Real-life items with real-life stories help raise money to stop illegal poaching in South Africa

Real-life items with real-life stories help raise money to stop illegal poaching in South Africa

The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) has come up with a novel way to help raise vital funds to protect endangered animals across Southern Africa.

The first-of-its-kind initiative is giving people the chance to purchase real-life items from ranger camps—the heartbeat of the IAPFs efforts to protect animals. Each item, available on a new webshop, tells its own unique story from the first line of defence against poaching.

The IAPF are famed for their all-female plant-fuelled rangers, the Akashinga (as seen in National Geographic documentary The Brave Ones). Over 240 staff are deployed across its camps in Southern Africa protecting a range of animals including elephants, rhino, lions and zebras across over 1.3million acres.

The rangers have helped curate dozens of items that shed light on the realities of their efforts to fight criminals, save priceless ecosystems, and build support networks within local communities. On the face of it, the items seem unimpressive and worthless, but each is accompanied with a story that reveals its true worth in the battle against wildlife crime.

The webshop goes live from the 16th September, and items that can be purchased include; a worn ranger's boot, an old dog lead, old shooting targets, battered crockery from the camp kitchen - even canned air from the South African plains.

The dog lead tells the incredible story of Katana, the Belgian Malinois tracker dog who is the furry face of the IAPF canine unit. Alongside a limited number of real-life items, digital versions are available at a lower price.

There are also three once-in-a-lifetime face-to-face IAPF experiences available: a private trip to one of the IAPF’s ranger camps in Zimbabwe to see their work first-hand; an adventure into the African bush to spend a night with the rangers and sleep under the stars; and the opportunity to spend a day with IAPF founder, and ex-Australian special forces sniper, Damien Mander, in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

The IAPF is also enabling people to experience stories from ranger camps themselves, virtually. These experiences include joining a rangers patrol, attending a virtual rangers physical training session, a vegan cookery class with the ranger’s head cook, chef Judy, and a campfire Q&A with Damien Mander.

The incredible work of rangers and staff on the front line makes a huge difference. In the areas where the IAPF operate, they have overseen an 80% reduction in poaching alongside a 350% increase in wildlife.

All proceeds from items purchased will go straight toward the IAPF’s work. Rangers and staff live and work amongst their communities, and the funds will support their invaluable role in not just tracking poachers, but developing rural areas and educating future generations on the importance of protecting nature.

IAPF Founder, Damian Mander, said: “I see first-hand the incredible work the IAPF rangers and staff do on a daily basis to protect animals from illegal poaching. We wanted to bring people much closer to Southern Africa and what happens on the ground - through feel, look, and smell. Selling authentic items from the bush, each with a fascinating story, gives people the chance to own something absolutely unique - but also does a brilliant job of educating the world on the realities of life on the frontline through stories.

Along with the once-in-a-lifetime experiences on offer, the funds raised will play a crucial role in not just fighting illegal poaching, but supporting and educating communities across the IAPFs camps.”

To purchase an item now, visit

Al Walker, art director said: "The IAPF chart their own course. The fearlessness with which they carry out their mission has given the creative team license to pursue bold, sector-challenging work with much freedom, autonomy and purpose. Playful copy, an African sunrise colour pallet and a typographically-led delivery have made this campaign distinctive and a worthy thing to support."

Thivanka De Silva, head of digital marketing and web strategy at IAPF added: "Own a story is way for people to truly see what community-led conservation is. It’s not one thing, but many, many stories from different perspectives."


Client: International Anti-Poaching Foundation
Agency: Good Brains for Good Brands
Production Team
Creative Directors:
Will Lowe (Copywriter) and Al Walker (Art Director)
Digital Production:
Humphrey Design Studio
Jason Dyson
Concept (from our Creative Sprint Team)
Creatives: Pansy Aung (Art Director) and Andreea Nedelcu (Copywriter)
Strategist: Eduardo Melchior

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