Africa has seen numerous female conservationists like Joy Adamson raising lioness ‘Elsa’ documented in the 1966 film ‘Born Free’; Diane Fossey’s dedication to mountain gorillas in Central Africa (inspiring the Academy Award–nominated film, ‘Gorillas in the Mist’); or Jane Goodall, spending years working with chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, just to mention a few.
Had these courageous women inspired Annette Oelofse or was it her own desire to fight for the survival of the wild rhinoceros in Namibia against the growing number of poachers? Together with Annette’s late husband Jan (a world renowned conservationist and animal trainer who started as a mass game capturer and whose knowledge and passion for wild animals earned him the role of animal trainer for the classic Hollywood film ‘Hatari’ featuring John Wayne and Hardy Krueger) and her son Alex, Annette founded ‘Mount Etjo Safari Lodge’ in the heart of Namibia.
While Namibia is home to many varieties of African wildlife this private game reserve on 36, 000 hectares of land not only hosts but also shelters many of those not protected in this wide open and rugged land. Rhinos have always been a top priority for the tireless conservation efforts by the Oelofse Family, and the sanctuary was rewarded in 1993 for being as one of the very first rhino custodians for the black rhino custodianship program in Namibia.