Government have announced that it spends between P1.5 and P2 million to host the Race for Rhinos event each year.
The figure was confirmed by the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, speaking at the third instalment of the air flying extravaganza over the weekend, which was held in Sowa Pan for the first time.
Addressing members of the media after his brother, President Ian Khama released four rhinos into Sowa Pan Park, Tshekedi explained the race is used as an awareness builder on rhino conservation around the world.
The Minister highlighted Botswana’s ‘exemplary’ no poaching policy, which he described as ‘the best in the world’.
“We work hand in hand with other security organs such as the Directorate of Intelligence and Security and the Botswana Defence Force in making sure that we protect our animals from poachers,” he said.
Tshekedi revealed that his Ministry gets most of the rhinos from neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe, adding that they were currently working on signing a Memorandum of Understanding over the agreement.
“We held this event at Lekhubu Islands before but because of the floods in that area we asked Botswana Ash to be our host and they agreed,” continued Tshekedi.
Although the Sowa event was hailed as an overwhelming success, Tshekedi said the spectacle would be returning to its spiritual home in the future.
Race for Rhinos is held in partnership with Botswana Tourism Organisations, BOTASH and Matsieng Flying Club with the aim to raise awareness for rhino poaching.