Today was a day to remember indeed! It began with a breakfast in Durban and loading our luggage on our way to the game park. Our first stop? To pick Katie up of course! We collected the final member of our new family, bought some goodies to snack on in the game park, and jumped into a safari car that everybody just loved! Onwards to the game park!
We arrived a few hours later to discover our new accommodation for the week. Two people to every hut, which are cozy and comfy! Once everyone was settled in it was time for lunch and an introduction walk around the park. On the short walk we saw all kinds of creature big and small, ranging from giant centipedes and spider-like critters to the larger animals and the animals we are also here to help…the buffalo! The reason this game park is so special is because it breeds healthy buffalo. Unfortunately there are very few healthy buffalo left in Africa and it is vital for this population to be able to breed and for those healthy buffalo to be taken to other game reserves to continue the breeding programs. Buffalo are one of the big 5 animals and are amazing to see up close (but of course at a safe distance!)
Next on the agenda was a game park drive to see what we would be doing through the week for the buffalo here (which I will talk about in tomorrow’s blog) but what we didn’t expect was just around the corner! Impalas, Inyalas, Kudus, Antelope species and wait for it…wild Giraffes and Rhinos! It was absolutely phenomenal to see these animals up so close and I think from the silence in the safari vehicle, everyone was just in awe! The pictures just don’t do it justice.
On our return it was time to allocate jobs for everyone throughout the week including helping our amazing chef here prepare meals and also to set up the Donkey’s. Here I don’t mean the animal donkey! To have hot water here we must light fires and heat the water for a few hours before taking our much loved showers! While the water was heating we lit other fires, one to sit around and the other to cook dinner on which consisted on yummy maize, salad, gravy and wors (sausages). It went down a treat 🙂
Finally, the group was split in two and half came out for a night drive on the way to set up night cameras at the nearby dam. These cameras will capture images of what’s wandering around at night throughout the game park. The other group will do the same tomorrow night. For me it’s currently 9pm here and my awesome volunteers and snug in their beds under the mosquito nets pooped. Just wait until they see tomorrows schedule!
~ Jess 🙂
P.s The internet out here on the game park as you can imagine, can be quite hard to come by! I will do my best and once we head to the creche, I will upload many many more photos!