Patrol Flights: Protection from the sky

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve regularly conducts helicopter patrol flights over the vast expanse of the area under its protection. These flights prove indispensable to the anti-poaching teams’ efforts in combating wildlife crime. In expansive and remote environments such as the Greater Kruger National Park, aerial surveillance plays a pivotal role in safeguarding and overseeing these precious conservation areas. 

Aerial conservation work

The central mission of patrol flights is to detect any signs of poaching or unauthorized intrusions. If any unusual activities are seen, then a report is sent immediately back to Timbavati Headquarters in order for the necessary teams to be dispatched. In addition, recent research has proven that airborne patrol visibility also greatly reduces any possible poaching activities.

From the air, the team is able to identify areas that are considered “hot spots” and report these in to Headquarters so that ground support teams can be dispatched to these zones improving the efficiency of security deployments.

The patrol flights’ ability to cover extensive ground in a short timeframe is pivotal to wildlife management and conservation. These flights serve as a crucial mechanism for data collection and continuous wildlife monitoring within the 55,000-hectare expanse of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. From the air, a general census is constantly conducted  of endangered species and birds, with the observation of rhinos and other species such as Ground Hornbills all being reported to the reserve’s management team. Furthermore, the aerial observation teams are able to identify and locate any injured or snared animals which they can report in for assistance from Timbavati Headquarters.

Be part of the protection story. 

If you are fortunate enough to ever have the chance to join one of these patrol flights, you will realise what a transformative, awe-inspiring experience it is. Not only do you have the opportunity to be part of the impact these operations make by ensuring the security of the protected area, but you also have a birds-eye view of the unbelievable beauty the region offers, as you soar above the landscape and behold the breath-taking landscapes below.

The opportunity of being part of these patrol flights really allows guests to be a part of the conservation work done in the area and feel the impact they may have in making a difference. Each of the flights contributes to the core conservation objectives of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and at the same time they offer a truly exhilarating experience to guests.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”
– Margaret Mead