Field Report from the Big Five Wildlife Reserve in South Africa

"My Volunteer Work for the Conservation of the Big Five"

Christian S.

I spent four weeks in the BIG Five animal welfare reserve in South Africa.

The daily routine in the Big Five project

The day starts at 8:10. Our volunteer supervisor Jarrett is waiting for us at the open jeep, with which it goes through the area. In the morning we do the main work: planting new plants , cutting invasive plants from other parts of the world with machetes and pruning shears, removing the roads from the bushes, setting up camera traps, etc. Each volunteer receives a field arc, in which every encounter with elephants, rhinos and lion is recorded to document their activities, movement patterns and feeding behavior.

At lunchtime, it's back to Volunteer House for lunch . After a break, the whole afternoon is ready for a game drive (off-road drive ). Jarrett makes volunteering work a lot and gives everyone pleasure. He is a species conservationist and knows a lot about the BIG Five, other animals like wildebeests, giraffes, antelopes, birds and plants.

As soon as we see something new, he stops the jeep and lets the volunteers share his knowledge . With available driving on Wednesdays it always goes to the farm school , where we teach the students their own knowledge or renovate the school.

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Support of a soup kitchen

In the afternoon we support a Soup Kitchen , where children from poor families receive a meal and the attention of the volunteers. We paint with the children, throw the rugby ball and play "human and lion". The kids are incredibly thankful for the time they spend with them.

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In the midst of natural habitats

In front of the volunteer house, a tree house is built, from which you can watch the warthogs in their activities. Sometimes the elephants come directly in front of the house to eat from the trees.

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Dedicated colleagues and great leisure activities

Jarrett also likes to advise and organize weekend activities , for which a transport always has to be ordered. He always has good ideas and is very committed . Nomelia does the laundry daily, on Mondays the house is cleaned.

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Mobile by taxi

They are usually the same drivers from the only taxi company that is allowed on the site: they know each other well and are very nice too.

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Conclusion: Big Five project to be recommended!

I can recommend the volunteer service to all young people who are eager to see the wildlife and support species conservation and who want to learn a lot about it.

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Report from the Big Five Wildlife Reserve in South Africa by Christian S, 22.08.16

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