Zululand Rhino Orphanage

Zululand Rhino Orphanage was created by the Zululand Conservation Trust and Helping Rhinos in response to a poaching incident at our previous orphanage partner in 2017. Following much deliberation, the decision was taken to close the facility for security reasons, but there was a need to rehome the rhino (and hippo!) that resided at the previous orphanage.

The Zululand Rhino Orphanage was born to care for the orphaned endangered species. The first residents were two black rhinos, Storm and Nandi, two younger white rhino babies, Makhosi and Ihomiso, and Charlie the baby hippo. 

Zululand Rhino Orphanage is the only dedicated regional rhino orphanage in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and is operated by a dedicated team who provide 24-hour care to all the rhino and hippo orphans at their new home. With the help of Manyoni Private Game Reserve (formally known as the Zululand Rhino Reserve) and neighboring local communities, the orphanage is well protected and the location kept secret. 

The goal of the orphanage is to return all the orphans back to the wild as soon as they are old enough and strong enough.

Zululand Rhino Orphanage


With the unprecedented increase in rhino poaching in the last decade we have seen a huge rise in the number of rhino calves left orphaned as a result of attacks on their mothers. Sometimes the little rhino baby is left grieving over the loss of its mother, but on many occasions, the calf is also badly injured. The poachers will attack the baby to stop it 'interrupting' them while they try to remove the horn from its mum before the anti-poaching patrols reach them.

With so many rhino lost to poachers, over 7,000 in the last ten years, every life matters as we work to save one of Africa's most iconic species. The baby rhino and hippo currently homed at the orphanage or have been returned to the wild include:

Rhinos: Inkululeko (Leko), Khula, Bhanoyi, Zimisele (Zimi), Makhosi, Mpilo, Storm

Hippos: Charlie, Moomin

Zululand's only dedicated
specialist rhino orphanage.

Goal of releasing all orphans
back into the wild.

Ideal habitat for both white
and black rhino.

Ntoto Milk Feed


Caring for and being 'mother' to a rhino baby is no easy task! It may look like the best job in the world, but it is a tough one. A little calf needs milk every two hours, 24 hours a day, and with no rhino mum on hand to provide the milk when it is needed, it falls to the human carers to provide the nourishment the baby needs. Sleep is definitely hard to come by for the surrogate mums!

For security reasons the Zululand Rhino Orphanage is in a secret location and is not open to the public.


Helping Rhinos is a proud partner of the Zululand Rhino Orphanage. At a time when all species of rhino face the very real threat of extinction, the criticality of saving every rhino we can has never been greater. Since 2017 Helping Rhinos has proudly been the largest single contributor to the work of Zululand Rhino Orphanage and its conservation project.

Helping Rhinos run the 'Adopt a Rhino Orphan' programme in collaboration with Zululand Rhino Orphanage.

Together our achievements include:

  • The care of eleven rhinos and two hippos
  • The release of four rhinos back to the wild
  • The expansion of the orphanage facilities, doubling the capacity
  • Provision of security cameras on all rhino bomas
  • Upgrade to the orphanage perimeter security fencing
  • Upgrade of the rhino ambulance




can help pay for

Essential food and medication for a rhino orphan



can help pay for

Community programmes that improve livelihoods



can help pay for

 Training of anti-poaching teams and tracking dogs


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