Mantis launches an immersive rhino experience

Conservation-focused hotel group Mantis has recently announced the launch of its Rhino Conservation Experience, which offers travelers a four-day immersion into the world of rhino conservation at Mantis Founders Lodge in South Africa. 

The immersive experience includes walking safaris and game drives with Mantis guides, rhino conservation education sessions led by the wildlife team, an introduction to bee conservation, carbon offset tree planting and conservation talks led by revolving expert guests including Andrew Muir, one of South Africa’s most influential conservationists and social entrepreneurs who is also the CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa and Wilderness Foundation Global. The whole conservation experience centers on a rhino health check led by a qualified wildlife veterinary surgeon, a hands-on encounter for guests.

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“Instead of doing these checks quietly behind the scenes, we are inviting guests to have an intimate, immersive experience,” said Mantis Collection CEO Paul Gardiner. “When you get close to an animal like that, it is life-changing. You get a whole new appreciation for rhinos.”

As part of the Rhino Conservation Experience, travelers will meet the family of white rhinos at the Mantis Founders Lodge and learn more about the species as well as join a usually behind-the-scenes rhino veterinary health check. They will have the opportunity to get close to the rhino once it safe to do so after the wildlife veterinary surgeon and his team are comfortable with the rhino’s vitals. The entire procedure will take around 30 minutes and travelers will be able to watch the rhino’s recovery from game-viewing vehicles. 

The rhinos receive regular health checkups to ensure they are at optimal health for possible future breeding. Checkups include blood sampling, ultrasound if pregnancy is suspected, dental checks, checking of tracking devices and dehorning if necessary. Rhinos are normally dehorned every two years to make them from being targeted by poachers. The rhinos are sedated to ensure the procedure is as stress- and pain-free as possible. 

Great emphasis is placed around rhino conservation at Mantis Founders Lodge, which home to Munu, a male black rhino permanently blinded due to territorial fights with other rhinos. The south-western black rhinoceros is a subspecies of black rhino. It is estimated that around 250 of these precious animals remain in South Africa today.

The new experience runs from Oct. 26-29, with further dates through 2022 available to book now. The package includes: 
•All-inclusive (accommodation, meals and local beverages) 
•Immersive rhino health check veterinary procedure 
•Interactive conservation presentations with expert guest speakers
•An introduction to the white rhinos at Mantis Founder Lodge and rhino feeding experience 
•Big Five experience (game drives within the Founders concession and neighbouring Shamwari Game Reserve)
•Guided walking safari with track and sign workshop 
•Carbon offset tree planting and an introduction to the CCFA bee conservation project
•Interactive drumming session

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