I have been with Wildlife ACT for 11 weeks now and this is my third week in Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa. This is a great place to be, but not only because you see lions, elephants and wild dogs, or, that we had unforgettable lions call-ups and translocations. But it is also about the little things you can experience every day as a conservation volunteer in South Africa.
Before I came here I was always feeling uncomfortable about insects or spiders being too close to me but now I like to see them close-up and have been learning more about them. For example, a solifugae, which looks a bit like a spider, but is not because it doesn’t make silk, although it is still an arachnid. You should be scared of him as it can run up to 20 km/h but actually it is a very interesting creature.
In general I have to say that I have done a lot of things I have not done before like preparing a bait for a call up. It is interesting how this can change your attitude and that you can learn more about yourself if you go out of your comfort zone. Especially in Tembe you working with such passionate people that involve you in their everyday work and share their knowledge and make this an unforgettable stay. Thanks to Clinton Wright and Leonard Muller for being the nice people that they are, and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Wildlife ACT for this incredibly opportunity for personal growth.
Written by conservation volunteer: Andrea Schneider