9 months after I finished a volunteering project at Thanda Game reserve in South Africa, I’m back again, but this time I’m working here for 3 months as Photography Volunteer Coordinator. So, on Saturday, I said goodbye to my lovely family, and set off on a 26 hour journey to get here. The landscape is brown but once the rains come it will turn green again and the waterholes will fill. The winter here is ending, and it’s heating up, so it’s lovely for me to escape the onset of the UK winter and the pre-Christmas hype that has already started – Thinking about Christmas is fine in December, but the beginning of September is just ridiculous.
My cabin is no more than 15’ away from the fence line – less than a 4’ high electric fence that separates us from the wildlife so I hope the electricity stays on! I’ve heard hyenas in the night but haven’t seen any yet.
I’ve joined the photography project on week 4, which is the last week. All the photographers had gone on a trip to the mountains at the weekend and didn’t get back until Monday evening, so my first day (Monday) was spent with the business manager, being given loads of information. Needless to say it was hard to get to sleep with the amount of fizzing that my brain was doing. I have one week with her here, then she leaves to start a guiding course and I’ll be on my own with a new set of photographers – 9 of them – the biggest group of the year – there’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end! (Don’t think of the Girl Guides when I say guiding course – she is learning how to be a wildlife guide!!)
My first game drive was between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m – getting very hot – good job I packed the Factor 50 sun cream! We saw zebra, wildebeest, impala, nyala, kudu, warthog, giraffe, various birds and the cheetah brothers. Our guide pointed out that one of the zebra had escaped the clutches of a lion – it has scar marks on its flanks which you can clearly see in my photo below.