It is difficult to comprehend that just 33 years ago the Natal
Parks Board advertised a breeding group of white rhinoceros
(Ceratotherium simun) made up of three bulls and three cows
at a price of R800.00 each.
Since then the price has
increased by around 600% to auction prices achieved in 2008.
The sudden onset of large scale criminal slaughter of these poor
animals for the illegal trade in the horn has further increased
prices. These are some of the fascinating facts that are emerging in
the book that Clive Walker will launch in a few months time on
Clive Walker was born in 1936 and studied art in Johannesburg and
London. His illustrious career has spanned almost 6 decades since he
started working with nature in his youth as a game ranger in
Clive has spent his entire career actively involved
in environmental education & wildlife conservation. He founded
Educational Wildlife Expeditions in 1975 and produced one of his
most successful books "Signs of the Wild" in the late 80s and has
penned a number of books since.
In 1985 Clive was elected Chairman of the Wilderness Trust of
South Africa, he founded the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and
co-founded the Rhino and Elephant foundation and African Rhino
Clive Walker will be dedicating this book to the memory of Dale
'Rapula' Parker with whom Clive had worked on the establishment of
Lapalala Wilderness since its inception 31 years ago.
Clive still has the original application in his archives for the
6 white rhinoceros dated 19th August 1982 and this was followed with
what he describes as "One of the most momentous events in
conservation in Africa."
On the 18th of June 1990 Black rhino
were deemed to have recovered sufficiently in South Africa to put a
few animals up for auction to potential private black rhinoceros
sanctuaries. These animals had only been made available to the
National Parks Board and provincial reserves and Lapalala became the
first privately protected area to participate in black rhino
conservation when Dael Parker agreed to fund the purchase.
Lapalala, which is situated in the Waterberg, has come a long way
since its creation as a plateau between two fault zones some 1,8
billion years ago (it is half as old as the earth itself) and in the
past few years has seen the re-introduction of the rhinoceros,
red-billed oxpeckers and roan antelope.
Dale's son Duncan Parker has continued with Lapalala's commitment
to environmental education with a new phase in the Lapalala
Wilderness School initiative. The school has educated over 70,000
learners since its inception and Duncan is planning to build a new
school and facilities to provide ongoing environmental
With this Duncan Parker and neighbour partner Gianni Ravazzotti
have engaged Peter Anderson to plan the development of the next
phase of Lapalala Wilderness which will include a custodian
ownership initiative, a 24 bed commercial wild life lodge and
special species breeding projects all aimed at creating new jobs,
providing education and a sustainable off grid reserve.