one or more nights in Phalaborwa before catching your flight to Johannesburg or before getting to LEO, another way to contribute to our project is to spend one or more nights at the Sunbird Guesthouse in Phalaborwa. Dave and Samantha Lockhart will host you in their lovely guesthouse making you feel at home. They have decided to support our cause and for every volunteer who books directly with Sunbird or through LEO, they will donate a small sum to our project to help with the protection of our rhinos. If you book directly with Dave and Sam remember to tell them you are a LEO volunteer!
  • While these are small ways you can make a contribution and help make a difference, you can always make a Paypal donation (beyond the $2/month) and request what item(s) you would like your money to purchase. Also, when you leave LEO, we have a change jar in which you can deposit any left-over South African Rand, or if you would like to make a larger cash donation, LEO's manager will handle this in person.

Any of the following items would be gratefully accepted as valuable donations to the anti-poaching team:

• Tents
• Sleeping bags
• Rain jacket
• AA or D Batteries (rechargeable)
• SD Memory card (2 GB)
• Camera traps
• Money donations
• Sleeping/roll mats
• Tools (knifes, torches etc.)

• Walking/hiking boots
• Binoculars
• Water bottle
• Small backpack (neutral colours)
• Plasters, bandage, Antiseptic cream, painkillers, etc
• Food (instant noodles, food in cans, etc)
• Clothes (men's size)
• Insect repellent
• Blankets
• Camping Pillow
• Candles, lighters, matches
• Hats and caps
• Shampoo
• Shower-gel
• Mosquito nets
• Sunscreen
• Toothpaste and toothbrush
• Towels