Andrea Cabai from Italy is a banker by profession. He took one-week’s leave from work to visit South Africa, and participated in our Wildlife Conservation Experience (previously known as The Student Programme).
Andrea arrived at HESC on the 11th April. Upon his arrival student coordinator, Jeanre Brooks, took Andrea on a tour of The Centre before seeing him off to Nungu Camp, which was to be his home for the week.
Andrea’s week was filled with a number of engaging and enlightening activities. For butchery, Andrea woke up at 5am to prepare the animals’ food – carving, cutting and adding supplements. This is a mammoth task, as this must be done for every one of our inhabitants at HESC (and there are quite a few)! He then had to feed the small cats, while the curators fed the bigger cats.
He got a chance to visit our adoptive school, Paulos Ngobeni Primary, to learn about the community engagement HESC has initiated through the school. He was introduced to the principal and some of the learners.
Andrea went to Camp Jabulani where he got to interact with an elephant for the first time, and to enjoy the magnificent resident herd roaming freely in the reserve.
Thanks to our guide, Sydney Staples, Andrea learned some tips and tricks to survive in the bush. Sydney showed him how to find water by digging in the ground, how to make a survival bow from wood, and how to make fire with a piece of glass. If Andrea ever found himself alone in the wild, he now possesses the necessary skills to survive.
His experience was concluded with a game drive through Kapama Private Game Reserve. Said Andrea when asked why HESC was his destination of choice, “Because you offer an adventure coupled with volunteer work. The 1-week programme also tied in perfectly with my annual leave”.
Andrea returned to Italy on the 18th of April with a wealth of conservation experience under his belt.