July/August Students – Final Update

HESC- July/August Students Final Goodbye

Groups A & B – Final Goodbye

Wow…can you believe it’s already been three weeks since we first introduced you to our July/August intake of students. We did our best to keep them out of trouble by plying them with chores and occasionally taking them out on sightseeing trips, but despite in our best efforts to the contrary, these rabble rousers still managed to have fun. In their first update they waxed lyrical about their newly found butchery skills and how they risked life and limb to move a leopard. And then in their second update they bragged about how they dewormed cheetahs, taught learners from the Paulos Ngobeni primary school about conservation, and met some cheetah cubs. It’s now time for them to bid us farewell.

Group B: Duma Love

HESC - Students at Harries Pancakes

Students enjoying pancakes at Harries

This is the last time we will be updating you on our progress as it’s our last night tonight. Thursday was a very busy and exciting day for all of us!  We started extremely early, waking up at half past four for our surprise excursion to Camp Jabulani where we went on an Elephant Back Safari. What a really amazing experience. After lunch we went to Khamai Reptile Park and learned about lots of different reptiles, as well as the dangers associated with them. We also got to handle a few of the inhabitants. Friday was our last day at the butchery, which was sad… for some of us. Leanne managed to spill plenty of blood everywhere, so the meat was extra juicy. In the afternoon we did our bit towards preventing an outbreak of anthrax by clearing up the bones from the vulture restaurant. We had a lot of fun throwing them into the truck, and sometimes missing as well (Tom)!! We also hijacked a mega hardcore truck with no brakes?!

Ed: I’m loathe to ask!

Saturday was spent on a Panorama drive, stopping along the way to visit various places.  We went to the Echo Caves and a few lookout points, but unfortunately we didn’t see much as it was a rather cloudy day. We ended off our trip at Graskop, where we somehow managed to squeeze in some shopping before filling our tummies at a popular pancake restaurant. The day ended with an awesome party, which all the staff we’ve been working celebrated with us. We spent Sunday lazily wandering around the Centre for some last minute photo opportunities, cuddling the cubs for the last time, and unfortunately packing our suitcases. We had a “lekker” three weeks which will forever be remembered. This is ‘Duma Love’ saying goodbye.

Group A: Nungu Cubs

HESC - July/August Students on Elephant Back Safari at Camp Jabulani

Students on Elephant Back Safari at Camp Jabulani

Our last week here was packed with excursions. Christo and Licia babysat us for the weekend, taking us on a game drive through Kapama Game Reserve. We all stopped at Kwagga Dam for pictures with Kaileigh’s new found love….the hippo. But everyone’s favourite adventure was definitely the Elephant Back Safari. We arrived at Camp Jabulani at 6am and shared nine elephants between the 12 of us.  Ambling through the bushveld on an elephant taught us two things: 1) these enormous animals do fart, and 2) yes it does smell. Six toddler elephants joined us on the walk as well, and at one point they trumpeted in an attempt to scare off some wildebeest. Later that day we drove to the Khamai Reptile Park where Jim showed us how to handle a puff adder, and then promptly advised us not to try this at home. Our final chore proved to be some the worst, as we were tasked with cleaning out the vulture restaurant. Our last excursion was a Panorama Scenic Route, with our first stop being the Echo Caves. Unfortunately all the tourist workers were on strike and the only lookout point that wasn’t closed was shrouded in cloud, leaving us with about 3cm of visibility. The drive ended with a stop at Graskop to taste some pancakes sweet and savoury pancakes. Saturday was full of festivities because we had a party with the staff members. Karen and Tabs made lamb chops on the braai, while our cheeks all got a little rosy. Sunday was our last goodbye to the animals, and we all got one final to spend time with the cubs. These past three weeks were some of our best ever, and our friendships will not be forgotten. As we were sitting around our last campfire trying not to think about leaving each other, everybody was in agreement that this was an amazing experience. Hopefully the Nungu Cubs will always be remembered at HESC. Visit our Facebook and Flikr albums to see more of our exciting adventures!

Final greetings from Africa,

Teams A & B 😉