VIVOTEK Donates Expertise and Advanced IP Surveillance to Thula Thula Game Reserve, South Africa


Corporate Social Responsibility


South Africa / Zululand


VIVOTEK sponsor the project by providing top of the range IP surveillance system to the rhino orphanage in Thula Thula Game Reserve.


24 network cameras, 2 network video recorders, and 1 PoE switch




Rectron SA,
Dimension Security

Thula Thula Game Reserve – Protecting South Africa’s Flora and Fauna
since 1911

Rhinos Orphaned

Once the private hunting ground of the Zulu warrior, King Shaka, the Thula Thula Game Reserve in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, is now a vital sanctuary for the region’s wildlife. In 2009, under the leadership of international conservationist Lawrence Anthony and his wife Francoise Malby-Anthony, the Reserve joined two others to form a contiguous 500,000-acre area known collectively as the Royal Zulu Biosphere. Providing an oasis for a wide variety of animals, including African elephant, buffalo, white rhino, leopard, giraffe, zebra, nyala, hyena, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest as well as other indigenous species, Thula Thula is also home to over 350 species of birdlife. The mission of the Reserve, and Anthony’s legacy, is the protection of the region’s endangered wildlife, in particular the Rhinoceroses threatened by illegal hunting. Rhinos orphaned by such poaching need care and protection – or as Thula Thula means in Zulu, “Peace and Tranquility.”

The Challenge: Saving Rhinos Requires a Great Deal of Heart –
But also Technology

Dimension Security

The orphanage to protect baby rhinos was established some time ago by a team of hard working conservationists and philanthropists including Warren Mc Allister of Protection Through Innovation. However the rudimentary structures of the enclosure needed to be complemented with an advanced IP surveillance technology – a system capable of protecting the orphaned Rhinos around the clock, and providing the staff with vital security assistance. Protection Through Innovation teamed up with VIVOTEK, its distributer, Rectron SA, and local security company, Dimension Security. What wasn’t predicted was VIVOTEK’s generosity. The world leading IP surveillance provider also turns out to be a world leader in social responsibility. After a brief consultation, VIVOTEK agreed to sponsor the project by providing top of the range network cameras and network video recorders to the rhino orphanage.

The Solution: VIVOTEK’s Generosity Provides Technology Designed to Protect


Working hand in hand with Dimension Security, Rectron SA, and staff at the orphanage, VIVOTEK provided 24 network cameras, 2 NVRs (Network Video Recorders), and one PoE switch - both outdoor dome and outdoor bullet type cameras. The outdoor dome cameras came complete with weather-proof IP66-rated and vandal-proof IK10-rated housing, day and night protection with advanced IR illuminators, and WDR technology to capture detail in both dark and bright images – vital in the glare of South African desert. The outdoor bullet cameras also offer weather-proof IP67 rated housing, and heightened day and night functionality with built-in IR illuminators with a range of up to 20 meters, enabling rhino to be tracked and protected through the darkest hours of the night. VIVOTEK NVRs with embedded 16 Channel standalone capability, Plug & Play functionality, and one button auto setup acted to connect all IP cameras and provide intuitive surveillance management solutions to the team at the rhino orphanage. The usability of VIVOTEK’s total IP surveillance system mean that the staff were able to focus on the job foremost in their hearts, protecting and nurturing the young rhinos and helping them to grow.

The Legacy: A Home for Baby Rhinos – A Future for the Species.

While this project is ongoing, with trenches still to be dug inside the rhino enclosures, the surveillance network installed with the help of VIVOTEK has already had profound impact on the ability of staff and volunteers to run and manage the rhino nursery. As testament to this impact, Mr. Warren Mc Allister of the Thula Thula Rhino Fund wrote: “Save our Orphan Rhino’s have found ourselves on a roller coaster of generosity for which we are truly grateful! Our sincere thanks go out to our equipment sponsors VIVOTEK Inc. who so generously sponsored us with their top of the range camera equipment, ensuring 24 hour security for these orphaned rhinos.” McAllister went on: “We would also like to thank all the smaller companies and private individuals who cared enough to give. With a cause like this, every cent helps and every individual’s contribution is a step further in turning a dream into a reality, no matter how small! We were touched by the generosity of the human spirit!"

The Legend: Lawrence Anthony and the Elephants of Thula Thula.

Baby Rhino

The founder of the Thula Thula Game Reserve, Lawrence Anthony (also known as the “Elephant Whisperer”) sadly passed away in 2012. A local legend has it that after his death, a group of elephants saved by Anthony came to his house and stood for two days in apparent vigil. Up to this day, groups of elephants still come to visit Thula Thula each year on the anniversary of his death. The legacy of Lawrence Anthony is a spirit of protection and care between humans and animals, of watching over each other as we do with our own kind. With VIVOTEK’s help, this spirit continues – as the workers of the rhino nursery watch over the baby rhinos of Thula Thula.