OPERATION SAFE HAVEN – Saving the Rhinos & Elephants in Malawi

I am delighted and privileged and extremely proud to say that one of my friends Mark Hiley has been at the forefront of an extremely important mission out to Malawi this past year and what incredible accomplishments he and his team have achieved.


Mark Hiley has always been one of my friends who fights for animals and has never shied away from posting on social media about how we should respect the rights of animals. He is also a world traveller, forever posting amazing photos of his world adventures.


I was bowled over when I found out last year that he had packed his bags and had headed out to Malawi with a mission – a mission to help save thousands of rhinos and elephants from the deadly snares that had been plaguing the country. He was determined to try and put a stop to them and to also tackle the poaching which had been so terrible out there as well. Not only had he raised thousands of pounds to fund this mercy mission, he was going to literally put his life on the line and get out to Africa where he would help head up an army of rangers and soldiers with the intention to take down any poachers, no matter what.

army and rangers working together

As an established film maker, Mark has also been filming a documentary along the way which I am really excited to see. This is an extract from Mark’s latest blog:

“Some new pics from my operation, which halted the massacre of elephants and rhinos in Malawi’s main national park. Nearly 50% had been slaughtered before Operation Safe Haven moved in, last November. We detected and removed 10,000 lethal poachers’ traps covering the park, and captured/arrested over 70 criminal poachers, securing hefty fines or prison sentences against the majority. A few days ago we finally handed the national park over to long-term management company, African Parks. The future of the country’s last major populations of elephants and rhinos here is now assured.”


“The pictures show the country’s Minister of Tourism and Wildlife officially opening the new National Park Operations Centre we built, unveiling a huge plaque naming the operation’s backers (see below), awarding our top rangers and setting fire to our giant pile of 10,000 wildlife traps. African choirs sang, dancers danced and local people cheered; it was a very happy ending to an operation which changed the dark course of history, where the major charities had failed (with budgets of millions). As 10% of the world’s remaining elephants, rhinos and lions are being slaughtered every year now, our new organisation, National Park Rescue, will run similar operations in other dying national parks (backers wanted! More on that soon).”


“Credit goes to Colonel Mike Labuschagne (operation commander), Raphael Chiwindo (senior ranger), Jamie Lorenz, Kamran Mahdavi, Zeno Goldsmith, Aminu Babangida, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and countless other amazing people on the ground. Credit also to the wildlife emergency response unit including Jonny Vaughan, Amanda Salb and Frank Weitzer. Documentary film coming soon. Best pics by the brilliant Jason P. Howe”


I will bve keeping you up to date with Mark’s amazing adventures and accomplishments in the world of wildlife conservation an protection. WELL DONE MARK! x