Confessions of a rhino poacher


Much has been written about the decimation of rhino populations in Africa due to poaching. Due to COVID-19, the problem has worsened as gangs in Mozambique take advantage of the lack of tourists and guards in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, killing nine rhino already.

Since lockdown, six rhino in Botswana has been slaughtered for their horn.

Why do the poachers do it? In all the coverage of the rhino disaster — about the demand from China, the gangs who control the racket and the horrific on-the-ground images — the people who commit the actual murder of the animal have largely remained silent, until now.

In 2016, award-winning journalist Godknows Nare spent six months in the epicenter of rhino poaching, around the perimeter of Kruger National Park, interviewing poachers and their families.



Shortly after he returned, I talked with Nare about his time with the poachers. (Nare, who had received death threats for several years due to his work exposing the inhumane prison system in Zimbabwe as well as his investigations into corruption in South Africa, was shot and killed outside his home by Johannesburg Metropolitan Police in 2017. Three officers were arrested and put on trial for murder, later to be acquitted.)

“At first I thought [poachers] were just cruel criminals,” Nare told me. “But then you engage with the people, you live with the people … There are villages just around the Kruger National Park, [where people] live on social grants because there is no more land to farm … You just need to fill up your stomach. Then you can think about other things.”


For more…at


And I mean…Ivory and Rhino Horn are billions of deals that can only be compared to those in the arms or drug business.

The largest market for illegally traded rhino horn is in Vietnam. Here the horn is used primarily by the new social elite as a status product and as a remedy for many diseases.
The rhino only contains keratin, which our fingernails also have.

Most of the business is done by black South Africans, who receive a commission of up to 3,000 euros.

Behind it are white gangsters who have made technological improvements with the money of Horn business: they have small multi-purpose helicopters and the latest night vision devices with which they can recognize the outlines of a rhino from four kilometers away.

Vietnamese usually act as middlemen and smuggle the loot into China via their homeland.

We have to find a way to eliminate the demand for rhinoceros horn so that nobody pays poacher for it.

My best regards to all, Venus


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