Eyes In The Sky

For rhino of the Eastern Cape, South Africa

769 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2018, a decline on the year before when 1,028 were killed and welcome news, but still too high. Even in Parks that have been afforded greater protection measures such as the Kruger National Park, more than 2,000 poacher incidents were recorded and 422 rhinos were lost. Poaching syndicates are indiscriminate and will exploit any opportunity to plunder Africa’s amazing wildlife. In the Eastern Cape, reserves are experiencing a dramatic increase in rhino poaching.

With your help we can stop it.

With your help we can put ‘Eyes in the Sky’ to patrol, monitor and protect the region.

With your help local communities can keep safe their precious wildlife heritage.

Big Give

"The presence of a plane in and around a rhino reserve makes a dramatic difference to visibility of our anti-poaching efforts and acts as a major deterrence for anyone attempting to poach rhino. Airwing presence is probably the most visible sign of a proactive attempt to protect rhino. Its significance is far more effective than just what the plane can see looking down; a lot of it is about what the communities can see when they look up and know that there's this capacity to visualise the rhino and their terrain from the air."

Dr Will Fowlds, Director African Rhino Conservation Collaboration (ARCC)

In partnership with the African Rhino Conservation Collaboration (ARCC) Helping Rhinos aims to provide monitoring and patrol flights to more than 40,000 hectares of rhino reserves in the Eastern Cape area by:

  • Putting an anti-poaching light aircraft operational over several rhino reserves in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Providing ongoing financial support to strategic anti-poaching operations in the region
  • Creating a sustainable opportunity where young members of the local community can be trained as pilots while providing “eyes in the sky” for anti-poaching operations

Costs for every 100 hrs flying timeHow your donation will help:

Fuel @ £30 per hour £3,000 $3,840
Aircraft Maintenance £571 $740
Aircraft Insurance (per month) £54 $75
Pilot development scheme £428 $563
Aircraft Registration £10 $12
Pilot costs £857 $1,110
TOTAL £4,920 $6,340

It costs £4,920 to keep the aircraft in operation for a month.

A single gift of £15.00 will put ‘eyes in the sky’ for half an hour.

A regular gift, however small, will contribute to the monthly operational costs allowing the constant monitoring of key rhino populations

and please help us keep ‘Eyes in the Sky’.

African rhino conservation collaboration (arcc)

African rhino conservation collaboration (arcc)

The Pilot

Siseko Mayinje was born and raised on a farm, now a Wildlife Reserve in the Eastern Cape. He is the 4th generation of Xhosa family still living and working on the Reserve. Through hard work and determination Siseko recently qualified as commercial fixed wing pilot and was given the opportunity to combine his two passions: conservation and flying.

Siseko Mayinje — his story

'My name is Siseko Mayinje. I was born on 3 July 1988 and raised on a farm, now a wildlife reserve, situated in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa. I'm the fourth generation of a Xhosa family that still lives and works here. I attended primary school at the local farm school, walking Skm there and back every day. I went away to attend secondary school in nearby Port Elizabeth, but returned to the Reserve every school holiday and worked at the lodges with my grandfather to earn money. It was then that my passion for wildlife/conservation was ignited. After a kind offer of private sponsorship from a Swiss reserve guest, I went to study Nature Conservation at Nelson Mandela University, and took an opportunity to study aviation whilst working on the reserve as a vet assistant to Dr William Fowlds. I qualified as a private pilot in 2014. It's been a long road, studying part-time around work to earn the money for the training, but just a few weeks ago I tested and gained my commercial pilot's license.

Siseko Mayinje

Siseko Mayinje

In the meantime, I have gained my rating in the "Bantum" plane in order to grasp an opportunity to combine my two passions: conservation and flying. Experience is crucial in aviation and it's hard to get further job opportunities if total flying hours are below 500. This is an opportunity to increase my flying experience while working for a good cause, protecting our threatened rhinos. This community is so close to my heart and giving back to it means a lot to me, so I would like to be able to inspire others to build a career like I have been able to.

In the near future hopefully there will be opportunities for other young members of the community to learn to fly and protect the animals they cherish. I would like to work with ARCC to help create a sustainable fund to train other pilots to follow after me, once I move on. This will provide them with a fantastic career opportunity as well as ensuring there is always an affordable pilot for the 'Eyes in the Sky' airwing project, protecting our rhinos.'

"Siseko is an exceptional member to our community and has really shown initiative and an interest in wildlife conservation, which has drawn him not only into contact with the environment but also into contact with people that have been able to help him to pursue his dreams and his career path. He has a fantastic personality, he gets on well with people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, and he is hard-working, committed and dedicated to what he does." Dr Will Fowlds