Lonely Planet Writer

Poaching rates drop in Namibia and Tanzania

The latest figures from Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism indicate that poaching levels of rhinos and elephants in Namibia are at their lowest since 2015. Figures for 2018 reported by Tourism Update show that 26 elephants and 57 rhinos were poached in Namibia. However, in May 2019, there were 18 recorded incidents of poaching, mostly on private land, with eight animals killed.

Travel News - Afrikanischer Elefant, Loxodonta africana,
Elephants in Namibia. Image by Mathias Schäf/McPhoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The figures have shown a continued downward trend since 2015 when 97 rhinos were poached. Various conservation initiatives from the government and NGOs, such as Save the Rhino, are regarded as having had a positive impact on these figures. These include dehorning schemes in which the rhino is sedated while the bulk of the horn is removed; tougher sentences for poachers and traffickers; and better communication networks with informers.

Travel News - elephant
Elephant on the road at sunset, Etosha National Park, Namibia. Image by ©Fotografie-Kuhlmann/Shutterstock

AllAfrica reports that Tanzania has also experienced a drop in poaching rates. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism released information that 19 elephants were killed in 2018 compared with 193 in 2013. In recognition of the value of its natural resources, the government is keen to introduce more wildlife management into the curriculum at Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute. This centre focuses on wildlife conservation, law enforcement and security training with the aim of empowering students to combat poaching.