Pioneering Anti-poaching Unit Empowering Local Women

Thursday 14 June 2018


Visual policing and early detection through foot patrols of boundary fences, removal of snares, conducting road blocks, night patrols looking for signs of poachers, assisting in VHF rhino tracking and being a role model for their local communities and more means a busy schedule.

But it’s all in a day (and night)’s work for The Black Mambas, an elite group of 36 all-female anti-poaching rangers who are the first of their kind patrolling 55,000 hectares of the greater Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Their vital role protecting natural habitat has seen them achieve a significant reduction in poaching within the areas they patrol.

Cara frew with Black Mambas
Black Mambas on Patrol


The Black Mambas live locally, in villages surrounding the areas they patrol, which is also home to the largest single population of rhino in the world.

The ladies play a key role in their communities raising awareness and engaging locals on the rhino poaching crisis.

Providing opportunities for local women is at the heart of the Black Mambas community-led programme. Empowering them with jobs and a direct role on the front line of anti-poaching helps the entire community support the protection of iconic species and native wildlife including the rhino.

Targeting the future leaders of society, they deliver conservation education to hundreds of local children with their unique Bush Babies programme and have reached over 2,000 children since the initiative started.

helping rhinos cara frew


On a mid-summer’s day in London, Helping Rhinos joined forces with singer/songwriter and Helping Rhinos Ambassador Cara Frew, a-Sisterhood and Georgie Shields, Director of the South African-run Everard Reed Gallery for a wonderful Evening of the ARTs in aid of the Black Mambas. Supporters enjoyed a fantastic acoustic set by Cara, sculpture by Guy du Toit, artwork by Tom Middleton and Karen Laurence-Rowe and an insightful talk on the Black Mambas by Helping Rhinos CEO, Simon Jones.

Of the evening, Simon Jones, Helping Rhinos’ CEO said: “It was amazing to see so many people coming together at ‘An Evening of the Arts’. Cara delivered a fantastic acoustic set and the Everard Read Gallery was the perfect location for an evening that will make a real difference in supporting such an innovative and successful conservation programme as the Black Mambas.”

A grand total of £2000 was raised on the night which will be used to kit the Black Mambas team out in essential winter gear, so they are well equipped to continue their patrols in the cooler South African winter temperatures.


Helping Rhinos strongly believes that the most effective ways to support our partner projects is to work together, champion our extended teams and ensure that our projects are successful for years to come.

An Evening of the ARTs showcased how this can also work in the UK. The collaboration of an amazing team of different individuals who came together to celebrate the empowerment of women at the front line of anti-poaching and showed a commitment to sustaining a vital conservation programme, resulted in enough funds raised to keep the Black Mambas operational and in much needed winter clothing.

guests helping rhinos event
helping rhinos cara frew


… to all supporters for attending a fantastic event. And to our wonderful partners on the night: Cara Frew, Georgie Shields, Tom Middleton and the Helping Rhinos team – all of whom did the Black Mambas proud.

To get involved and help the Black Mambas beyond the South African winter, you can sponsor one of the team. All funds go towards keeping the ladies operational and protecting the rhino from poaching.

Sponsor a Black Mamba