In November of 2008 I was lucky enough to be asked to lead a team of volunteers on a 12 day project on a private Game Park near Hoedspruit, South Africa (adjacent to the well known Kruger National Park).
The aim of the project was to observe and collect information on the native wildlife throughout the park in order to assist in the development of a ‘model’ sustainable management plan for this and other parks in the care of their wild life and vegetation.
This park, along with others in the area are becoming part of what is know as the ‘Greater Kruger Park’. The over arching concept is to remove all the fences and allow for the natural migration of various species (especially the elephants) across hundreds of kilometers.
Apart from the ‘observation’ tasks, the team also were involved in vegetation mapping, erosion control, water monitoring, camp repair and maintenance. Twelve days of cooking on the open fire whilst sleeping, cooking and washing with minimal basic facilities. The pictures explain a lot and we all experienced hundreds of lions, elephants, impalas, zebras, buffalo, giraffe and many other species.
The project was special in that it really was assisting in the protection of some of the worlds most well known species into the future and was something for which we will always be proud.
On top of the environmental significance of the actual project I was also lucky in that 8 of the volunteers were from other parts of my life.
They were in for one of the experiences of their lives and helped me greatly in this ‘full on’ role. Of course the team included Catherine, but also our regular ‘adventure’ friends in Dave, Gail, Roz and Roger together with our long term friends Lyn, John and Tina
These pictures are but a sample of those taken and once again are a mix taken by the team.