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  Keynote speakers

The Black Mambas

The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit was founded in 2013 by Craig Spencer and Transfrontier Africa NPC to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Nature Reserve. Within the first year of operation the Black Mambas were invited to expand into other regions and now protect all boundaries of the 62,000ha Balule Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park Area in South Africa.

The Black Mambas ranger unit started with only 6 young women and has grown into 36 women rangers. Since 2013 the Black Mamba rangers have been patrolling, collecting data, and removing snares totally unarmed in the Big Five area. Being unarmed is part of the ethos of the project as we think that putting the lives of non-human animals over humans are simply unethical. 

The objectives of the Black Mamba project are not only the protection of rhinos through boots on the ground but also through being a role model in their communities. From the very beginning the project aimed to address two issues: rhino poaching and social and moral decay in their communities caused by false economy of wildlife poaching and illegal trade. Since the Black Mambas have been deployed, poaching incursions dropped by 62%, and bush meat poaching reduced by 99%. In communities The Black Mambas run The Bush Babies Environmental Education program which aims to educate younger generation about environment, the importance of protecting wildlife and the benefits of having wildlife alive and prosperous for the local communities and the country to have more sustainable life.