North West Park Chief Ecologist, Pieter Nel, has officially asked the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust to assist the Pilanesberg to raise funds for the rebuild of Mankwe Hide. The plan is to upgrade what was at Mankwe dam before it completely burnt down. Possibly a larger hide than before, and maybe even 2 separate viewing decks. Nothing definite yet.

The estimate for the rebuild is approximately R500,000.00. (So if every park visitor for 1 year gave R1 for this we could do this! However we don’t want to wait a year!) I am asking YOU, the visitor, for ideas to go about raising the necessary funds please. This is your space that you go to to take pictures, watch the sunrise, have a drink, or simply to unwind (this on quiet days only!). It is an amazing dam to spend time at, and I for one would love to see a hide that matches the glory of Mankwe Dam.

One example I had to raise funds:
A specific donated amount gives you, the donor of that amount, the chance to put your name on a brass tag (that you supply and the size to be specified by management) on one of the walk way wall planks. The walkway itself will probably be concreted this time around, but the walls will be wood. The challenge is to decide on the minimum donation amount? Let me know your ideas to raise the funds??

I know that many of you have wonderful memories and fantastic images of time spent in the Mankwe Hide and are keen to see it rebuilt soon! This plea is to all of Gem lovers to please assist the PWT in raising the necessary funds. Any organisation keen to support will definitely get recognition, as will individual donors

The PWT has already received R34,000.00 towards the rebuild which we are very thankful for. There is also R15,000.00 remaining from Lenong hide funds that was raised last year. Biggestleaf Travel commits R50 of every booking they make to Pilanesberg to the PWT. The last donated amount of R30,000,00 will also go to this cause.

I challenge all tour operators, lodges, guided tours, travel companies, day visitors to do the same!

There will be questions of why the Park itself does not rebuild from the fees paid to it. The fees do not remain in Pilanesberg. All fees from all NW Parks go to head office to support all their reserves. Most reserves do not have the income to sustain themselves. So in order to keep them as protected areas it is up to parks like Pilanesberg and Madikwe to support them. It is unfortunate, but there is no other way! We need all these protected areas for the wildlife.

Please also email your response to me on pdell@nwpb.org.za in case your response on social media is missed. I try to get to them all but it is a challenge at times.

Thank you!

Perry Dell.
PWT Manager
Email: pdell@nwpb.org.za

Bank details are
FNB, cheque acc.
62031121255.
Branch code 250041
Swift code FIRNZAJJ.

Please use your name and ‘Mankwe Hide’ or just name and ‘Hide’ as deposit reference. Cover photo courtesy of Marcus Kapp.