Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, headed up by Dr Bandile Mhkize, protects and promotes nature conservation in KwaZulu Natal and manages +/-100 protected areas in the province. It is very supportive of Thanda’s biodiversity and conservation programmes. In return, Thanda Private Game Reserve supports and endorses Ezemvelo’s environmental awareness initiatives, including sports programmes and fundraising.
Ezemvelo supports the local communities as partners of Thanda in the Mduna Royal Reserve Game Company by introducing and re-introducing wildlife to the Mduna Royal Reserve.
The introduction of game and the ownership thereof is regulated by the ratio of contribution, determining equity in the game company. When Thanda introduces game, the value of the game is converted into shares for Thanda. When Ezemvelo stocks it, the value of game becomes shares for the local Mdletshe and Mandlakazi tribal authorities.
Thanda is involved in endangered species protection and has contributed significantly to the meta-population of wild dog since 2006, via a successful wild dog breeding programme. This is now being continued at Tswalu Game Reserve.
Thanda is a proud custodian of the white rhino, which once belonged to Ezemvelo. It also partners with the Endangered Wildlife Trust on cheetah breeding and spotted hyena research.
Thanda’s education outreach programmes in its communities are successfully sensitising people to the benefits of CBNRM, and this aligns with Ezemvelo’s core conservation values. The two entities enjoy a common approach, philosophy and vision, and Ezemvelo is supportive of Thanda as a private game reserve initiative.