The Balloon Rhino Project

During the week of 8 -14, August 2016 balloon professionals from all over the world will create and install a variety of Rhino balloon sculptures in their respective city’s or towns. Although the sculptures will range in size from small to giant, they will all work towards a common goal - to raise awareness and funds for the Rhino poaching crisis in Southern Africa and in particular to benefit The Pilanesberg National Park situated in the North West Province of South Africa.

About the Main Event in South Africa

The main event will take place on the 11th and 12th of August at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Menlyn, Pretoria, where a group of local balloon artists under the leadership of Guido Verhoef of the Netherlands, will create the largest balloon sculpture ever made on African soil. At a height of about 7 x 15 meters and an estimated 35 000 balloons, it will be the biggest balloon Rhino in the world.

About the Local Event in UK
On Monday 8th August Tope Abulude CBA, from Balloon Inspirations, based in Essex, took part in this worldwide initiative. Under the sponsorship of his local Qualatex balloon supplier - Pioneer Europe Ltd - he created a balloon wall inspired by the logo of this campaign. Tope said: "I wanted to show the elegant side of balloons, create a nice and clean design. This is why I chose to do a balloon wall for this project. I regularly sell balloon walls for big parties, and our company is quite well known for that in our area.” Tope has been working with balloons for 24 years, and has a shop in Brentwood, that he runs with his wife. They offer event decorations for any occasions and bespoke table centrepieces. "What motivated me to take part in this project is to hopefully highlight the threat to the Rhino’s survival and raise awareness for this good cause,” – added Tope.
Lucy Hennesey CBA, of Balloon Power from Leigh-on-Sea, often works together with Tope on big projects and décor jobs. "I decided to help with this project, as I think poaching is totally wrong. I've only ever seen a rhino in a zoo but would one day love to get the opportunity to see one in the wild.  By helping Tope I'm doing my bit to raise awareness so in the future my children and future grandchildren will still be able to see these amazing animals.” – said Lucy.

Pioneer Europe Ltd, the European Headquarters of Pioneer Balloon Company , sponsored Qualatex balloons for Tope’s wall. "It is amazing to see balloon professionals from all over the world unite in this project. The power of balloons is limitless, and it is such a great way to raise awareness and hopefully help prevent rhino poaching,”- commented Anna Hickman, Marketing Communications Manager at Pioneer Europe Ltd.
About the Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. The landscape and rock formations we see today are the enduring reminders of that magnificent occurrence.

The park is about 550km² large and exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet Lowveld vegetation. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of game animals, flora, and fauna that are not often found living side by side. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5, wild dog, Roan, Tsessebe, Sable antelope and more than 360 bird species.

The Pilanesberg National Park is not affiliated to Sanparks and, therefore, is reliant on their fundraising initiatives.  

During 2016, The Pilanesberg already lost five rhinos, with an additional three injured during poaching attempts. All injured rhinos require medical treatment from an expert medical team. Needless to say, this is a costly endeavour and for this reason, public support is desperately needed.

Come and join us and become part of history in the making, for if we do not stop the poaching, rhinos will become history.

Use hashtags #StoptheRhinoPop  #POPpoaching to search for the various balloon sculptures on social media or follow Balloon Rhino Project Facebook page for live updates -